when I was a youngster in the Mod Revival, everyone just thought of themselves as a Mod and then either stayed with the scene or drifted into another. Scooter Boy if into the scooters or Soul Boy if obviously into soul, but some also followed prevailing fashion into Pyschobilly and other scenes.
I remember a couple of the more well dressed, older blokes started to call themselves Stylists in an attempt not to be identified with the rougher/violent end of Mod which caused them to receive a lot of stick, but I kind of understood it.
I drifted into the soul scene and was dedicated to it during my twenties and thirties. I still am but as I got to forty I decided I wanted to look, feel a Mod again in a mature, assured way. I work in business all over UK and outside, so work alongside colleagues from USA who have that relaxed Ivy League look that is smart, often expensive but not needing to shout about itself which got me thinking.
Over the last few years I have utterly redefined my wardrobe to reflect my sense of myself. People have commented how this seems to be 'me' and it feels like I have found how to look and feel right as I age onwards.
However the term Mod now doesn't feel right to me in the strictest sense. This isn't elitism but I realise in style, music interest and look I am more akin to one of the early Modernists or late 60s Seudeheads than I am a 63-66 Mod. My look and music combines early Mod with my love of Northern Soul music and culture. The late 1960s Seudehead look took combined classic tailoring and Ivy League style with a stripped back Mod style that rejected the prevailing hippy influence. This is the look I've got, it's identifiably Mod to those who know and gets lots of nods, but enables me to work in the business world just seeming to have a certain sense of style.
In reality at the age of forty two, definitions don't matter really and if somebody said to me 'are you a Mod?' in the office, I would find it uneasy to respond as people's perception is of something other to me and with ignorance of the wider influences and origins.
So I wondered, am I alone in this? It seems that Mod is a broad topic. I would never wear the paisley shirted, psychedelic look for example. I'm much more the preppy style mixed with continental fashions. I would never envisage wearing a parka, boating jacket, bowling shoes (but wear the Frank Wright wonderful flat desert shoes that are close to them), cravat, sta-prest or two tone suit. That feels like the me that was sixteen and nothing wrong with that or that look. But we evolve with different stages.
To get a bit of dialogue going and put a bit back into the forum, I welcome the thoughts of others about how they think about and define themselves. Are others happy with one definition or see themselves in a more nuanced way?
Growing older is an odd thing too, with live commitments, work and home I genuinely don't have time to be 'on the scene' but it doesn't stop me being and looking a certain way. With some maturity and more money in my pocket at this age, I look better than I did years ago and know myself a lot more. Indeed at forty two I'm not sure I would find it easy to hang around with Mods in their teens. The soul scene is easier to age in but that doesn't capture all aspects of how I think about myself.
We'll probably all say quite rightly that definitions do not matter, but I'm sure we all have our own Mod world playing around in our minds and thought it might be interesting to understood how this is for each of us.