Style Glossary: The True Meaning of Mod

Happy Mod Monday, everyone!

As you can imagine, one of the most frequently asked questions here at ModCloth is “What exactly is mod?” And although we can’t possibly fit the term into a neat little box, we’ve compiled some information about the mod movement for your enjoyment.

The term developed from shortening the term ‘modernists.’ The mods gained popularity in London during the 1960s, and they are remembered for focusing on fashion, driving scooters, listening to jazz-inspired music, dancing the night away, and having a ‘look at me’ attitude. While all of these activities sound fun, let’s focus on the fashion that made this movement memorable with…

The Top 5 Mod Wardrobe Staples:

1. Fred Perry designed a cotton pique tennis shirt in a variety of colors, which was a welcome change from the standard white tops.  Here is an ever-popular tennis shirt from Perry’s newest collection.

2. Levi’s had just been introduced in Europe, and the mods jumped on the trend. They rolled the bottoms and were rumored to wear them into the bathtub in order to shrink them enough to be skinny jeans.

3. There’s debate about who created the mini-skirt, but designer Mary Quant made the trend world-famous.  Quant worked at a shop on Carnaby Street where everyone from The Beatles and The Rolling Stones to the Average Joe shopped for their mod wear.

4.  The mods adopted the Royal Air Force Roundel, now known as the Mod Target, as a stylish logo.

5. And last, but not least, the Winkle Picker. Named after the long thin utensil used to pull periwinkles out of their shell, these shoes represent true mod style.

Runners up include tailored suits, button-down Oxford shirts, colorful knitwear, and army surplus parkas.

Mods changed the fashion world forever. According to Quant, “There was a time when clothes were a sure sign of a woman’s social position and income group. Not now. Snobbery has gone out of fashion, and in our shop you will find duchesses jostling with typists to buy the same dress.”

And that’s what we’re all about here at ModCloth: amazing indie and vintage fashion for all. So whether you’re new to the mod movement or have a special collector’s edition of Quadrophenia, we’re glad you stopped by!

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