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.

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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!

What Colour Loafers with Jeans ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope you enjoy
Andy

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

SHOES WE SELL

Two Colour MOD Shoes – Cool or MOD parody?

Two Colour Shoes – Cool or MOD parody?

I thought I would put this piece together to look at why I think some two tone colour shoes (and the ‘Co-respondent’ shoes) look good, and others, well dont !

So, where to start; well I think the first mention in MOD terms, is the Roger Daltrey shoe that he wears in The High Numbers. There may have been others before, but this is the first photographic evidence I can see. As you can see in the pic, the shoe is white on the front and down to the sole. The lace is a derby style with 2 hole eyelets for the lace. The back part of the shoe is black.

I think the style is a play on a pair I have seen Gene Vincent wear, and there are some very similar ones worn by The Shadows. I think I am right in assuming that Pete Meaden choose the outfits, and certainly the one Roger is wearing, is his part of making Roger of the band the ACE face.

The style of the shoe has a slight point to the front and I assume was a fashion shoe at the time. Would love to know where the shoe was brought! And why it has never really been seen since. Was it bespoke ?

As you can tell I like this shoe.

A very cool picture of Brian Jones in Two colour shoes
Jagger in Co-respondent shoe.

The next two tone shoe to enter, is the Regency look that the Stones adapted in I think around 65-66. I recall them in semi gangster look blue striped suits with quite wide lapels.

In terms of MOD I think it is the dandy look that came in the later sixties, as some mods went ‘dandy’ pre hippy look, whilst the rest went Hard Mod / Skinhead.

Classic Carnaby Street from The Troggs

Pete Townsend said that a lot of the groups followed the audience rather than the other way round, so I suspect the look was very Carnaby Street . Bands like The Troggs and The Creation have elements of the sixties look that suits the Two Tone shoe.

The ‘Co-respondent shoe‘ is also known as a ‘Spectator‘, the name referring to its use in sports, you can a pair on Mick Jagger above. Lobb claims to have designed the first ‘spectator’ as a cricket shoe in 1868. The most usual styles are a brogue or a half brogue, in black or brown leather against the white buckskin. The white should not be leather, but often is these days.

I can hear someone at the back saying, surely you are forgetting Mr Marriott?

Steve Marriot wearing two colour shoes

Not forgotten at all and why we see the shoe today. Steve can be seen on the ‘colour me pop’ show wearing a very distinct pair of brown and white , I think, brogue shoes. He also is wearing late 60’s classic rock look, red velvet pants and waistcoat. The look is a mess of colours, but is held together well and shoes add to the effect.

My thoughts on this look, great on Steve, but I don’t know that it has aged well.

Status Quo and numerous others stole the look going into the seventies, and when I see it now, it just reminds me of Rock Covers band in your local pub!

Weller wears this style of two tone brogue well, he normally sets it off with a nice double breasted suit. Another that does that look well is Suggs from Madness.

Classic Mod Revival Jam Shoes

Now the MOD revival had lots of two tone varieties, The Jam shoe, The Jam Stage Shoe sometimes known as Badgers and of course bowling shoes. But let’s go back to Jam Shoes. I swear blind Weller was just ripping the style from the original by Roger Daltrey. He has said on many occasions early Jam tunes were rewrites of Who numbers, so it seems logical to borrow the style as well.

The shoe is still available now, Ikon make one and there are others on the net. The Ikon is pretty close to the Jam shoe, but not quite the same, the white carries around the shoe.

What I have always liked about the shoe, is that it firmly states “I am a MOD“. Now a lot would argue it is not MOD at all, but let’s not get into that. When you were 15, it was the uniform you needed with very clear boundries. Green Parka, Sta Prest , Fred Perry and pair of Jam shoes.

No different to a Skin with his 14 hole Air Wears or a Metal fan’s first leather jacket.

Followed on by the badgers and the bowling shoes, the multi colour shoe epitomized the MOD revival. This though, is where I think this style hasn’t aged well.

You see some lads on rallies in the shoes today. I dont have a problem with it, but some turn their noses up at them. I am not sure we are going to see a revival of red white and blue jam shoes any time soon. But as we all know MOD is built on snobbery!

Endorsed by Neville Staple of The Specials – These are Delicious Junction Rudeboys

There are also some Tassel Loafers in two tone, which some of The Specials wear. Again I think this is a dated look.

So maybe you are starting to think that I just think everything looks dated, well I suppose most of them do, there is a but coming though.

Why do we have going out shoes?

Meaning that we have different shoes for work, the pub and proper going out. So are you going to be wearing a pair of dowdy black shoes or are you going to be wearing ‘look at these, these are my going out shoes’?

When you are deciding what to wear, you want a range of good looking shoes. As you are getting dressed and slipping on your shoes you look in the mirror and think yep these are cool. You walk down the street, thinking these feel great.

When you dance to your favourite soul tune you want to slide across the floor.

I like the subtle two colour mix of these shoes, Oxblood and Black

What I am trying to say is that there are many reasons why we buy and wear shoes, and making a statement is maybe just one of them.

So does a two colour shoe work, yes I think it does, DNA groove do some really cool shoes with a leather and suede combination, so the effect is more subtle.

Not for everyone, but i like these with jeans.

The Bowling shoe looks great with jeans out and about on a sunny afternoon . I have always liked the look the Smart Skins did in the 80’s with Cherry Reds, of mixing a little black polish to go in the cracks to give shade to the boot, make it look older.

The Rudeboy loafer we sell has the Oxblood effect of black and cherry colour combined and looks great. It goes really well with jeans or a suit. Also Delicious Junction sell a two colour brogue, white/black and the very cool, Tan/White.

Is there a conclusion!

Well there are shoes that

  • I dislike and would not wear
  • those I like to look at but not to wear
  • those that just look and feel spot on !

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?

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:

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.

We stock these classic Soul Shoes

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