The M51 Parka coat became popular with the earlier 1960s Mods for a number of reasons. Firstly the Parka was made for the military for extreme cold weather so it offered warmth to the Mods when riding a Lambretta or Vespa. The Parka also offered some protection from any oil, grease or dirt getting on a smart Mods clothes. Parkas were often painted with a Mods favourite band e.g. The Who, Small Faces or The Kinks. Sometimes the area the mod was from was written on the coat
and later on in the 1980s some Mods had patches from scooter rallies sewn on their Parkas. In the Who film Quadrophenia, Jimmy the mod played by Phil Danniels, is seen wearing a Parka along with various other actors in the film! An M51 Parka is around 400 to buy but an M65 Parka is very similar and sells for between 80 and 100.
Mohair and Tonic Suits
Mohair Suits were worn by Mods in the 1960s and were smart, light weight, cool suits suitable for dancing in. The Mohair suits had a natural shine to them which was later replicated by the cheaper made Tonic Suit also known as the Sharkskin suit in America. The Tonic suit was originally created by Dormeuil and made by weaving two to three different coloured threads together perfectly symmetrically, creating an iridescent shine and, often in direct light as the suit moves, another colour.
Skinheads in the late 1960s and early 1970s wore Tonic suits of various different colours, as did the second generation Mods, Skins and Rudeboys. The best Tonic suits to have been made in recent years have come from Ace Face Clothing.
Ben Sherman Shirts
Ben Sherman Shirts were popular with 1960s Mods and were worn mainly with button down collars.
The shirts have quite a fitted look, with usually a full or half pleat down the back; sometimes a high button down collar with a button on the back of the collar too. Ben Sherman shirts are a very good quality, very smart and proved very popular with the later Mods who fashioned styles together to create a new subculture, the Skinhead! Ben Sherman shirts have always come in a variety of colours, quite often checked striped or plain and priced from 40. There is a Ben Sherman shop in Carnaby street in the west end of London where Mod and Skinhead fashions are always on sale.
Fred Perry Polo Shirt
Fred Perry polo shirts were always popular with 1960s and second generation Mods and Skinheads. The Polo shirts were designed for Fred Perry in the late 1950s when he won the mens singles Tennis championship at Wimbledon. The Polo shirt comes in various different colours with the crossed Laurel leaf emblem on the left hand chest facing, and often with a different two striped colour on the edge of the collar and sleeve. These shirts also come in long sleeve and again can be seen worn by some of the cast in the Who film Quadrophenia. Fred Perry have a Shop in Carnaby Street and another near Brick Lane in the East end of London.
Stay Press Trousers
Stay Press Trousers were worn by the 1960s Mods and late 1960s skinheads. Levi stay press trousers were a very good quality and made in various colours with a zip front fly as opposed to the button fly. The Skinheads often had a pleat sewn into the front of the trousers to keep them smart and neat.
Stay Press trousers are now made from cotton and similar to suit trousers. They come in navy blue, burgundy, black, Prince of Wales and dogtooth check; and sometimes Tonic. Relco make a good pair of Stay Press trousers and cost around 35-40 a pair.