Living as a Mod in the 21st Century

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Is the scarf making a comeback as a Mod accessory?

With summer knocking at our door and the scooter season in full swing, it’s the perfect time to put those heavy football scarves or striped Ivy college scarves back in the closet and take out the more elegant silk ones. I’ve noticed, in the last few years, that the modern man has adopted the chic scarf in larger numbers. Some will say that it has never really left. I don't want to insinuate that the scarf ever went away, only that it's more present than ever. In my personal experience, during the Revival years, I don't remember ever seing someone wearing a silk scarf, at least not in my parts. I kept all my catalogs from that period (mainly Merc but also from Carnaby Cavern) and don't have any of them selling the silk ones. As for the footbal and college scarves, that's another story. No matter on which side of the coin you fall, the distant cousin of the cravat seems to be here to stay.

The Tootal brand has long been associated with Mod culture and for a good reason; they look damn good! Personally, they’re my favorite. You can still find some quality vintage examples online that won’t pull at your purse strings. The choice of colors and patterns are practically limitless. Stripes, polka dots, paisleys, you name it, they made it. When it comes to scarves, I’m partial to the late 60s paisley look. What a way to make a plain shirt pop out! Some new version are available at Atom Retro.

A classic houndstooth pattern from Tootal
Worn with a suit on a chilly night out with your lady or with your M65 parka out on a scooter ride to your local pub, it will make the difference between looking plain and dashing. How else can you make a army parka look acceptable?

The controversial Pretty Green has it’s own version of the Mod scarf but expect to pay for the name. My friend Dominic is a die hard adept but I haven’t brought myself to part with my money for what I consider vastly overpriced clothes. On the other hand, I’ve been guilty of paying a pretty penny for anything Fred Perry.

Speaking of Fred Perry, they had some nice ones flying off the shelves lately. They might be the safer choice for many but remain a great classic look.

Fred Perry scarf available at
Peckham Rye has a collection worth checking out, although at £55, they are a bit out of my price range. They seem to be courting the Mod market because they’re currently the Modcast’s official sponsor. I don’t own one but they have a couple of models I wouldn’t mind wrapping around my neck. My friend Ger owns a few and can vouch for their high quality. This is what you would expect when you purchase hand crafted items from a company that has been in the business since 1799.

The Geometric Print scarf - Block 49 from Peckham Rye
For a simple yet smart look, make a stop at the Art Gallery website. This polka dot scarf is a sure bet at a reasonable £25. While you are there, you should browse through their knitwear. I have a feeling that one of them will make their way into my wardrobe. In the same price range, ModClothin also offers a few examples that can easily be added to your collection.

The Davies polka dot scarf from Art Gallery
The good people at Ace Face Clothing have some outstanding tonic scarf and hankie sets for £70. Let me just say that they are tempting, very tempting.

The Vintage Mallard Tonic scarf from Ace Face Clothing
Finally,  the London based Mendoza Menswear has a nice silk scarf collection at your disposal and at £40, they are worth a second look.

There are some smart looking scarves out there for every budget. I’m sure there’s one with your name on it.

My personal favorite, a vintage Grosvenor Tootal scarf


  1. Perfect. I have a nifty blue and white polkadot Tootal that cost me the princely some of five pounds from a vintage shop. It will cost a bit more to replace, mind! And I do agree about Fred Perry. One item that the overused word "iconic" was invented for.

  2. J'adore. J'étraînerai mes plus belles écharpes cet été.

  3. Another great post Pat. Have to agree that a nice scarf has never gone out of style!