Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mod Gone Wrong: The Union Jack Parka

That's it. I'm done. I'm turning in my card.

Seems we've reached the end of the comedy road: the Union Jack parka.
Image from We Are the Mods. Original source here.
Taking people further down the dismal Mod rabbit hole. Image source.
Because really, when you want to pander to a Mod crowd, what do you do? Put a Union Jack on it!

After all, we've had Union Jack scooters.
You can buy this here.
We've had Union Jack suits.
Paul Weller keeping his bottom button buttoned. Sigh...
We've had Union Jack desert boots.
Quadrophenia Jimmy wishes these were around back in the day, I'm sure.
We've had Union Jack shirts.

Fred Perry Union Jack, of course.
We've had Union Jack ties.
In case you're thinking of buying this, even the company refers to is as a 'novelty' tie.

I guess this was the natural conclusion.
I mean, what's left? A Union Jack Harrington?

And there is an audience for it. That's been proven time after time. For every guy out there searching out a well-tailored button-down, french-cuff shirt with the perfect collar and detailed buttoning, there are ten guys happy with anything that has a Union Jack on it.

Hey, I'm not perfect. I used to wear a parka with a Union Jack Jam patch on the back... when I was A TEENAGER. But you get to a point where you realize you don't need to walk around looking like a mascot for Anglophilia in order to convince everyone you're 'MOD!'

Hopefully, though, this Union Jack parka is the final straw on the back of the Comedy Mod camel. And hopefully, some of these new Mod labels will start to get more creative with their offerings. Think about all the different types of styles and detailings that were coming out of London at breakneck speed back in the 1960s. Sure, not all of it worked, but you still had some great pieces that stood out. These days, many new 'mod' clothing companies seem to go down the same weathered path laid down by original, iconic labels.

If you're thinking about starting your own 'Mod' clothing company, keep the following in mind:
Fred Perry has perfected the polo.
Ben Sherman has perfected the short-sleeved button-down.
Clark's has perfected the desert boot.
And the 1950s U.S. Army has perfected the parka.

You know what that leaves you with? A wide spectrum of new material and influences to draw from!

Or... I guess just put a Union Jack on something.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Sharp Stylings #67: DJ Soft Touch

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.
In what seems like 6 years since the last post, I'm (almost) finally out of a paternity daze. So, what better way to get back to posting than with a Sharp Stylings post... on a Monday!

And what better way to start this off with than with a clean shot of one of the most stylish Angelinos around, Clifton Weaver aka DJ Soft Touch!
Photo by Jesse Chairez.
Here he is just owning a solid block of attitude. And deservedly so... he's got a look that gets everything right without a hint of cliche:
  • A windowpane suit with lapels slightly larger than you'd expect but that work well with the higher button stance. 
  • Trousers that look to narrow in around the knee before slightly flaring out at the bottom... no ankle-hugging here!
  • A light-blue gingham-checked shirt, with French cuffs and a collar with a wider spread and no button-down or tabbed action.
  • A wider-than-average purple tie that plays well against the color of the shirt and the tone of the suit.
  • A blue and purple paisley pocket square that just puffs out of the breast pocket without any fancy points.
  • And finally, the jewelry details: large, sparkling cufflinks, wide wristwatch, ID bracelet on the other wrist, tie bar positioned so it just shows above the top suit button, and a tie tack holding the pocket square in place.
  • What's missing from the photo are the purple socks (my favorite sock color) and brown suede wingtips
This dude knows what he's doing... playing with the Mod look without depending upon typical Mod detailing (i.e., collar spread, tie width, lapel width, lack of ticket pocket). Yet, he still tosses in a couple of details some Mods are hip to (tie tack for pocket square, French cuffs, flared trousers).

This look, to me, screams 'Mod' without actually screaming 'Mod'. No lapel pins. No parka with badges. And only a tiny bit of typical Mod detailing. He could walk into a mod/soul club and stand out from the crowd while still fitting in. But he could walk into any other type of club and all people are gonna see is one crazy sharp fellow.

I mentioned earlier the attitude he's throwing out in this photo. He deserves it. Not only is he one of the sharpest dudes strutting around in L.A., but he's also one of the funkiest DJs around!

Ironically, the truth is that despite this, the guy doesn't carry a drop of attitude. Seriously, one of the nicest guys you'll meet.

Don't you just hate him?