How Was Vintage Mod Clothing Made in the ’60s?

When it came to making clothing in the 60s, there was a lot of time invested and skill required to be able to make something that not only looked good but was actually wearable.

In today’s world, modern technology has simplified the process of making clothes beyond belief. So much so that the effects of fast fashion is actually damaging our planet.

But exactly how was the mod clothing that we wear today made back in the 60s?

60’s fashion Was More Of A Labour Of Love

Say you wanted a new outfit for the weekend; obviously, you couldn’t Klarna yourself something with next day delivery, but you might be surprised to learn that it also wasn’t as simple as popping into town to find the latest styles.

Most clothes were made by hand in the 60s. Handmade clothing was more common because sewing machines were not as widely available and were more expensive, so it was cheaper for companies to hire people to sew their garments than invest in a machine.

For those making their own clothes at home, the challenge remained. Even if you did have space in your home for a sewing machine, getting your hands on one was no easy tak — especially at the end of the decade when clothing manufacturing went off-shore and into mass production.

Suppose you were lucky enough to own one yourself, then good for you! That was not most people’s reality: sewing machines were still mostly shared between families or communities rather than personal possessions. 

Plastic Fantastic

The 1960s saw a new love affair for young designers and new man-made materials with disposable fabrics such as Perspex, PVC, polyester, acrylic, nylon, rayon, and Spandex being used. These materials were not only cheap, easy to dry, and wrinkle-free but could be used to create fun and daring new Mod looks.

The 1960s Mod Man

For those Baby Boomers whose families were recently wealthy in the affluent boom of Britain in the post-World War II era, handmade clothing was seen as a sign of luxury rather than a last resort. The money they had to spare was spent on all the butch haircuts, moccasins, and mohair they could get.

Mod style for men included cravats and three-piece suits from the Edwardian era. These suits were tailor-made as they required a skilled hand to contour the narrow lapels and slim, crisp, pointed-collar shirts. Coveted shoes were also handmade winkle-pickers, named for the extremely pointed toes, which looked like the pins used to pick the meat out of periwinkle snails.

Mod In The Modern World

While it may be much easier to make and replicate the classic mods style in today’s modern world, it’s rarely done. However, in a way, that is what keeps the much-loved sub-culture exactly that, a sub-culture of fashion.

As well as that, Mod rarely stays the same. There are the classic suits, music, and scooters at its heart. However, the rem-emergence of Mod throughout the ’70s and ’90s provides that at its heart, Mod is about being truly your bespoke outspoken self, and not about confirming trends but paving your own path.