Originating on the streets of London in the 60s, Mod style (short for modernist) is a way of dressing in Italian-inspired slim-cut suits matched with the iconic Vespa scooter as a symbol of youthful rebellion and love of the new and the now.
Inspired by the city’s music scene, art, and culture, the Mods’ message was clear: they were the style-makers, the new fashion kids, and the sharp-dressed visionaries of their generation.
Sporting shift dresses, Mary Quant mini skirts, fitted polo shirts, gogo boots, PVC parkas, and other garments with geometric silhouettes and graphic prints, the Mods were the style arbiters of their time.
Figures such as The Who’s Pete Townshend and model Twiggy come to mind when recalling the Mod era, each embodying the movement’s fashion-forward and music-centric spirit.
By offering a blend of sophistication and coolness that transcends time, the Mod style is more relevant than ever, and these 6 outfit ideas will provide you with a roadmap to embody the Mod spirit in today’s fashion landscape.
This ‘Mod-Chic’ outfit combines the style’s minimalist aesthetic with a dash of vintage patterns and contemporary trends to celebrate the Mod movement’s elegance and emphasis on uncomplicated designs.
Start with a simple shift dress – a Mod staple – from COS or Uniqlo, in clean lines, reflecting the movement’s penchant for understated sophistication.
Complement the dress with leather knee-high boots from Clarks, a brand with British heritage that has outfitted feet since the Mod era, and a vintage leather bowling bag for a touch of retro elegance.
Original bags from Mod-era brands like Jane Shilton are coveted collector’s items. Still, modern alternatives from brands like Matt & Nat offer similar aesthetics and craftsmanship at a moderate price point.
2. Mod Schoolgirl
By blending traditional patterns with youthful trends, this ‘Mod Schoolgirl’ outfit presents a playful take on the classic Mod aesthetic.
Start with a white cropped turtleneck top, a nod to the Mod’s preference for form-fitting garments.
Match it with a plaid mini skirt for a quintessentially Preppy touch reminiscent of the era’s school uniforms.
Accentuate the waist with a chic leather belt and complete the look with white leather boots to tie back to the Mod’s rebellious vibe and love for statement footwear.
Accessorize with cat-eye sunglasses for a retro flair from Ray-Ban, an iconic name since the Mod era.
3. Space Age Mod
The ‘Space Age Mod’ outfit draws inspiration from the futuristic facets of Mod fashion traced back to the cultural optimism of the 60s when space exploration and the possibilities of technology seemed limitless.
Start with a white PVC jacket, a material that echoes the Space Age’s affinity for new and unconventional textures, and an equestrian-style hat as a playful nod to the era’s experimental headwear.
Grounded the outfit with red Go-Go boots, a staple of the 60s Mod look, loved for their eye-catching appeal and a sense of fun, showcasing the past’s daring fashion explorations.
4. Twiggy Mod
The ‘Twiggy Mod’ outfit idea pays homage to Twiggy, a British cultural icon and teenage model, actress, and singer during the swinging ’60s who became the face of London’s Mod scene with her trend-setting looks.
This modern interpretation combines the classic striped polo dress – which captures the era’s love for geometric prints and rich colors – with colored tights in a typical Twiggy-esque fashion statement.
Complete the look with a pair of Mary Jane ballet flats from a brand that captures the Mod era’s essence with timeless shapes and classic aesthetic appeal.
5. Classic Mod
With sharp, geometric tailoring in a monochromatic palette, this ‘Classic Mod’ outfit embodies the heart of Mod fashion style.
In adherence to the Mod philosophy of clean lines and stark contrasts, start with a black and white block shift dress.
Complement the dress with black leather heeled loafers from a brand with historical ties to the Mod scene.
Church’s, for example, reflects the enduring influence of 1960s London fashion and Sloane Ranger style on today’s style landscape.
Its exquisite look speaks to style connoisseurs who appreciate influences of traditional Preppy aesthetics while moving confidently in the modern world.
6. Vintage Mod
This timeless pan-collar shift dress captures the essence of the 1960s fashion revolution.
A symbol of the era’s clean lines and feminine yet structured designs, this ‘Vintage Mod’ outfit is a tribute to the charm of the traditional Mod style.
Start with a dress from Boden, a brand that offers a contemporary twist on classic Mod designs while ensuring the dress is authentic to the period.
Complement with low-heel pointy-toe shoes from Clarks, a brand with heritage in British fashion, reflecting the outfit’s sophistication and attention to detail.
Similar Styles to Mod
Space Age | Minimalist | Twee
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A University of Oxford graduate in Design History, Katherine Saxon is researching arising TikTok cultures from a consumer psychology perspective while covering emerging aesthetics in fashion and beauty for TheVOU, Forbes, Business Insider, and more.