We all know the obvious and the classics, but which mod labels actually cut the mustard in today’s market? A good number, but here are five modern-day mod labels worth a closer inspection.
1. DNA Groove
Claudio De Rossi has been creating and retailing mod-styled clothing for around 10 years for both men and women – everything from men’s shirts, shoes, suits, overcoats and knitwear through to women’s casual wear, including knitwear and t-shirts. All items are available online and the ever-growing client list tells you all you need to know about the quality and service.
Best for: Off-the-peg mod-styled formal wear, including high-collar shirts, suits and coats.
If you want a vintage-styled shirt made to your measurements, but don’t want to pay the earth, you need to check out Trimfit. Owner (and shirtmaker) Lily specialises in reproductions of classic looks and designs, especially from the 50s, 60s and 70s. All are made from your choice of fabric and with all the details you require, from back pleats and contrasting cuffs through to just about any style of collar you can think of. Why buy vintage when you can get a new one exactly the same?
Best for: Vintage shirt reproductions, including lot classics like the Jon Wood or Brutus Trimfit.
3. Dadadie Brucke
The price of label vintage dresses continues to rise and the high street retro styles aren’t necessarily up to it. Which is where Dadadie Brucke comes in. The work of Jessika Madison-Kennedy, the company takes inspiration from the style and detail of ‘high-end vintage’ to create something stylish, contemporary, but still unmistakably 1960s in looks. And with limited runs, you’re unlikely to see the same thing out and about in your town/city.
Best for: Bold, 60s-styled dress designs.
4. Fred Perry
Yes, one of the old guard makes it onto the list. I’m certainly not a fan of everything the company does, but much of the range stocked in the specialist shops and on the website is well-made and very true to the classic designs of the 60s and early 70s. Just try to avoid those ‘designer’ collaborations they seem a little too fond of and the budget range you might see on sports shop shelves.
Best for: Classic polo shirts and v-neck sweaters.
5. John Smedley
I had a problem with number five – because there are so many candidates. Just off the top of my head, I can think of the vintage-styled shirts and polos of Aertex, Gabicci’s retro range, the classic look of Lacoste, the return to form of Ralph Lauren, budget knitwear and denim from Uniqlo, new French style from APC, Baracuta and Tootal’s re-emergence (look out for the latter’s forthcoming clothing range), the denim labels and their vintage ranges, the numerous vintage trainer and classic footwear ranges and the endless other labels I’ve forgotten. In short, we’ve never had it so good.
But one label stood out from the rest – John Smedley. Classic knitwear with timeless styles that will look the part this year, next year or indeed any year. This type of high-end knitwear does command a high-end price, but if you box clever and shop at the factory shop, sample sales or your local Boundary Mill shop, you can pick up some of the better designs at very affordable prices.
Best for: Classic knitwear, especially three-button long sleeve knits.