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Suggs the smart Geezer !

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Suggs the smart Geezer !

I first came across Suggs as a young lad, along with The Specials, Dexys etc. Madness were part of a great smattering of cool bands from that era.

Most of the bands shone very brightly for a year or 2, but Madness have hung around. They are in the UK, part of our culture now, playing both the Olympics ceremonies and Royal celebrations and their tunes light up any day. If you dj and have a room full of all ages, madness will get the 7 year old and the 70 year old moving.

mod-shoes-madness-singlesmod shoes madness young suggs in doc martins

Now not for a minute am i suggesting that Madness or even Suggs are Mods, but there is an obvious line back to SKA. Suggs has often said about his love of SKA in many interviews, but he has also recently mentioned that he had leanings to the MOD thing. In his biography he mentions going to see The Who at the Charlton Football Ground, which i believe did future members of The Chords.

In the book he mentions buying a riding an LI150. Chas smash also had one. He talks about cutting his hair short whilst everyone else was long. To me sounds like a
young Weller !

mod shoes suggs autobiography
Suggs has a biography out, it is a good read and as entertaining as a Madness song.
mod shoes suggs on a vespa scooter
Not the Li150 he had when he was younger.

Anyways back to the story, when i was younger Suggs looked friendly and came over well on the telly. The songs they developed became classics and his dress sense changed but he always looked dapper. Even mid 80s period he dressed like he had thought about it.

So why this blog?
Well many of us Mod types cite people like Marriot, Weller etc, as an influence, Suggs was one of mine.

Looking back now you can see a IVY skin look rather than the OI! look that many skins had. He wears a lot of amercan influenced clothes, which to my young eyes, just looked cool. For every pic of him in his cherry reds, you can also see him in mixture of Tassel Loafers & Brogues.

mod shoes madness-one-step-beyond-stiff-suggs in brogues

On the front cover of One Step Beyond, brown full wing tip brogues. 3 of the rest of the band in Tassel Loafers. I think this is why i wanted a pair of both at 11 years of age. I had to wait at least a year for a pair.

mod shoes suggs in chequered jacketThe suits at the time weren’t classic 3 button affairs, but they looked right, Suggs very often wore a 1 button jacket, which i always thought looked great on him. The Chequered jacket in Embarrassment is just brilliant and no one could pull it off like him.

I must admit his look went very 80s as the decade progressed but i dont remember any long hair or dodgy leather jackets.

The next i heard of him, he was managing Liverpool band The Farm. Pics i saw of this time was very IVY inspired Harringtons and Jeans with turn ups. Once Madness started getting back together properly then smart suits were the order of the day. Notice in the pics Suggs has his trousers or jeans tailored right.

mod shoes madness 01

mod shoes madness two tone brogues and red socks

mod shoes suggs in two tone brogues

He has had a variety of shoes in these recent times, but he seems to favour Loake Brighton Tassel Loafers and Two Tone Brogues. At Glastonbury he wore some very dapper brogues, and that is pure madness ! how did he keep them clean !

Anyways hope you liked this little blog.

The final picture is a great one, look at those colours, god he looks good. Get the biography it is great and if you get chance try and catch his show about his life it is very entertaining.       mod shoes suggs_back_cover

 

Shoes we sell that remind me of Suggs

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DJ Warren Peace – My Sole Collection

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Guest Blog from Dj Warren Peace. Lots to read here from the Marmite of MOD! Over to you fella. 

As anyone who listens to my show knows by now, I am not what you consider the typical mod. I love the 60’s. It was an era where men were Sean Connery and not Harry Styles. A time of phenomenal music, style and social change. Most importantly to me as a mod, it marked the birth of the movement which changed my life. Whilst I ‘tip my hat’ to this of often over-romanticized bygone decade, I’m happy that I live in 2013. To ’60‘s man’ I am George Jetson and like George, I live my life as a true MODERNist. What does that mean? Well, in a nutshell I’m obsessive about style and details and embrace the finest aspects of what ‘now’ has to offer whilst incorporating the best of the past into my daily wardrobe, living space and iPod. In essence, I celebrate the 60’s but I’m aware (and glad) that I don’t live in them. You could never mistake my look as an extra from ‘The Spy Who Shagged Me’ and my ‘mod styling’ is anything but the bog-standard mod 101 look. As I’ve said ad nauseam on the show, mod isn’t a halloween costume. It’s style over fashion and looking exceptional… without exception. Clean lines, form and functionality. End of. When I look at the way a fellow mod or any man dresses for that matter, it’s the opposite of sexual foreplay with a woman, i.e. I don’t start from the top and work down, I start below the ankle…at the shoes, and work up.

I love shoes. What mod doesn’t? My SOLE collection has always been much greater than my SOUL collection and I’m proud of that fact. (You can’t wear Gino Parks to a cocktail party now, can you?) I live each day as a mod, not just the weekends, so my shoes get a lot of wear and tear as dressing up is just ‘another day at the office’ in Warren’s world. You will find few if ANY ‘mod labels’ in my wardrobe or shoes many would consider ‘proper mod’, or ‘mod’ at all for that matter. I’m into well-made, timeless classics and I’d rather have one of something great than ten pieces of tat glued or stitched together by a 13 year old in Cambodia. Shoes so well made they will last a lifetime with the right care and repair and eventually, accompany me to the great Soul Night in the Sky (by the way, the John Lobb Ilford 6-eyelet prestige oxfords are the front-runners to accompany me 6ft under at the time of writing this!) With that said, here are a few of my current favorites. Warning: My opinion changes weekly so by the time you read this, I’ll probably deny owning half of them.

Let’s kick it all of with my Bergdorf Goodman Dover loafers with front penny strap.Italian made in a gorgeous bordeaux shade of leather. These almost feel like you aren’t wearing shoes at all and that’s a win for me with high arches. Leather sole (which looks a little like rubber in the picture but is not) and hand-stitched detailing.  For the fashionistas among you, the shoes are resting on my  Luciano Barbera three button sport-coat, also classic Italian. I love LB and although you can’t see it here, the lining matches the shoes, so I often wear these in combination with one another. Pair with a light blue, penny collar french cuff shirt and pocket square and we have lift off.

Bergdorf Goodman Dover loafers

My favorite shoes without a doubt have always been and will always be, wingtip brogues. It’s a classic, time-less and versatile shoe that can be worn casual or dressy and brings a hint of elegance to any outfit instantly.

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I’m not big on vintage shoes. Something to do with my distaste for wearing something that’s been wrapped around another man’s sweaty feet for 30 years, but these were just too exceptional to pass up. Tan brogues donkeys years old but still in amazing shape. I look after them well and they’ve lasted because their original owner clearly did the same.

I like to take chances with outfits and have no hesitation pairing these with navy blue or dark grey pinstripe suits for that additional and unexpected ‘pop’ or more traditionally, with my light grey Price of Wales check double breasted suit.

I believe mod is about individuality. Creating one’s OWN style and standing out from sloppy society and what better a way to do it than in these.  Something about them reminds me of my old science teacher…a hard mean bastard but boy…could he dress!

Next up..the iconic mod Chelsea boot, Italian made by Tods in a dark chocolate suede. I like Tods and I LOVE suede. Too much! A b*** to maintain but so worth it. I have lots of suede shoes but my favorite pair of all are my CB’s!

Todds Chelsea Boots

They look great with almost anything. On a recent trip to Montreal I picked up a pair of unworn light beige sta-prest trousers from the 60’s (warehouse find!) thanks to my host, Parka Avenue mod blogger Patrick Foisy knowing the right people. The cut of the trousers are a little higher to the ankle so perfect for boots like these. Check shirt, sunglasses and suede jacket and I’m ready to scoot! I’m also a mod who unashamedly admits to loving the Beatles, although I’ve never done well with a cuban heel. I’m tall and so adding a few inches makes me feel like Gulliver among the Lilliputians! As you can see, the Tods Chelsea boots heels are much flatter.

Back to the brogues! Meet my American pals…the  John Varvatos Hallowell Wing Tips.

John Varvatos Hallowell Wing Tips
John Varvatos Hallowell Wing Tips

The picture doesn’t quite do these justice but the color, a deep rich mocha is jaw dropping and an asset almost any outfit I decide to pair these with.

Since I acquired these I have a better appreciation for how large-breasted women must feel because during every conversation, the other person’s eyes invariably gravitate downwards usually followed by light salivating. Poor old Babs Windsor!

Not the finest quality shoe I own but the highly polished leather, tonal stitching and comfort won me over when I found these on sale earlier this year. I just had a Rodger Stirling (Mad Men) 3-piece suit crafted by my tailor in a light vintage grey with slim lapels and a 6 button vest. Add crisp, fitted imperial oxford weave white french cuff shirt with penny collar, vintage gold wrap-around mesh cufflinks, skinny knitted navy polkadot tie and my JV’s. Does the look follow the mod rule book? Not at all… but stand me next to a Tonik Suit Charlie  wearing his ‘off the rack and on the back’ and tell me who’s the Face.

Prada Penny Loafers

The original Mods look was inspired by the ‘movers and groovers’ of the Italian/ continental high fashion scene and the US preppie collegiate look. Fast forward to today and High Italian fashion in 2013 doesn’t get better than Prada in my opinion. Prada was founded in 1913 in Milan by Mario Prada and is currently one of the most influential clothing lines in the fashion industry, with an iconic collection that includes sunglasses, handbags, suits, shirts and some amazing shoes. These penny loafers have the honorable/notorious distinction of being my dance shoes of choice. All leather in a  strange shade of emerald green/ fading to black. Not for everyone but definitely for me. The ethos of the Face was to push the boundaries and believe me when I say, these do just that. A great shoe to wear with both jeans or trousers. The talcum powder  brushes off with ease and they maintain a flawless, unworn look despite untold hours of gettin’ down! Shoes are photographed here with July 1968’s edition of Playboy and my desk mascot, bulldog ‘Jack’ (a gift from ‘M’).

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Why would I wear decent dress shoes when riding my ’68 Vespa 180SS? Answer…I wouldn’t! Enter the Desert Boot… not necessarily the staple of a Mods wardrobe but definitely a ‘MUST HAVE’ for any scooter riding mod.  NEVER, EVER pair Desert Boots with a suit like Jimmy Cooper! You’re a real mod not an actor dressed by a costumer and you can do better…no, HAVE to do better than that!  I have two kinds of DB’s. Classic brown suede (told you) Clarks with rust stitching and laces (there’s that attention to detail I was telling you about). The lighter suede pair are Italian made by Miu Miu, a high fashion brand of clothing and accessories from the Prada fashion house headed by Miuccia Prada (hence the name). Due to the color they take a lot of upkeep but are going on 13 years old now! Both look great with some light cotton fitted beige chinos for the Sunday scooter ride, leather belt and a casual Fred Perry pique cotton top or my preferred cashmere or merino wool knitted polos.

Tom Ford Tassel Loafers

Last but not least, the latest addition to Warren Peace’s Shoeland, a pair of tassel loafers by Tom Ford. While I can’t say that Tom Ford shoes warrant the ridiculous retail sticker cost that comes with them, I can say that for a “designer” he does have some beautiful and well made shoes under his label (i.e. sources the best shoemaker that he could find in Italy to make his shoes). They give you all that you look for in a high end shoes: good leather, beveled waists, clean looking soles, great design and they’re built to last. The color is described as ‘antiqued’. Every single Italian maker was doing it  a while back and it was almost as if you couldn’t find a shoe that did not have a burnish on it, at least here in the States. Nothing wrong with a bit of toe darkening in my book, so bring on the burnish I say!

I fly often and loafers are practical for darting thorough airport security. I also dress to fly, always. The Jet Age is alive and well, at least in my head, and so at any given time on any airport concourse you’ll find me wearing these or something similar sitting amongst the sea of flip flops, crocs, yoga pants and cargo shorts. Definitely a shoe for the power meeting but less formal and stuffy than lace ups. Dress better than your boss is my MO. These will see to that.

That’s your lot for now. So many shoes, so little time! Again, my daily mod style is anything but cookie cutter. For my money the classic look of the English country gentleman, Italian fashionista or American Ivy Leaguer can’t be beaten. Shoes don’t MAKE the man but they can BREAK the outfit. Be an individual and wear what looks good on you, not the other ten charlie’s at soul night down the Hope and Anchor. Challenge the sensibilities. Be the best YOU can be and when in doubt, refer to the fictional mod rule book that some of the more ‘discerning mods’ among us magically own and often reference. Rule #1… style before fashion, always. Rule #2 Look sharp and watch the details and my personal favorite..Rule #3…there are no f%*&g rules!

Peace out!

mod shoes dj warren peaceWarren Peace hosts We are the M♂ds! with Warren Peace radio show Available for download of streaming on iTunes or Podomatic www.wearethemods.podomatic.com also playing on Mod Radio UK- Radio a Go Go (www.ModRadioUK.net)

The Tassel Loafer, Smart or Casual ?

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The Tassel Loafer, Smart or Casual

The Tassel Loafer is a shoe that I feel fits nicely in to two camps, both smart and casual. Not many shoes do so well, but here goes on why I think so.

mod shoes the specials on rock goes to collegeThe Specials in 1980 were one of the first massive influences on me. The 1st lP cover and the ‘Rock Goes To College’ concert were my introduction into them. The suits and style of both the band and audience, most of which ended up on the stage, was 3 button suits and mixture of shoe styles including The Tassel Loafer.

I was too young to understand it was a late sixties fashion, or that it mainly was an late original mod, skin look. To me it looked smart and nothing like anyone else I knew. At school we wore blazers, but the blazers weren’t the same as the suits, and for defo my shoes were what mum got me.

Anyways my point is they looked smart. Now am I mixing the word, Smart with Cool? No matter really because I still feel the Tassel Loafer is smart and cool.

So lets forward to a few years ago. I was at a Business Networking event. A guy I know, a solicitor, is wearing classic Loake Brightons with a fairly normal blue suit. I said to him, you into the mod thing, he said no, I said about the shoes, he said it is quite common for lawyers to wear them.

Now I think of lawyers as usually pretty good dressers, it is part of the job. You have to look the part. And he was wearing them in a professional capacity. Where as I wore mine with jeans and trousers back as a kid.

So do Tassel loafers work with both?

I know what I think, but the point to this blog is to prove the point. And the only way to do that it is to get some pics.

So first up, the glorious The Specials, I will argue one of the most perfect bands ever, in so many ways. And on the feet of 3 of them were tassel loafers. And all 3 pairs of the loafers are being worn with a suit. So 1 point to the smart side

mod shoes the specials in tassel loafers

Next up. This guy is defo a bit of a dude, not sure about the scarf, but the brown tassel loafers and white jeans, with a tiny turn up, look really good. Weller seemed to spend most of the 80’s in a very similar style. Sorry to say that I don’t know what make of Tassel Loafers these are, but they look expensive. 1 point to the casual.

mod shoes casual tassel loafers with white jeans

This picture , the lady is wearing white socks with the Burgundy, Oxblood Tassel loafers. A classic female look, big in the 80’s with some of the hip hop people. Again it is one of those looks that is casual, but not scruffy. Meaning to me it took a lot of thought to get it right, but at the same time is not formal. So 1 again point to casual.

mod shoes oxblood tassel loafers with jeans

The guy on the left is wearing a look so many of us have had. Button down, parka, dark jeans, white socks and yes Tassel loafers. The picture looks modern so I am guessing perhaps less than 10 years old, but the look is timeless, late teens casual mod, ie out with your mates. Street Mod in fact. So yet another point to casual.

mod shoes mod in tassel loafers and parka

The next set of pictures are of what I think of Smart Young Professionals. My assumption is that they work in the city, but not in banking, probably new media? Anyways loving the suits, although would prefer 3 buttons, and mostly no socks! So although the look is smart, it also saying casual. 1 point to smart.

mod shoe loafers semi casual Scott Disick Films in NYC's Meatpacking District mod shoes tassel loafer with a suit mod shoes tassel loafers with a suit

Again to counter argue, here is some very cool, but never the less, causal looks.

mod shoes loafers with jeans casual mod shoes tassel loafers with jeans mod shoes tassel loafers with trousers

I like this look on this guy, again no socks, jeans with a jacket, but tie pin, the ties a little wide. But he looks cool. This combination normally I hate , jeans and jackets are hard to pull off, but this guy does. And on the feet, yep Tassel Loafers. Again smart casual !

mod shoes tassel loafers with jacket and jeans

This last photo I love the colours, that green and yes brown combination just look so cool. Only the jean shirt lets it down. Again the details on the suit, make the look ‘DING’. But the tassel loafers shine away at the bottom.

mod shoes Green-Suit-Denim-Shirt-Brown-Loafers

The oxblood tassel loafer to me has to be one of the best shoes to wear with a multitude of outfits.

  • With jeans, you go to the pub in them or a northern soul do.
  • Jeans , Fred Perry and loafers, perfect for a ska do.
  • Put on some trousers, add a button down and you look ok at birthday party or evening out.
  • Put on a smart suit and your loafers and you are ready for a smart night or that wedding the wife has dragged you to.

If you made sure you got leather soles, then you can dance away the hours.

And lastly you know you are in the good company of wearers, please stand up, Suggs, Jerry Dammers and many others.

So the Tassel Loafer I conclude is Smart & Casual. I await debate!

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Mods dont wear Tassel Loafers !

mod-shoes-mods-dont-wear-tassel-loafers

Recently there have been some discussions going on, over whether or not tassel loafers are  MOD!

Now this got me thinking, and it can be argued that some Tassel Loafers are perhaps more Smart Skin or even Suedehead, but I recall seeing plenty of people that call themselves MODS wearing them as well. I would also argue some smart skins I know, are more fussy about their clothes than some Council Estate Mods I also know .

Interestingly the guy that does the deliveries for Modshoes was a Mod in the sixties and had a pair of Loake Brightons. But that was then and not now.

So if Tassel Loafers are not MOD, like some people on the net would have you think, surely it would follow that if you went to a mod club, you wouldn’t see any, would you?

So, armed with my camera, I went to the Jelly Roll Club in Peterborough, where I live. Jelly Roll’s music policy is very firmly RnB, Soul, and 60s Ska. I would say the clientele there are a cross section of people, about 65% mod, some scooterist types, and the rest are people into the music, but not the fashion as such.

There are a number that constantly make the effort to look smart, and yes there are defo some strutting in their peacock suits. And why not? It is the weekend, no work tomorrow and it is the chance to hang out with your mates and listen to some cool music, and if you fancy, a boogie.

Now being the owner of a Shoe website I am constantly checking out the shoes.

mod shoes mods wear tassel loafers 01

First picture is Mick, who has not loafers, but some Oliver Stone Brogues. Massive British beat fan and a great collection of Yardbirds records.

 

 

 

Next up is my mate Terry Grant. Yep loafers, no tassels, but I know Terry has several pairs at home. Terry is a mod legend, has impeccable taste and can wear any colour better than most I know. Yes his shirt is cerise pink, and yes it has pink cuff links! When not dazzling people with his dancing, he has been known to DJ and sings in garage band, Substation 66 and the Sonic Buzz.mod shoes mods wear tassel loafers 04

On being asked are Tassel Loafers mod? Terry spoke for an hour before saying YES!!

Next up are the youngest people to be featured, and MODS new breed, Aaron and Warren. Two lads discovering the wonderful world of mod. Warren has smart Oxford style shoes, but young Aaron on the left has Tassel Loafers!

mod shoes mods wear tassel loafers 05
Next up are Darrin Clark and the club’s main guy, Mister Julian Roberts. Darrin is wearing Dune Weavers and Julian, well I forgot to ask, sorry. Both guys are top lads and always very smart.

mod shoes mods wear tassel loafers 07

Another pair of Tassel loafers, and these belong to Paul Bromley. I like the oxblood, red sock and sand colour. Paul and his lovely wife Suzie have been into Soul Music forever. They both travel over the UK to various events. Anyways on his feet, Loake Brighton Tassel Loafers in Oxblood.

mod shoes mods wear tassel loafers 08

Next up is London Steve, and guess what he doesn’t even live in London , he lives in Kent. On his feet, Delicious Junction rudeboy loafers in oxblood. Steve is a cool guy and loves a boogie to Northern Soul and 60’s Ska. The lady with him, is my wife, Nicky.

mod shoes mods wear tassel loafers 11

The next collection of guys is Gary, Martin and Paul. Gary is the fella on the left, he did tell me the make of the shoes, but I had one too many whiskies by then. Gary always looks great and has been into the mod thing forever. Martin and Paul I believe are both wearing Bass Weejuns, they will correct me no doubt when they read this. I know Martin and Paul have Tassel Loafers, Paul’s being Bass Weejuns.

mod shoes mods wear tassel loafers 12

So, you may be thinking, what’s your point Andy? Well to me MOD doesn’t, as such, have a rule book. Meaning there are certain styles which are classic MOD, and some that just look MOD when they are all put together as an outfit. All the people above enjoy being part of a scene and looking their best.

Some MODS favour the dandy look, some the suit, some a quality button down etc, or knit wear etc. Meaning that their look looks good and right to them. So if that means the Rudeboy Loafers is what they want, then happy daze.

So still you are asking Andy, what you trying to get at? Well we had someone on Facebook saying that some of the shoes we sell aren’t MOD! And implying that we should not even call ourselves modshoes at all!

Now I am made of tougher stuff than to let one person annoy me. But what aggrieved me was, imagine you are a young lad getting into the scene and you have some smart arse saying , thats not mod! And you have just saved up for it, or you actually think it looks smart, because it is, why should some bully who thinks they are right be allowed to belittle you?

Facebook is a great thing because it allows people who are into similar things to hang out and be friends , when in real life you stand little or no chance of ever meeting. But it also allows narrow minded idiots a place to preach. My advice is to follow the great man.

mod-shoes-Steve-Marriott-nicetobenice

We call this website MODshoes , because that’s what most of our audience align themselves with, and our tag line is “Smart Shoes for Smart People”.

So did this article prove for once and for all that Tassel loafers of various styles are MOD? Yes I think it did!

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The SHOES of the MOD Revival Bands Part 1

mod-shoes-banner-shoes-pf-the-mod-revival

With Mods Mayday in Cambridge in a couple of weeks, and leafing through my mate Andy Cunningham’s growing Mod Revival collection, I thought it was time to have a look at the shoes on the feet of so many bands from that time.

mod shoes mods mayday 2013Fancy 3 days of Mod Revival Heaven then click here https://www.facebook.com/events/368036319952403/

I do want to say before we start, that I am not going to do The Jam. They really require several articles to themselves. I am going to include some Two Tone, because despite protests of not being strict Mod, they did influence literally 1000s of us. Also I am not going to go on about the merits of the bands, that’s a book’s worth of text.

So perhaps before any going any further you should go up in the loft and go and get down all that vinyl that has been left up there for too long. I did and I think I may have hurt myself!

The Circles

mod shoes the circles opening tassel loafers and desert boot

So I am going to start with The Circles. Why you ask? Well, they prompted this article. The Circles released 2 great singles at the time, and one later in the 80’s. Opening Up, the bands debut, is a classic. The song is a strong one and is still played on rallies now.

There, on the cover, are all four members, 3 of them in Parkas. Mick Walker is centre ish on the Lambretta. I have met Mick a couple of times and he is a good fella, so I hope he doesn’t mind me asking why the hefty boots? I like desert boots and white jeans. Shading wise it has always worked for me,and  to his left, Tony Howells is also in white jeans and desert boots. These boots look better. Both Keith Allen (in the parka) and Glenn Tranter, in the left of the picture are wearing Tassel Loafers.

I ponder if the white jeans was part of the band look then. I have always thought they stamped their MOD allegiance with this sleeve.

The 2nd single you can see the feet again! This time no parkas, but again stable MOD Revival clothes. On the feet again, Mick has desert boots and can of lager! I have often thought could the photographer not have told them, move the can and do something a little more interesting with the hands! More loafers on the rest of the guys.

mod shoes the-circles-angry-voices-vertigo

The Circle’s songs are all strong and played with gusto. I have seen the band a couple of times since those days and Mick has one of the best voices and one of the few that can do a good Steve Marriott. Certainly at MODS Mayday 99 they were one of the strongest on the day.

In terms of their look, they epitomize to me what I feel is the classic mod revival look, one that was played out all over the country.

The Purple Hearts
The Hearts only have one single where you can see their feet, and it is the classic Jimmy. In terms of dress The Purple Hearts always looked good to me, they were early adaptors of ‘op art’ shirts and their clothes fitted well.

mod shoes the purple hearts jimmy

So Bob Manton, suede lace ups. The picture is black and white so I am assuming the shoes are black or dark brown. I like to think they Hush Puppies. On the right of the picture is Gary Sparks, again good outfit, the striped jumper I would have loved then, the feet though. Guess what those bloody Quadrophenia desert boots!! Why are there so many of them?

My favourite of this image though, Jeff Shadbolt. Jeff always looked great in any pictures I saw of the band. You can’t quite make out what the shoes are in the pic, but shiny and laced up. Along with op art shirt and black top he looks really good, but hold on I have forgot to mention the WHITE, yes WHITE socks. Classic Mod Revival look.

The Purple Hearts hung around into the 80’s. Splitting up and getting back together every now and again. I saw them several times and they always looked great and influenced a lot of us MOD revivalists.

The Merton Parkas, yes the Merton Parkas
The Parkas released a lot of singles, and lots of picture covers.

Cover wise of the single of You Need Wheels, again stamping MOD all over it and on the reverse. The Two SX150 look cool and the band too, only Danny isn’t wearing a tie !

mod shoes the merton parkas you need wheels

But do you know what, I don’t own the single and the pics online are not clear enough. So I can’t comment more, but I do have the next one.

By the time of Put Me In The Picture the band look like they are trying to inject a little fun. Style wise it is out of the window, but on Simon Smith’s feet , Tassel loafers! Neil Hurrell (far right) is in some ok shoes, a bit dad looking, but the hat , spoils a possibly nice outfit, Danny just looks daft! And Mick! He looks likes a 20’s bar owner.

mod shoes the merton parkas put me in the picture

So why am I bothering with this cover at all. Again the Mod Revival look is played out by Simon Smith. Is it important ? Well in context possibly. The song is a good one and as a young mod you are looking for reference points. You can tell the others are a mile out, but Simon is not, certainly his look was attainable. Young mods, me included ,needed something we could achieve with limited budgets. The suits looked great, but where can a 15 year old lad get a suit like them, then have the money to actually buy it?

The Merton Parkas didn’t have a good rep at the time, certainly many thought they were plastic! They did have 4 good songs, and judging by the audience reaction on the MODS Mayday deluxe edition, were very popular live.

I will do some more bands in another blog soon. Mod Revival always gets stick for being retro and not very good. I have always liked and loved some of the records, for every cringe worthy “you need wheels” there is a classic like “my world” or obscure stuff like “opening up” by the Circles.

I know we are meant to be about shoes on here, but here are some tunes you should try and hear, which you may not have heard of.

Think Mod Revival was just The JAM and Secret Affair….? Enjoy!! 

Squire – My Mind Goes Round in Circles | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeEp-u0E830
The Cirlces – Opening Up | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_SFnEKuCC8
Missing Persons – Forever Young | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PAsncd8ba4
The Merton Parkas – Flat 19 | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqJVJ4ykY2c
Sta Prest – School Days | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMORwnrK5GU
The Blades – Hot For You | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GSfHOVmkF8
The Times – Big Painting | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4G_vTZZ57dg
Modettes – Satisfy | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ke4t1CJIzJ8
The Amber Squad – Can We Go Dancing | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnlvukphous
The Chords – The Way it’s Gotta Be | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsRwl5XK6X4

For those with Spotify here is the above list as a playlist. Mo-dettes songs is “white mice” and couple of the tunes are live recordings. http://open.spotify.com/user/movingupmedia/playlist/6ZgmnMe3aARSqeThU1SKnC

Blimey managed to get through all that and didn’t mention Jam Shoes once!

What Colour Loafers with Jeans ?

I love loafers especially tassel loafers, but I have always thought that with jeans you have to be careful.

Meaning that you can get Black Loafers, Burgundy or Oxblood Loafers and Brown Loafers. There are obviously other colours and lots of shades in between. But more point is when buying a pair what colour to go for ! especially if you intend wearing with jeans.

On this site we sell loads of loafers, and in terms of colour the Oxblood slightly outsells the black, but only by a bit. My thoughts were why are we selling more Oxblood?, is it harder to get on the High Street? , is it fashionable at moment? or is it a Fashion shoe that’s more versatile ?

The golden rule is that Black shoes are formal and coloured are more informal. An obvious example being for a wedding or business meeting being a black shoe.
Now if i wear my jeans and loafers i think i can get away with Dark Denim and Black Loafers. These days I think it is common for most people to want to keep the denim as dark and original as possible. In the sixties my dad tells me it was to get as faded as possible. So this is my first thought.
A little bit of a moan to start with ! 

Dark demin and black loafers , yep ok to me. But jeans are still casual, not formal. So acceptable down the pub or informal business meeting. Crew neck jumper, shirt, dark Levi’s and black loafers.

I try not to be negative on this site, but i really dont like this
What I have never been a fan of though is light jean with dark black shoes, and the shoe in question really should be worn with a suit.

Again personally I know a lot of people like the no sock look. But it is so rarely warm enough in the UK to get away with this. Also not going to talk about trouser length, as I think that’s a whole other article for the future.

This look I have never really liked but was popular and very 80’s was this look.

Now it may be that basically I have a problem with nearly all 80’s fashion. The loafer was still there but whole ensemble was not for me.

My last grip, but this is bloody awful. Seriously what does he look like ! and the shoes , who thought this was good? and someone must have thought it was good because he is on a cat walk !
So black I think is a little harsh with jeans. 
The jeans are a little pale but the sock softens the look.

A Brown Loafer or Oxblood loafer, or tassel loafer, softens the effect. Combined with a little turn up and perhaps a coloured sock, the whole effect takes the outfit In a different direction. So whilst remaining casual , but actually looking like it has been given some thought.

The picture below reminds me of that early 80’s look, i should know I wore it !. White Fred perry, Levis and black teabag tassel loafers. But the socks yes the socks were white! Now nobody would wear this look now and white socks have been out of fashion for so long, that perhaps give a few months they will be back in!
I know they are not Jeans, but how many of us wore this outfit but with jeans instead!
So where am I going with this, well although the colour and cut of the jean has changed the loafer has remained and it could be argued transcended  fashion since its inception.
Black loafers are always going to look a little out of place with jeans unless the rest of the outfit has been thought through. A safer bet of loafer would be Brown or Oxblood. The upside is that the brown and oxblood can go with a multitude of other outfits, it is more versatile.
Here are some images of what i think look really good combination of jeans and loafers.

Hope you enjoy
Andy

Cool in the 50’s and still cool today.
Weller always looks cool, and obvious inspiration from the IVY look
Liking this because the jeans feel like part of the outfit
mod men daniele

SHOES WE SELL

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Sizing! Just how broad are you!

Sizing! Just how broad are you!

The thoughts behind this blog entry are mainly about how different shoes can come up different sizes.

Modshoes stock a range of shoes by different makers,sometimes within their own ranges the shoe sizes vary as well.

So is an 8, an 8 in all makes?

Well straight away you have to consider the style of the shoe. The cut of the shoe, the design of the shoe, how is it going to stretch, is it laced or slip on? The point being some shoes are designed for a thinner foot.

For examples here are two brogues, one by Loake, the other by Delicious Junction. Both are really good looking shoes. Both stylings are good to my eye, meaning the Loake is slightly rounder, and the DJ a more flattened front. Both come in black or oxblood. Both have leather soles. One is £78 and one is £150.

Now the first thing you may think is well, I can save myself half the price. And that is a fine argument. But, and this a big but, which one is going to fit like I want it to?

Now this is the exact reason, I started the Modshoes website. There is not one website out there that could tell me the difference, and more importantly, whether either of them were any good.

So now I have a pair of both and yes they are different , the Loake is designed for a wider foot. My left foot is 8 and my right 8.5. So when I am buying I need to know if the shoe is going to grow to the shape of my feet. The Delicious Junction Upsetter on the other hand (or should i say foot!) had a narrower feel. So much so that I may even consider going up a size to see if it feels right.

So what am I trying to get at? Well here are some simple pointers as I see it;

  1. Make sure you know your proper size. In the UK, Clark’s will measure you, and the cheap outlet Brantano will also.
  2. Do you have a wide foot?
  3. Does the design of the shoe lend itself to stretch if the shoe is a little tight to start off with. More on this in a bit.
  4. If you are a wider kinda guy, are you going to have to give tight Italian winkle pickers a miss!

So how do you accommodate your foot.

A lace up shoe is always going to flex more. Stand to reason doesn’t it. The lace is very forgiving in terms of your front of foot. A Derby lace up is more forgiving than an Oxford. Brogues tend to come in both Derby and Oxford styles, so if you are buying online, you know the Derby is safer.

Next up in my mind is the leather.
Cheap leather is never good. Whether you are buying a lace up or a loafer, you want the foot to be accommodated properly after a few wears. Some quality loafers can take up to a year to wear in, I have heard Sebagos are meant to be like this. But they also last for years!

So time to start naming names!

Delicious Junction Sizing

We sell a lot of Delicious Junction shoes. We sell them because they are a good shoe at a fair price, and aim their styles at MODS. Not all of them but over 50%. The leather is good on the shoes we stock.

Rudeboy
They do vary, the Rudeboy which is very popular, I would say is slightly wider then most loafers. I advise people to come down a size, rather than go up.So if you are an 8.5, go for a 8.
The Upsetter
The Upsetter though, comes up small, I have tried on an 8 and 9, my normal size being a large 8. But I would get the 9’s because the cut is narrow. Same with the Upsetter boots.

Their other shoes also vary a little, but in the main the loafers come up big and the laces smaller. But this is maybe because I have a wide foot.

The Delicious Junction have only taken a few wears to feel right. The leather on all the shoes I own of this brand have taken about 5 hours of wearing to feel comfortable.

In this video I danced for an hour in a brand new pair of Delicious Junction Detroit loafers and they started feeling good after that hour. The Detroits are the one exception to the range of loafers, if you are an 8.5 go up a size, not down.

Loake

Loake though does tend to be more standard in sizing. And as you would expect from a UK maker that’s been around for a while, the range is consistent. But you pay for that, Loakes start at £99.

The leather Loake use though takes a bit more wearing in. Will it last longer! Only time will tell, but I know lots of soulies with Loakes and Bass Weejuns that are years old and still going well.

Ikon

Ikon we also sell, and again are very like the DJ line. Now maybe this is because both are made in Portugal ! And as such have European sizing rather than stricter UK.


I do want to come back to the design, stitching and leather, all of which play a part in how the shoe is going to fit on your foot.

When considering buying a shoe, think about whether the leather will stretch, also the stitching. Has the designer designed this for a narrow or a wide foot?

A loafer has the stitching to stretch, but if the leather strap across the top is made of cheap leather, it won’t stretch well!

Look at the Loakes here for example.
The Brighton has a wider look, the Georgetown a narrow. Both are very good leather and stitching.


I suppose I would like to conclude that you get what you pay for. Are the Loakes worth twice as much? Well I think so, but are you going to wear them every day or for long hours?

Meaning, if like me you go out once a week, and you have a few pairs of shoes, it is unlikely that a pair of shoes are going to wear out fast, so have more pairs of cheaper shoes.

But if you intend to spend many hours dancing at a soul club, with loads of talc on the floor, then go for good quality ones, your feet will say thank you!

So please watch the video and come back with comments, and also your own experiences of sizing.

Comments and also your own experiences of sizing, very welcome below

Quadrophenia – The Shoes

Before we even start, I am one of those people that has watched this film far too many times, and in the 80’s could recite every word without the aid of the film itself. Was I obsessed ? o yeh twenty times over!

The film itself has been talked about 100’s of times, and I am doing this article because Warren at ‘we are the mods‘ did a recent show about it, and to be a little light hearted just before Christmas 2012.

So for first time in over 10 years I watched the film. As I began to watch one thing dawned on me! The film is really dark, not in the subject matter, but that most of it is shot at night. Also the print that has been used for the DVD is not the sharpest. Eddie Piller has mentioned that there are very few sharp prints of the film. Meaning that even if you can see the feet, the quality lets down the tell tale signs of the shoes.

I think the ACE Face would have better shoes.

The opening sequence with Jimmy going to what we are led to believe is the Goldhawk Club, appears to be wearing Desert Boots, and these boots seem to stay on his feet for most of the movie.

Throughout the film Jimmy seems to have several outfits, from casual to a tailored suit. I like most of the outfits he wears, but I must admit I thought there would be more diversification on the feet. In fact, I thought there would be more shoe types from the main characters, the only time we see something that’s different is on Sting’s feet.

Sting’s grey or gray shoes I think nearly look the part. The buckle is cool, but I think the film’s designer was actually trying for a smarter loafer, in a flash colour to match the suit he wears. Sting’s suit does look that little more flash as you would expect as he is meant to be the ‘Ace Face’, but personally the shoes need to be better!

So what other shoes can we see?, well not a lot to be honest.

As I watched I thought there would be loads in the fight sequences. There are lots to be seen but no real what I call out and out mod shoes.

In the opening Brighton sequence the camera pans along the scooters, lots of cool scooters and loads of people. In the crowd you can see the Northern Scooter clubs that took

How many trilbys ?

part in the filming. I maybe wrong but i believe that they Olympics Scooter club and also the people that run Armando scooters in the 80’s were in the film, but i am not 100% on this.

The style of the Northern Scooter Mods I can see, is Parka, Jeans and on the feet, Doc Martens and Adidas Trainers. Certainly there have been pictures in “Scootering” of the clubs involved in the film, the makers tried to disguise the Lambretta Gp orientated look to make them look like LI’s etc.The producers must have also been dishing out the hats, how many trilbys! But why not the feet as well?

Are these Cherry Reds ?
There are loads of red socks in the fight sequence!

There is one guy in the riot sequence in a Black Harrington, and he has Cherry Red DM’s on. Another thing you do see a lot of is ‘Red Socks’. There is a guy coming out of the water, he is standing next to Nasty Nick from Eastenders. The amount of sock on show could seriously take an eye out!

I must mention a continuity bit here. For us UK people Nasty Nick can be seen wearing a light blue Polo shirt for the beach fight, but once he is in the lanes running around he has magically found his Parka.

I have read some other blogs saying the style of the clothes in the film is a little lacking in ‘Style‘. I wonder if the mods saying this have pondered whether the reason we think of the 60’s MODS being so much smarter, is because we have only seen pictures of MODS dressed up for the weekend. Meaning in the going out parts of the film, such as the Brighton sequences, Jimmy, Spider, Chalky etc are all wearing suits. But we also see the cast midweek and at work. And with the best respect even the toppest MOD dresses down sometimes. In the Documentary “British Style Genius” a MOD from that time suggest that the original mods had jobs that allowed for wearing of decent clothes. But I always think of Jimmy is being ‘Run of the Mill Mod‘ not a top face.

How did she run in them heels ?
Stepth in Suede Loafers, blink and you will miss them in the film

Anyway this is meant to be about the shoes !

Steph for most of the film lives in little white heeled shoes. How she runs around in heels even little ones is beyond me. She wears these in nearly every scene apart from one. When she arrives at Brighton on her feet are smart pair of suede loafers!The rest of the film the women seem to be in one inch high heels, and flats worn with Ski Pants.

These seems to be the closest to jimmys http://www.robertcoleshoes.com/amblers-desert-87002-boots.html

The Desert Boots that the male cast live in, don’t look that good to me either. They seem to be the heavier boot style, with brass eyelets. I have had some of these boots myself and they did last ages, but they are not overly smart.

Dave does seem to have smarter Clarks looking ones in the Brighton bits. Chalky and Jimmy though, let the side down.

Another technical point is that because Jimmy is the central character we dont see the whole of him much in the film. When Jimmy is in shot he is up close,for obvious reasons but the director is trying to help us see what he is thinking. Towards the end of the film as Jimmy is starting to reflect we see more of him.


Now I am saving the best for last.

Jimmy and Stepth actually looking smart, the shoes as well. Thanks to Carlos to drawing attention to this picture and outfit.

We see Jimmy in a decent Boating Blazer early on in the film, and some of his outfits are cool, but on his feet are a pair of loafers.

On the right here is a still from the filming where the shoes can be clearly seen. They look good to me and no doubt influenced lots of guys in the 80’s to wear them.

I am not sure if they are Bass Weejuns? They look like they are Bass Weejun Larkins, as they are quite narrow and the lip is rounded . Other makes traditionally are a wider foot.To be fair the wardrobe department may have just got some smart shoes from a local shop. These days Loake have Georgetown which looks very similar. The Bass Weejun in the UK is getting harder to get, stock seems to be very limited in any shops.

I think Jimmys Loafers are Bass Weejuns Larkins

At the time I loved this film so much, for many reasons that lots of us loved it for. As I have got older I would draw different bits from it. In my scooter days i would happily watch just the scooters. I have only seen the film once on the big screen, in the 90’s, when I was going through my raving days, then I loved the dancing all night etc sequences.

Now I look at the film differently again. In my 40’s I can see lots of the fashions are a very late 70’s take on the 60′s, but the overriding feeling to me now is what a great film about youth and all that it entails, take away the clothes (and perhaps the scooters) and it becomes timeless.

From a shoe perspective not as much to say as I thought there would be. But I really did enjoy taking the time out to watch the film again. If you have the time over Christmas try to watch the film, as i think you will get more from it than you might think at the moment. And I hope you find some little gems just like I did.

Have a good Christmas and Happy New Year
Andy @ Modshoes