Category Archives: Tassel Loafers

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

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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

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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

What MOD Shoe are you ?

What MOD shoe are you?

Had the above picture done because I wanted to talk about the strains within the MOD spectrum.

So to my way of thinking it is split up like this;

Suited and booted MOD, Dandy MOD, Indie MOD, Scooter MOD & Hard MOD.

Each of the styles has a different shoe style as well.

The Suited and Booted mod to me, is the classic look. 3 button suit, ticket pocket, nice fabric, tie with tie pin and on the feet smart looking leather shoes. The shoe will have a thin sole and be a two, three at most, laced affair. Sometimes a slip on, and sometimes a different shade. So not always black.

The Dandy Mod, will have exaggerated Chelsea boot look, possibly in white, or maybe a two colour brogue. The look is very regency, and Brian Jones of the Stones pulled it off to a T.

The next one along is the Britpop MOD, taking their cue slightly from 80’s casual, amalgamated with Damien from Blur. This look was everywhere in the 90’s and to a certain extent hasn’t faded. Rare Adidas and Fred Perry. Personally I think it is a “trendy dad” look now. Saying that I love getting new trainers!

The Scooter Mod, is more a throw back to the MOD Revival and defo born agains. This look combines lots of shoe types and mingles in with the scooterist. So sometimes even DM’s are seen. But again classics are worn here, desert boots etc. But also the look has the Jam Shoe and Bowling Shoes. At the bigger scooter rallies you always someone kicking around in Jam Shoes.

And lastly the Hard MOD look. To me this borders Skinhead and Suedehead. Certainly around Peterborough at the moment this look is popular. As you would expect Tassel Loafers and Brogues. And very popular ‘red socks’.

Now I wanted to draw attention to the styles because we call ourselves MOD Shoes. And I think that all the above styles fit in with the very “broad church” that we call MOD. We sell loads of loafers, which started making me think, in terms of numbers of people, are there more MODS of one type than another?

We ran a picture on Facebook recently to gauge reaction, and it was interesting that some thought the shoes were great and awesome, where as others didn’t, one saying they were ‘vile’ and only fit for pimps!  Personally I though they looked great for a dandy MOD look. But the Dandy look is not especially widespread, whereas the Hard MOD look seems more popular, or has a broader reach.

These shoes caused a bit of a reaction on Facebook. Some loved them, some thought they was Vile ! What do you think?
Image from http://www.facebook.com/KittysVintageKitsch

What am I trying to get at here? My main aim is really just trying to think what should we be trying to find for our customers. It is ok for me to think they are smart and never sell a pair, whereas others sell loads!

Personally at the mo, MODSHOES are trying to find a decent weaver shoe and some cord boots, like desert boots. If you have any suggestions please get in contact. 

Agree or disagree? What do you like, and why?

Loake Shoes – Classic English Leather Shoes


Loake are one of the oldest shoe makers here in the UK. The family Loake has been making shoes since 1880. The companies commitment is to forefathers and the tradition they established all those years ago.

For this reason the premium grade Goodyear welted shoes continue to be made in Kettering, England, in the same factory that the three brothers built in 1894.

The Goodyear welted construction for which Loake is renowned is an intricate process with origins going back over 300 years. Only the very highest quality materials are used. Each pair takes eight weeks to make and they still believe there is no finer way to make a gentleman’s shoe.

They estimate Loake has made over 50 million pairs of Goodyear welted shoes since it began.

So what has this to do with MOD Shoes?
Well the company make very good shoes, and they produce a very ‘English’ style range of shoes. The range cover many shoes that don’t fit with MODS, such as the classic Oxford shoe. But and this is but, they do one of the best Tassel Loafers and Wingback Brogues currently on the market.

The Loake Brighton loafer is a classic tassel loafer. It comes in two colours, Black and the Classic Oxblood. The shoe is not the most expensive, but I would argue thats it is good as gets without going to bespoke.

Certainly designers like Gucci and Ralph Lauren make more expensive, but you are paying for the name! And they don’t look that much better.

I have spoken to people that have had bespoke shoes made, and they were pleased with the results, but also said, not pleased enough to have another pair done, but would rather have 2 or 3 pairs of Loakes instead.

So back to the Brightons. The shoe it self has classic trade marks, the beef roll on the front. This is really well stitched and the roll is flattened and so less prone to getting caught and snagged. The Oxblood colour is a real deep colour and the consistency of the leathers means you don’t get a patch work of colours.

Another friend of mine still has a pair she had in the 80’s. The shoes polished up well when she recently pulled them out of the loft. A local cobbler was able to tidy up the stitching for her. She was very happy when she wore them again to a recent soul do.

The point being that looked after well the shoe is going to last ages.

I have a pair of the Loake Royal Brogues, and think they are really great. They look so smart and shine up well every time. The shoe feels so sturdy that sometimes I think it should be a lot heavier. Certainly all Loake shoes I have seen feel solid.

Cheaper brogues or loafers suffer from inferior leather and start to look dowdy very quickly. The Loake Shoes don’t suffer from this and hence why we are happy to stock them.

Loake Shoes are also very proud of their repair service. In this throw away culture we live in now, it feels good to me that they care enough to want something to last.

And this brings us to the MOD connection.

Kevin Spacey (Lots of films including one of my favs, The Negotiator) & Martin Freeman (The Office, The Hobbit)

Owning a pair of Loake Shoes means you are also in good company Worn by everyone from Bill Nighy and Martin Freeman to Kevin Spacey CBE and Madness.

In the 60’s the MOD culture was very transient and the looks were in and out very quickly, but today we have settled on certain styles to have in the wardrobe as a staple requirement. Personally I am happy to spend on a quality shoe I am going to keep for a while and this is another reason why we stock this classic shoe make.

We hope you agree.
Andy | Modshoes.co.uk

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Are Tassel Loafers with Feathers MOD?

Are tassel loafers with feathers MOD?

I ask the question because reading around a few sites on the net and talking to some MODS they feel that the ‘feathered loafer’ really is a Ska, Rudeboy or even Skinhead shoe. The kinda of people saying this though, do tend to be of the 60’s mod end of the scale! But to counter argue, I know lots of lads that are more street mod, revival or dare I say it scooter MODS, that think they are great!

Mod shoes shoes for sale in the 60s

So what’s the history?
Looking around the net at the 60’s guys in pictures where you can even see the shoes, it looks like more thinner soled leather shoes. There are plenty of Chelsea boots as well. The first you see of the Classic Tassel Loafers is the smarter side of the Original Skinheads.

Now I think this may be where the confusion starts, where did MOD stop and Skinheads start!

Certainly I think outside of London, the MOD fashion would have carried on developing. I also think that outside of London money would have been tighter and also availability. Which leads me to a conclusion that you would want a shoe that’s going to last, because you probably didn’t have the money to buy another pair of shoes for a while, and if you even had the money where would you buy them?

Loake Brighton Tassel Loafer. The shoe shown here the company have been making since the 60’s. Suggs of Madness is the most famous wearer i know !

I have been told by several 60’s mods from around here that you could get Loake Loafers, but you had to hunt them out. I dont know about Bass Weejuns, but again I am sure these were a Modern Jazz shoe. Loakes make sense here in the midlands because it is so close to Northampton and the major British shoe manufacturers.

Loake have been making the Brighton style Tassel Loafer since the 60’s. And it sold well throughout the 70’s especially in the Northern Soul circles.

The Loake Brighton is heavy looking shoe and the style that has been adapted by Delicious Junction and Ikon for their classic Feathered tassel loafer. A lighter tassel loafer, with feathers is a spainish variety I have seen some people in and this has more rounded toe section. Both varieties of shoes seem to divide the opinion of MODS

In this picture you can see 2 distinct styles of the Tassel Loafers with Feathers. The first two pictures are of a ‘Bostonian’ i like these, i especially like the brogue at the front of the shoe. The 2nd pair are by Ralph Lauren. Both styles are a Fancy perhaps even Dandy shoe, and not a mile away from a Female Tassel loafer !

So back to the question.

So the above history is why i think the Feathered Tasseled Loafer is thought of as a MOD shoe. Similarly the classic MOD scooter has a great big whip Ariel , but you don’t see any of them in Richard Barnes MODS book.

So moving onto the Mod Revival, again this period got intwined with the Two-Tone phase. A lot of styles got muddled between a lot of the younger fans of The Jam and The Specials. Certainly for this author, I had several pairs at school. I loved both bands and thought the line between the bands and their followings wasn’t that far apart. Meaning we were as happy listening to The Specials 1st lp as we were to Sound Effects!

The Bass Weejun Layton. An absolute classic of a shoe. Very popular in the 80’s.

And again I think this might be why we think of the shoe as a MOD shoe. it wasn’t till later into the 80’s that people starting looking further than the bands and into 60’s soul, and that I think, is why MODS starting looking for more stylized loafers.

As the decade progressed some MODS turned into casuals and went for a more casual style, similar to the Delicious Junction Paolo Hewitt style shoes. Some MODS went for the Bass Weejun style and I can remember from rallies and seeing pictures of London Mods going in this direction, which as you would expect, filtered out across the rest of the UK.

Then the shoe faded away and I think only recently come back with what is known on the scooter scene as ‘born agains’ And the tail end of the Britpop era of Oasis etc.

No not the 60’s or the 70’s but this year 2012. Image from http://www.demotix.com.

The next point I think is very important. The ‘Born Agains’ are older, which is obvious, but more importantly they had/have more money and wanted the things they had when they was younger, but better!

A lambretta or Vespa is not the cheap option anymore and neither are the accessories! And shoes , along with clothes, fit into this neatly. I have spoke with several customers on the phone and they say, ‘ I want the ones I had at school, but better’ or ‘ I always wanted a pair because my older brother, mate etc had a pair and always fancied some for myself one day’

More evidence is the poll that’s has been running on this site recently (oct – nov 2012) Tassel Loafers with Feathers has come up top.

So without getting into the bigger argument of what is even MOD, MOD as we know “is a very broad church” (copyright Eddie piller) , and so what one person thinks is spot on, another thinks is ugly!

So what do I think ? and possibly conclude !

I think that ‘Tassel Loafers with Feathers’ are MOD, in the same way I think The Specials are MOD. Perhaps not pure MOD, but then neither is Northern Soul and i can think of plenty more examples of other things that are not pure MOD.

So for that reason, we included them on MOD shoes.

Disagree ? Then write telling me why below.

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Soul Shoes – Is there such a thing ?

Where do you start with Soul Shoes! There is a big enough argument to what is Soul, which possibly needs defining before you could define a soul shoe. So I suppose going to stick with what I have seen through my time and what have been told.

So looking around the recent soul dos I have been to, there is not a clear winner, particularly in the modern northern soul circles, there is a smattering of moddy types, smattering of lads with Oxford bags and what you might call just normal looking people. So on the shoes it varies like mad.

At the most recent northern do I went to here in Peterborough I counted 40% tassel loafers, 20% brogues and the rest was made up of comfortable flat shoe. I was genuinely surprised by that figure and didn’t go thinking that I would see that many.

So Soul shoe types, this is we’re I am stuck, being to young to have been a soul boy in the 70’s let alone the 60’s. What I can see though is in the early seventies, it stands to reason that tassel loafers would be popular as would brogues, because the shoes a fashion item at the time. Other styles which popular at the time include, Solatio , a monster of a shoe, which has strips of leather sown together. Mainly in brown, but also in black and two tone styles. The shoe is currently being remade by Ikon shoes.

Is he really throwing himself around the floor with heavy leather soled shoes? Cool pic

Other shoes which can be seen on the northern soul scene included standard looking Oxford shoes. I am again assuming a good solid shoe, with a leather sole. And as we know a leather sole glides around the floor and makes obvious sense to wear.

This neatly brings on to Bowling shoes. Bowling shoes can be seen in several pictures in the 60’s being worn by mods.

Classic Bowling Shoe Style.

The Bowling shoe works on the dance floor, it is very light and comes in a multitude of colours, which means your eyes are drawn to. Being light means you can dance for much longer, obvious I know and also why karate shoes became popular. The point being though both shoes are rubbish to walk in. Bowling shoes have a soft sole and step in a puddle and you are instantly socked!

Moving into the 80’s soul changed from the fast paced Northern Soul into the more disco orientated style. The tassel loafer morphed into a lighter shoe, with a very thin sole. Moccasins became very popular and the casual looked prevelled. The shift again with the rave generation and into Brit pop of the 90’s. The smart shoe got left behind in kickers and timberland boots. Britpop seemed obsessed with Addidas trainers. But this has nothing to do with soul!

Has the smart shoe has made a return though. With the present recession taking a hold in the UK there is a desire have smart shoe, that’s going to last a while and look classic meaning ideally it won’t go out of fashion, it may look dated, but still stylish. Decent pair of Levi’s, a Ben Sherman shirt and some decent shoes you are not going to look out of place at any Soul Do. Whether this be 60’s soul, 70’s or 80’s. I conclude in the next paragraph with ………

So the classic soul shoe, I am going to go for a classic tassel loafer, with a proper leather sole, and if needed a leather heal,as well. Its a classic going out shoe, not something you would were in the office.

Disagree then say so below, and ideally send some pics to prove it.

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