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.

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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.

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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!

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

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.

SHOES WE SELL:

Loafers with Tassels

Loafers with Tassels – Tassel Loafers

The traditional Mod tassel loafer shoes are as distinctive as they are iconic. A classic choice, always in style, as smart as they are comfortable and practical. They are the perfect smart-casual footwear to take you from day to night.

They are perfect to dance in, especially when combined with a leather sole. When worn with casual attire they can instantly bring your look up a notch.

The key buying factor with tassel loafers is always to go for the very best that you can afford, quality shows and does not come cheap.Look after them well, remember to polish soon after an all-nighter, as the talc could dry out the leather.

Paul Lukas. Actor. The story goes it was he that asked Alden to copy a european tassel loafer, which started the shoes becoming popular !

The world has been in love with loafers for over half a century, but what accounts for this legendary status?

A Little Brief History Lesson.

Tassel Loafers, with their aura of timeless sophistication, often evoke the elegance of the 1920’s, thus confusing some clothing historians into mistakenly believing that this is where they date from. In fact they originate from the post World War 2 era, when tweed jackets, Shetland sweaters and penny loafers were synonymous with the upper tier university campus.

As college students graduated, they wanted to wear a shoe as comfortable as their slip-ons, but with a touch more sartorial elegance.It was at around this time that an actor named Paul Lukas, ( a rather debonair character from such classics as “The Lady Vanishes”), returned from a trip to Europe with a pair of Oxfords.

The shoes sported little tassels at the end of their laces, which Lukas thought made them look more lively. He approached a couple of New York shoemakers to see if they could craft him something similar.

Aldens Tassel Loafers

They took the job to Aldens, manufacturers of quality shoes since 1884, whose company president at the time, Arthur Tarlow, came up with the tasseled loafer. The earliest examples were often 2-toned, and soon became popular in Hollywood. That makes Alden’s model the original, and Paul Lukas the first man to wear this style of footwear.

In the USA the tassel loafer is often seen as synonymous with lawyers, a symbol of elegance and the good life for successful professionals and business men.

Classic Bass Weejun – Notice the threaded boat shoe style lace around the angle

In the UK the shoe is popular with some business people with a bit of flare, but for most people will know the shoe, because of the MOD – Skinhead fashion.

The styles are different though, some tassel loafers are a very soft shoe, which is a very popular casual shoe in the USA. The Alden style is more traditional harder leather shoes. The classic MOD style is like a BASS Weejun. The Skinhead style is more rounded and heavy looking.

The styles we have for sell here are the ‘Merton‘ similar in style to the classic Bass Weejun and the heavier ‘Rudeboy‘ Two Tone shoe. Both types are very popular and come in black, brown and Oxblood. The ‘Merton’ also comes in a mottled blue leather.

 

SHOES WE SELL:

 

Tassel Loafers Review
Delicious Junction, Loake, Ikon and Bass Weejuns get a review. 4 different types of Tassel Loafers, including a womens pair!

Oxblood Tassel Loafers

Oxblood Tassel Loafers

The Tassel Loafer (or Tassle Loafer) is a classic Mod style. For me it started with The Specials and the Two Tone movement of the late 70’s. In many of the pictures, the band can be seen in a cross blend of MOD, Skinhead & Rudeboy style. And on their feet a mixture of shoes, but two favorites, Brogues and off course Tassel Loafers.

The Specials, 7 people with 3 of them wearing Tassel Loafers. And the iconic sleeve.

The tassel loafer is a variation on the Penny Loafer. Examples of the shoes can be seen certainly in the 50’s with the IVY League look, Alden’s and Bass Weejuns everywhere. The original shoe was a copy that Alden made, I believe in the 30’s. The Alden loafer is more pointy than the traditional MOD loafer.

As we know a lot of the look for MODS and Early Skinheads was taken from the IVY League look and I also think the Jamican Rudeboy look. The Jamican look I assuming came also from Black America!

Recently I have been trying to find Blue Note, Modern Jazz players wearing the shoes, but no luck yet, but I do seem to think this may also be why the shoe in on the scene.

Style wise, there several variations, Bass Weejun just have the Tassel, where as Loakes Brightons come with the feather. IKON is very similar to the Loake. Delicious Junction, who we stock, do both styles. The Merton is very like the Bass weejun and the Rudeboy, as it name suggest has the classic feathers.

The Rudeboy has the leather upper and sole. Stitching at the back of the shoe and a hi shine. Meaning the shoe looks great straight out of the box. To me the box is important as well, as I like to keep my shoes in tip top condition, so a decent box means I can keep them on top of the wardrobe out of harms way.

The Classic look, look at the guys towards the back, harringtons, monkey jackets and loafers. The guy in the foreground in Tassel Loafers

Colour wise, the shoes comes in 3 colours, Black, Brown & the very Popular Oxblood. The Oxblood colour is not a pure colour, but very nice effect in a cherry red , which has had a slight bit black shoes polish added which gives it a Vintage look. If you look at the picture you can see the effect. It reminds me a lot of the look that Trad Skins went for in the 80’s when they were trying to distance themselves from the OI Boys.

Notice the Mottled effect

The shoe as always looks great with a suit and jeans. Looked after the leather upper and leather bottom will last ages. I personally have a pair and they are really comfy and not at all like the cheap shoes I had as a 2nd generation mod in the 80’s.

The Oxblood Tassel Loafer is a very popular style with us, feel free to ask questions.

SHOES WE SELL:

 

Tassel Loafers Review
Delicious Junction, Loake, Ikon and Bass Weejuns get a review. 4 different types of Tassel Loafers, including a womens pair!

Tassel Loafers

What can be said about the Tassel Loafer, to me they are the Street MOD shoe. The tassel along with the feather exsudes MOD. Again, I think this is because so many people have had a pair. Other than the Desert Boot nothing signifies more of what the public think as MOD.

They go in and out of fashion and are definitely a throw back, but why not. They are a shoe for going out in! They are a shoe to dance in, all night. They can come with leather soles which means you slide around a dance floor.

They look excellent with jeans, and a suit. I think you get my drift.

Like the rest of the classics loads of people make them, and again buy the best you can afford. Cheap ones look cheap and fall apart. Looked after well and polish straight after an all-nighter, you don’t want the talc drying them out.

Tassel Loafers Review
Delicious Junction, Loake, Ikon and Bass Weejuns get a review. 4 different types of Tassel Loafers, including a womens pair!

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HISTORY:

Tassel loafers came into being in the post-war period of the 1940s, right when tweed jackets, Shetland sweaters, and penny loafers dominated prep schools and Ivy League campuses. As college students graduated, they wanted something as comfortable as their slip-ons, but were a bit dressier and more sophisticated for their new life in the business world. It was around this time that an actor named Paul Lukas came back from Europe with a pair of oxfords. They had little tassels at the end of their laces, which Lukas thought made them look more lively. So he took them to a couple of New York shoemakers to see if they could make something similar, and they in turn took the job to Alden. The company’s president at the time, Arthur Tarlow, came up with tasseled loafers and they were an instant success. That makes Alden’s model the original, and Paul Lukas the first man to wear this style of footwear.

The above is taken from the website http://putthison.com/post/30457460870/the-charm-of-tassel-loafers-i-really-like-tassel

PICTURES:

mod shoes rudeboy tassel loafers with gibson clothes 01 mod shoes suede tassel loafers with gibson clothes 02 mod shoes rudeboy tassel loafers with gibson clothes 04 mod shoes rudeboy tassel loafers with gibson clothes 03 43 mod shoes rudegirls in tassel loafers 12 mod shoes scooter mod wearing tassel loafers

Aldens Tassel Loafers
Aldens Tassel Loafers

mod shoes the specials in tassel loafers mod shoes mod in tassel loafers and parka Tom Ford Tassel Loafers

Loafers

Loafers are my favourite shoe. It helps that you can get plain and tasseled. Being my age, I am second generation MOD/Two Tone kid, they appeal because they looked so right, and worn by one of my favourite bands ever The Specials.

Two Tone was it MOD? But hey what it did do was bring loafers on to the feet of many young people. The proper ones cost a fortune then and still do! But the quality is so much better.

The original Loafer was designed just before the 2nd World War and has its origins in Norway. Norwegian farmers would wear a shoe when ‘cattle loafing’, hence the name. The shoe developed further in America by the company BASS, and they called them Weejuns, after the Norwaygians. They added the all important strap across the front of the shoe.

The term ‘Penny Loafers’ comes from prep school students wanting to customise their loafers, the penny being wedged in the front strap.

The Loafer look for MODS, I assume, comes from the Jazz players, meaning the Blue Notes lp etc. and because of the college boy look, ie, Harringtons, Levi’s and Loafers. A defining look even today.

There are several makers these days as you would expect. Prices in the UK vary a lot.  You can buy an ok pair for about £50, but spend a bit more and go for a old school make and you can feel the difference. BASS Weejuns are a thinner shoe, where as the Loakes have a more sturdy look and feel.

SHOES WE SELL

PICTURES:

The Classic look, look at the guys towards the back, harringtons, monkey jackets and loafers. The guy in the foreground in Tassel Loafers
The Classic look, look at the guys towards the back, harringtons, monkey jackets and loafers. The guy in the foreground in Tassel Loafers

mod shoes red socks and loafers 02 Prada Penny Loafers mod-shoes-basket-weaver-loafers-for-women-06 36 mod shoes penny loafers and button down