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!

Mods dont wear Tassel Loafers !

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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.

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!

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!

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

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!

SHOES WE SELL:

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