Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday Gifts to Avoid 2012

Christmas is tomorrow and hopefully all your shopping is done. But even more importantly, hopefully you've avoided the following list of gifts!

First up, let's take a look at this nice gift idea: a black cotton mac from (drum roll, please)... Pretty Green!
A cotton mac for the wealthy Oasis-obsessed Mod set.
I can't believe I'm going to say this but this isn't a bad piece of coat. Yup, a Pretty Green item I actually don't think is that bad. Nice, short collar with side pockets and epaulets. A step up from a parka if you're looking for protection from stormy weather. There's only one tiny snag in this little coat: it costs $1,100! Yes, you read that right: ONE-THOUSAND, ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS. Pretty Green, are you for real? If ANY of you have the money for a gift like this, don't be stupid. Please use it for a gift certificate to your local tailor instead. Seriously, for that kind of money you could probably get an even more stylish jacket made to your specifications PLUS a tab-collar shirt to boot!

One for the ladies. So, you think you look 'mod.' You think you dance 'mod.' You think you pose 'mod' in all your Facebook profile pics. But guess what. You probably don't smell 'mod'! Well, now you can fix that with this offering from Avon:
The essence of a "60's mod" bottled up.
And this stuff just won't make you smell like any ol' mod. Nope, you'll be engulfed in the aroma of actual "60's mod". Personally, I don't know what that's like, seeing as I was born a few years after the sixties ended. But this little item might just complete your total vintage experience. You're at a club and spot some gal who thinks she looks like Peggy Moffitt. She's out there doin' her Sandy Sarjeant dances while eyeballin' that fellow you're with. Well, all you need to do is walk right past her, let her take in a whiff of "60's mod," and watch that crestfallen look on her face. She just lost the 'mod' game.

Some of you have families, right? You probably don't have much luck driving your kids to school on your scooter. You and the wife need to hit the supermarket for a week's worth of groceries and scooters just don't seem very practical. In these cases, life forces you to bust out the Mazda or SUV. How embarrassing it's gotta be if you're driving by people who think you're just some regular ol' joe barely existing through life. Well, solve that problem with this little window decal to let the whole world know exactly what you're about:
Will be right at home next to your cartoon family decal sticker.
 With this little sticker, you'll announce your presence to the world.. After all, it's an important thing to make sure strangers know you're 'mod.' After all, why else would you walk around in a parka covered in advertisements for your favorite bands or a Union Jack pin on your lapel?

A few weeks back, there was some 'controversy' over Paul Weller and his tank-top/flip-flop look. Many of you thought, "What's the big deal? He's just relaxing and they're just clothes!" Well, for those of you who enjoy relaxing and don't think style is all that important, have I got a gift suggestion for you! Union Jack Uggs!
Lucky for you, I can't read German and I'm too lazy to find the actual link to buy these things.
After all, Mods need down time too, right? If flip-flops are an acceptable shoe, then why not Uggs? And hey... these are Union Jack Uggs! They'll go great with jeans and a parka.

Aw hell, everyone's suffering from Quadrophenia Fever lately! Well, show off your love of everyone's favorite Mod opera with this awesome tee:
Come on... it don't get more Mod than this!
Show up to that next scooter rally dressed in this and a green pair of sta-prest and I guarantee you'll still be better dressed than 70% of the people there! (Trust me, I've seen photos of enough scooter rallies these days.)

Now, this last item is on the wrong list. Do NOT avoid this but rush out now and get it if you're a dog owner or know a Mod dog owner. It's so silly, it's so ridiculous, it's so wrong... that it's right.
(Thanks go my pal Fred Eagle over at for hippin' me to a piece of Dogrophenia!)
In general, I'm not into clothing for dogs. But, in this case, I'll make an exception. Your dog will be the Ace Face mutt runnin' around the yard in this thing. And if you're hungry for mod dog puns, then the We Are the Mods Facebook page as you hooked up!

That's it for bad gifts this year. Have a GREAT CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Casual Friday #10: Alejandro Garin

Working to look sharp for a rare evening out on the town can actually be easy. The tough job is trying to look sharp on a daily, casual basis. Yeah, you might have your Friday night suit at your beck and call, but what does it matter if you spend the rest of your time in target t-shirts and jeans? Every Friday, I'd like to offer up some style inspiration for tightening up your casual look, because let's face it... sometimes you just don't feel like wearing a tie, but still want to keep it sharp.

A few weeks back, the photo below was posted on a Facebook page called 'Mod and Northern Soul,' and it got me thinking that I don't post enough photos of actual, modern-day Mod types. I guess one of the reasons why I tend to avoid that is because I'd run the risk of having the blog and associated Facebook page overrun with requests from people to "Ooh! Use me! Use me!"

And let's be honest: Out there is a sea of Mod-types floating around in all-too-common Fred Perrys, Jam patch-covered parkas... shiny Merc suits... target cufflinks... zzzzzzzz... But every so often, I do come across images that just knock me out, like this one below of former member of the '80s/'90s Spanish Mod band, Los Flechazosand current member of Cooper. (Ah... remember those pre-Britpop days when bands like these guys, The Clique, and The Lost Minds were keepin' things rollin'?) Check out Alejandro Garin, knockin' it out of the casual park:
Alejandro Diez Garin, ex-member of Los Flechazos and current Cooper member.
Up front, the thing I like most about this image is, well, he's older than I am (I think)! Here's someone who didn't give up on the look or let age get in the way. He knows what looks sharp for an older man without veering into the comedy Mod realm.

Secondly, and let's just get this out of the way, yes... his scooter is beautiful! And you know how you can tell? It's not hidden behind a wall of mirrors and lights! He just has a few accessories on there to give it a little personality, but it's the scooter design and paint job that take the focus.

Now, let's get into his gear, starting with his shoes. DAMN! He's killin' it with a pair of chisel-toed kicks made of leather and suede that you just don't see that often. They've gotta be vintage. One thing I've learned about Spanish Mods over the years is that they are some of the slickest guys around who, somehow, come across really great vintage pieces, especially shoes. (And I'm proud to say that I do have a similar pair to these that I wear, oh, once every five years or so.)

Next up, those trousers. Tight-fitting but with a perfect flare that's not too wide. That type of flare accentuates a great shape that brings a person's attention to the shoes at the bottom. Plus, based on how high they're riding from his sitting position, you know they're not high-waters. And an even more important thing to always remember about a good pair of trousers: a sharp, clean crease down the center. No wrinkled, schlub pants going on here.

Finally, dig on his multi-colored 3-button long-sleeved polo. There's a style rule about wearing blacks and browns together in an outfit, but this right here is the exception to the rule. Actually, I break that rule in pretty good moderation. Again, I'd guess that the polo is vintage but I could be wrong. Great, wide bars in tan and brown mixed with black narrow striping. Add in the black sleeves and black collar and you've got a beautiful sweater with colors that stand out from all the surrounding black.

Friends, this is my kind of casual. A sixties look that has dated very well over the years and one that sticks out from the Fred Perry army.

Sure, there are a lot of people out there 'keeping the faith' in their Mod 101 gear. But there are also those fellows who know a thing or two about coordinating a pocket square with their tie, hitting on the right details of a suit jacket, and finding the perfect shoe to pull it all together. I oughtta start giving them their due.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Sharp Stylings #57: James Bond

We can learn so much from yesterday’s fashion icons.  And living in a post-Mad Men world means we can even enjoy aspects of current male fashions! Every Friday, I’d like to start your weekend off right with a little style inspiration from either then or now. Hopefully, my fellow Mod enthusiasts will find the whole or some detail of the whole to appreciate and maybe even adopt.

Man, what happened? This holiday season just knocked me out! I'm slowly crawling out of a blogging black hole... slowly.

So, let's get to it. James Bond. He's been all over the place lately, because, y'know, Skyfall, which I still haven't seen. I think I need to see it soon, though, especially after dreaming about it last night (yes, dreaming). And I hope the movie is as awesome as my dream was... I mean, it better include a scene in which he engages in a swordfight (with his hands tied behind his back) by using his nose to nudge his girlfriend's sword into position to battle their opponent... and actually wins. And his beaten opponent better transform into a winged demon and fly away in defeat. If these scenes aren't in Skyfall, I'm going to be very disappointed.

But one thing I know I'm not dreaming about is that James Bond is helping to bring the tab-collar back into style for men's fashion! For years, it seemed so difficult to find good tab-collars, but things may be changing thanks to Tom Ford's designs for the new James Bond film.

And if you want to talk about 'Sharp Stylings'... friends, from what I could tell in the commercials, Skyfall contains what might just be the most bad-ass sharp-styling scene in all moviedom: James Bond, in a clean tab-collar shirt with pointed collar and french cuffs under a slim grey suit, adjusting his cuffs after narrowly avoiding a blow-out behind him. Hey, if you're gonna face death, you might as well look good doing it!
Image from The Suits of James Bond.
Now, there's no doubt I'm on Team Craig when it comes to past James Bonds. Heck, Casino Royale's opening sequence even dwarfed my previous favorite James Bond opening sequence... yup, the one from Octopussy! Sorry, Roger Moore...

But no matter how styling, how tough, how bad-ass the Daniel Craig James Bond is, well... there will always be one better. When it comes to suave James Bond style, you all know the score: 
Image from The Compass.
Yup, I'll drink to that.