Mod Style Clothing and How to Wear it

Our affinity to subcultures and relevance throughout significant periods in British pop culture cannot be understated. We’re proud to have clothed such pivotal subcultures as the football casuals of the early ‘80s and the mods of the ‘60s.  

Here, we take a closer look at the mods, the music they listened to and the iconic mod style clothing… 

Who were the mods?

The mods were a subculture that originally grew to prominence in the 1960s. The mods and mod style clothing were inspired by sharply dressed jazz musicians, like Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie.  

Similar to the way the ‘Bright Young Things’ of the 1920s thrived after World War I, the mods were the first post-war generation to reach their teens and early-20s after World War II. They were usually affluent and young – giving them a greater level of independence that led them to rebel against older generations and carve their own path, seeking new fashion and music.  

How did the mods get their name?

The ‘mods’ name came from a shortening of the term ‘modernist’ – a term used to describe the modern jazz music and musicians the subculture were fans of.

Mod style clothing – what did they wear?

60 years after the first mods started to appear, their dress sense is still revered. Pieces that the mods made famous, like parka coats, are still immensely popular today.  

The mods were keen to separate themselves from previous generations and were inspired by European styles, like Italian slim-fit suits and scooters.  

The smart attire of suits and loafers soon evolved into a more casual mod look, with pieces like long-sleeve polo shirts, the aforementioned parka, tailored trousers, and knitwear gaining popularity.  

It was this penchant for knitwear and pursuit of premium clothing that led the mods to Lyle & Scott. Around the early ‘60s, our designers were experimenting with new, more vibrant colourways that appealed to the mods.  

How to dress like the mods

The mods’ clean-cut style is truly timeless, and one we’re proud to have helped create.  

To get that iconic mod style, we recommend pairing classically British jackets, like the Harrington or Wool Mac, with timeless knitwear, such as the Crew Neck Lambswool Blend Jumper or Cotton Merino Crew Neck Jumper. 

The next pieces to improve your mod style are shirts and polo shirts. Classic silhouettes, like our Long Sleeve Polo Shirt or Oxford Shirt, are versatile pieces that look excellent as part of smart or casual outfits.  

Other classic silhouettes include the Grandad Shirt, which features a small collar that doesn’t fold over like traditional collars. They’re a staple piece of mod clothing thanks to their relaxed fit and understated stylings.  

In terms of trousers, the mods preferred a slimmer fit, meaning silhouettes, like our Skinny Chino or Slim Fit Jeans, fit the bill. To perfect that classic mod style though, elevate the look with smart trousers, like our Wool Blend Trouser 

What music did the mods listen to?

The mods of the 1960s listened to soul, rhythm and blues, as well as British bands, like The Who, Small Faces and The Kinks – all of whom were inspired by American blues acts.  

In the 1970s, a mod revival era started. This was led by bands like The Jam, Secret Affair and The Merton Parkas, who were heavily influenced by the original mod movement. 

What’s next?

To find your style, explore our range of premium men’s and women’s mod clothing on the Lyle & Scott website 

For style advice, including What to Wear to a Festival and How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe, explore our blog.  

To learn more about the iconic Madchester music scene, click the link below.  

Madchester: A Look at Manchester’s World-Famous Music Scene


Madchester: A Look at Manchester’s World-Famous Music Scene

Get to know the Madchester bands of the 90s and what they were wearing by diving into Manchester’s world-famous music scene.

2022-05-25 10:59:36By Lyle & Scott

Lyle & Scott

Lyle & Scott

Writer and expert