The Mod movement began in the late 1950s, stemming from the Teddy Boy and Beatnik subcultures that had spread across Europe and the United States after World War II. The more permissible culture of the 1960s was flowering, and it became far more acceptable than ever before for young men to take an active interest in their appearance. Mods adopted a sleek fashion style heavily influenced by Italian and French styles of the late 1950s.
Drainpipe jeans were inspired by the Teddy Boy subculture and were the forerunners to today's skinny jeans. They Teddy Boys sought to reinvent the dandy look, and their early fashions inspired much of Mod culture in the 1960s. Drainpipe jeans were form-fitting and cut to fit especially tight around the ankle. These jeans were intended to be unisex and had hipster waists. Their tight fit made them controversial, but they were also seen as sleek and celebratory of the male form.
Mods sought both function and form when choosing their jackets. Two of the most popular jacket styles were the Harrington and the Parka. The Harrington jacket was first designed in 1937 by the Miller Brothers as a lightweight, windproof and waterproof jacket. The lining was Scottish tartan and the waist and wrist cuffs were elasticated. Its sleek style and functionality made it quickly popular with the Mods. The Parka rose from army surplus stores into the height of Mod fashion for its protective qualities. Designed for warmth, Parkas were usually fur-lined with zippers and hoods. Because they originally only came in standard army green, many Mods dyed their parkas to match the colour of their scooters.
Shoes and Boots
Winklepicker shoes and Chelsea boots were all the rage for Mod men in the 1960s. Winklepickers had an elongated, pointed toe which gave them their name, since they were said to resemble a type of pin used to eat periwinkles. The shoes were most often made from black patent leather, white or patterned leather. Chelsea boots also had a pointed toe and were originally made for horse riding. These tight-fitting, slim ankle boots were adopted by The Beatles, hence their nickname "Beatle boots." Though they were originally most commonly found in black leather, suede also became a staple for these boots in the later '60s.
Mod suits were highly tailored, with pointed collars, and were traditionally made of mohair. Thin ties and crisp, button-down shirts helped round out the suit ensemble. No longer were grey and black the standard suit colours; Mods sported suits in a variety of colours, including red and green. Turtlenecks were also becoming very popular among men in the 1960s, and sometimes these replaced the button-down shirts in a suit.