An item that has complemented mod style since the 1960s is the scarf.
Made from silk and bedecked with polka dots or the always-cool paisley design, there’s a reason that a silk scarf has become a staple of mod fashion. The modernist fashion that icons like David Bowie wore in the 1960s was sophisticated and sleek. Before the polo shirts and Parkas, it was sharp suits and ties.
Take a look at The Jam’s self-titled album and you will see an example from the Modfather himself of the Mod style. Weller, Foxton and buckler all wear black suits, white shirts, and black ties. The look was one of high fashion, and one thing that blended perfectly into the outfit, was a silk scarf.
So why has the scarf been such a mainstay of mod fashion?
Well, firstly it looks effortlessly suave in any situation. Dressing up formally with a suit, or worn with a polo shirt or t-shirt under a jacket for a night in the pub, a silk scarf always makes a worthwhile addition. These scarves also have had some loyal supporters throughout the arrival of mod culture in the 1960s to the modern day.
As mentioned earlier, Paul Weller has been seen sporting a Paisley scarf whilst with the Jam and on many other occasions since. Other wearers are The Who front man Roger Daltrey, Oasis singer Liam Gallagher and mod style icon Steve Marriott.
With a group of supporters like that, there’s no wonder the silk scarf has stood the test of time. Major brands now make their own version of the silk scarf, but the patterns remain the same.
Deep colours such as burgundy and navy are always popular when combined with white polka dots. As is paisley. This classic, sometimes psychedelic, pattern is famous for its bright colours and intricately designed teardrop shapes that cover it. Add some tassels on the end and you have yourself a mod fashion classic.
If you own a silk scarf, but you’re not quite sure of how to wear it, then fear not. There are a few ways you can wear your scarf and here’s some of the most popular styles that you can wear today.
Loose Around the Neck:
If it’s a warm night, then you may not want your scarf tight around your neck. In this case, wearing it loose is a great option.
It couldn’t be simpler, just put your scarf around your neck, and let the stylish design light up your outfit.
Worn best when under a jacket such as a Harrington, this is a cool look that adds a bit of sophistication to your outfit without any effort at all.
This is a knot that is easy to create but that creates a stunning look.
The first step is to fold your scarf in half and hold both ends in one hand. Next you need to wrap the scarf around your neck, leaving two ends on one side and the loop in the middle on the another.
Finally, all you need to do is push the two ends through the loop and pull them through to create a stylish look. If you’re wearing a denim jacket or a suit jacket then this can fit perfectly into the V of collar to add a stylish touch.
A classic look, the ascot knot is worn in many different styles and cultures. Often tucked tightly into a shirt collar, this is seen in formal situations and can resemble a cravat.
As with many things though, the mods put their own touch on it, sporting the ascot knot but wearing it untucked and allowing the beautiful designs of a silk scarf to take centre stage.
So how do you get this classic look?
Well, start with tie around your neck. Next, cross one side over the top of the other, before tucking the side on top underneath the other side. Wrap the same side that’s now on the bottom back around the front and pull through the loop that will have formed at the top.
You will now have the choice to pull this through a knot that has formed at the front, much like tying a normal tie, but that’s not the way to wear it in mod fashion.
Instead of pulling through the knot, simply flop it over the top so that the knot is covered and your scarf hangs down.
You now have a mod look that is regularly seen around the neck of Weller, Marriott and Gallagher and you can be sure to show off your paisley or polka dots.
Windsor Knot (with a twist):
A full Windsor knot is a traditional way of tying a tie.
This is also a great way of tying a scarf though, with the wider style leading to a bigger knot and large flowing scarf down the chest.
When worn with a silk scarf, this can provide a stylish look and is often worn above the collar, under a jacket.
What to Wear Your Scarf With:
So now you know how to wear it, what should you wear it with?
Well, again there are a number of options. A scarf can be worn over a jumper, or a suit jacket for a formal look. It can also be matched with a t-shirt or polo and worn with a Harrington or overcoat. The choices are endless.
One thing to also note is which colours to go for.Are you choosing an understated look, and want to match dark clothes with a dark scarf, or are you wanting to stand out in the crowd with bold colours against a darker background?
Whichever look you are desiring, there’s sure to be a scarf to match.
No matter what you are wearing, a silk scarf always adds a touch of class and style to an outfit and will always be a hit amongst the mods.
The silk scarf has been a key part of mod fashion for decades.
Worn by all the fashion icons since the 60s, and still worn today by mods all over the land, it’s true that a dash of paisley and polka dot can add a lot to any outfit.
Long may it continue.