Frankly, I did this post a couple of years ago and there seems to be a lot more choice now! Amazing spread of prices and patterns.
The time is once again upon us to start considering which of these beauties you're going to start wearing. Although the stylish among you probably already are wearing them.
Frankly, I did this post a couple of years ago and there seems to be a lot more choice now! Amazing spread of prices and patterns.
Weller is wearing what looks like a great paisley shirt in this video - with cufflinks. Unusual lapels too.
Under-appreciated look I suspect.
Following on from a minor whinge I noticed on twitter the other day about a new PG shirt, I thought I'd check out their recent paisley offerings.
The whinge by the way was about the way that PG has started putting little badges on their shirts with their own logo on. I share the annoyance - it's not really necessary. If someone likes your shirt, they'll come up and ask you where you got it. You don't need a massive advertising billboard on your chest.
Plus, it says Pretty Green all over the paisley anyway.
This aside, I did find a nice navy paisley shirt on their website where the badge is much less in your face and, actually PG really do paisley very well.
At least when they stop fucking advertising. Click pics for a closer look btw.
For ages I did notice there was a niche in the Mod market for a cheeky paisley tie. The best we’ve got is Ties Planet. Ties Planet’s alright, but they ain’t Mod. They do narrow ties in a few decent styles, including polka dots and those tiny pin dots, but no decent paisley.
Once again, Adaptor have smashed it. New range of paisley ties, but with that Adaptor retro twist that looks high street, but also wouldn’t look out of place back in 1963. In fact I can actually imagine Paul himself wearing one this moment.
Nice one guys.
I’ve mentioned Pretty Green’s paisley obsession before, but as Spring … ahem… springs upon us, it’s good to update the register and celebrate the season by sticking some flowers on your shirt.
PG has certainly whet my own appetite for the paisley pattern - and they definitely do it better than some other brands I’ve dealt with - some of which are more clown shirt than rock n roll. I think I’d go as far as to say PG have developed it into an art form, finely balancing their look into equal parts look-at-me rock-and-roll-swagger and not-giving-a-fuck. As I said, it’s easy to mess it up if you make the pattern too bright or too ragged.
I reckon PG get it just right. Plus, since they sorted their pricing structure out (in SOME cases) I’ve been buying left, right and centre!
For Christmas, my dad got this "Falling Feathers Shirt" on Atom Retro which at first look seemed a bit bizarre, a bit in your face. However, when you look a bit closer, you can see it doesn't go all that over the top (especially compared to paisley) and is actually pretty smart, with each feather having a slight blue streak as well as grey, black and white. Overall, pretty artfully done for a novelty pattern. It doesn't have a button down collar, but then you can't have everything.
Helpfully it also follows on from my earlier piece about how hard it is for new patterns to emerge - we generally stick with the traditional, tried and tested. Maybe this breaks the mould slightly, but then again it is limited edition, so perhaps not.
Had this little message pop into my inbox the other day.
I've had silk ones from them before - well worth it for the quality and they're much better priced than some of that High Street nonsense. So get over to their site right now!
It seems to me that some shirt patterns look great. Take paisley, polka dots and gingham check for instance. They're all attention grabbing to different degrees, but usually look pretty elegant and stylish.
Yet most new patterns look a bit odd. If you went for stars, squares or (as in some recent Ben Sherman output) ice creams, for instance they all look a bit weird or gimmicky.
Is there some kind of rule here? Is it just because the first set of patterns are traditional, accepted and therefore uncontroversial? They’ve been around for so long that they’re just accepted as classic patterns without question? Or is there a special balance that they strike that just makes them look better?
Is it possible to create a new pattern that doesn’t fade out of fashion very quickly? Anyway, I ponder this as I inspect the latest offerings from Pretty Green. See what you think, but I think we can at least say they are unique...
I used to have a shirt in this same pattern bought a very long time ago from The Face. Pleased to see this slightly unusual style has made it into a shop where people feel like it’s worth making properly.
Although it is a shame BS still haven't worked out how to make a suit with three buttons.
1. A crombie
Get yourself to any decent menswear shop and see what’s on offer in terms of ovecoats. You might have to pay a bit of dosh, but opting for a crombie this winter should be an investment - not only are they comfortably heavy, robust against the cold and stylish with many different shades to choose from, they also have a v-necked collar so you can incorporate as much stuff into your look as you want. For more on this, see 2.
2. A paisley scarf
Goes well with 1, thanks to the open collar of most crombie coats, this is also part of a classic skinhead look. As I mentioned in the last post about winter gear, seek out the autumn shades, keep it warm. Oranges, reds and yellows ought to be your aim, especially if you’re opting for a dark coloured overcoat, as they show up much more vividly in the dark mornings and evenings of the season.
3. Dr Marten boots
Oddly enough, perfect for trudging about in snow or sludgy ground during this time of year and contribute strongly to the overall skinhead / punky vibe. Also coming in a range of ridiculous colours, although I usually go for darker ones or they run the risk of looking a bit too clownlike. Also easily cleaned and tidied up, unlike, I found recently, suede desert boots.
1. A Parka
Get yourself a decent parka. They’re great - waterproof, warm and undeniably Mod. If you can, try to get one that’s a bit different - I am practically allergic to the army green ones nowadays, even if they do have The Who written across the back. My choice is navy blue for the moment. Fur hood is optional but as I almost never put the hood up anyway, probably just for show.
2. Rollneck jumpers
Or polonecks. Or turtlenecks. Preferably relatively slimline in multiple colours, without any excessive bulky knit, to complete the look. Art Gallery used to do some great ones, with retro stripes down one side but you might have to look a bit ruther afield this year. Not only are they French-esque chic, but they’re practical and they’ll stop the cold from making you too cool for school.
3. Autumn shades in shirts
I am smitten with Pretty Green’s brown and red paisleys at the moment. I don’t have one yet, but to my mind, if we’re doing seasons (which, let’s be honest, Mods aren’t known for), we may as well do them properly and there is a lot to choose from. If you can get a shirt (or a polo shirt) in anything reminiscent of those glorious autumn leaf colours, you’ve nailed it.
I am now officially on the hunt for a new Harrington jacket.
I’ve been thinking for a while now that my current one has been looking a bit old, a bit dusty and a bit tired. I also have some other reservations about it that need further explanations.
I have two Harringtons, one black and one navy blue. The navy one is the one we’re talking about here. It’s from Warrior and it has been a favourite for a while because it has, instead of the trad red tartan lining, a blue paisley one.
This Harrington, for what it’s worth, can be picked up for about £30 from Warrior’s website. Not bad for a classic jacket with an unusual twist.
But I have noticed something else. I don’t know where the black Harrington was bought but I assume somewhere like Merc and it’s become my new favourite for two reasons. Firstly, despite being much older, it’s actually holding up far better than the navy one. The material is much more easily dusted off from whatever crap you end up getting on it (picture me in Tesco’s bakery section last week and choosing a loaf of some pretentious, organic free range fucking bread. Flour fucking everywhere. I’m sure there’s never been a more manly way of getting dust on your jacket).
Secondly, the structure of the jacket is much more rigid and retains its shape. The navy one has become a bit crumpled by comparison, despite me having owned it for less time.
I don’t think this is coincidental. Consider, if you will, the materials involved:
Navy blue, flimsy - 80% Polyester : 20% Cotton Mix (from Warrior)
Black, robust and starched feel - 40% Polyester : 60% Cotton (from Merc - though admittedly I don’t know exactly where mine was from)
So here I am wondering whether this makes all the difference - more cotton equals a more rigid fabric? I hope someone who knows about this can tell me.
Until then, I am going to keep surveying the streets and the internet for all the navy Harringtons I can find until I feel I have saved enough to decide to buy one.
As you can see, the choice is not an easy one. Any recommendations?
A while ago I wrote a short post about Supernova Scarves, the inspirational online scarf shop, based near Turriff in Aberdeenshire, making (all in the UK) quality silk scarves of a distinctly Mod flavour for the very decent price of £30 or under.
Now I post again, having been exposed to their wares first-hand and having been very impressed!
The scarf looks and feels great - silky smooth of course, summery white paisley pattern (good plan, despite the frankly crap weather here) and slightly tassled at the ends. The fabric itself is relatively compact too. Sounds like an odd thing to say, but I do have another scarf from elsewhere whose material can be quite voluminous, slightly ruining the overall look when you try to wear it. Not so with this one, the material is perfect.
So I can now say with a certainty - go to Supernova Scarves for all your Mod scarf needs. That being said, they also do pocket handkerchiefs and ties in silk too!
I also think it’s appropriate for me to mention here as well that none of this would be possible without the internet. Supernova Scarves is a tiny business based well over five hundred miles from where I live and yet anyone is able to peruse their entire collection at their leisure on the website and order a scarf to their exact tastes for less money than it would be to travel into your nearest Pretty Green and buy off the shelf something that might not be as edgy as you’d want.
For a Mod on the lookout for great stuff and for connecting small businesses and boutiques with the Mod community out there, the internet is the ultimate tool. No more are we at the mercy of diluted-for-the-mass-market products with a price tag of hundreds of pounds hidden in an awkward corner of a high-street shop once every few months.
For fashion enthusiasts keen on cultivating a stylish, yet individual look, the internet is pretty much the Mod ideal. That's what I reckon anyway, but then I can get a bit carried away sometimes...
Thanks again Belinda from Supernova!
Last week I wrote a piece questioning why Merc’s SS16 seems to have made such a small impact and yesterday I reckoned Pretty Green was doing the best in terms of creativity.
It occurs to me that I may have been slightly too harsh on Merc and after a quick glance at their site, it turns out there are quite a few items which I quite like the look of in their new set. In this spirit, I’ve set a few of my favourites out below.
However, I would still say that Merc seem to have become obsessed with their own burgundy colour scheme. It seems to be everywhere. I like the idea of brand recognition and I like a bit of the burgundies every now and again when the blues are on holiday, but it seems a bit weird that the colour is so prevalent in their gear. Merc, if you’re listening - some oranges and yellows wouldn’t go amiss sometime.
1. Dalton trench coat
I really like the look of this - sharp navy coat with all the trimmings, including epaulets on the shoulders and a cheeky bit of tartan thread on the lapel.
2. Bellman shirt
Classic Merc gingham here - burgundy included, but nothing wrong with that. Nice little detail on the chest pocket, setting it just slightly apart from your average gingham.
3. Welor Geo paisley
“Paisley lite” on this one. Unusual polka style design but with floral swirls instead of dots. Blue buttons look good on the white and blue general theme (+ burgundy)
4. Paulus top
Choosing to pipe the collar and button strip with extra trim here is quite an old-skool design, one that designers should try more often. Makes for two cool variations on the Fred perry -esque polo.
5. Jobling top
Unusual for a polo to have vertical stripes. Again, good to see something new and fresh here, burgundy in tow.
6. Siegel polka dot
I’m always a sucker for polka dots and this is no exception. I suppose these are more pin-point dots, which is a great variation on a classic. Again, burgundy an option.
Other sites you should check out:
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