Living as a Mod in the 21st Century

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Mod’s Monthly magazine

Ever wondered what was behind the pink cover of the 60s The Mod’s monthly magazine? Have you ever wanted to peak inside and see what was discussed in the September 1964 issue?

On page 65 and 66 of the seminal book Mod: A Very British Phenomenon by Terry Rawling, you can see the covers of that coveted magazine. Ever since I got a glimpse at them, my curiosity got the best of me and I set out to find them. Over the years, I managed to put my hands on a few. The thing is, they are extremely rare and in demand. So you know what that means, right? Cha-ching! Pull out the wallet.

I thought that since they are so hard to find and expensive, I would spare you the heartache and share the content with the Parka Avenue readers. First, let me just make an hypothesis here. I don’t think that the Faces and trendsetters back in the day where the target audience. In fact, the magazine is geared more towards teenage girls and is kind of lame. That doesn’t keep it from being fascinating and a sign of the times.

It was a short-lived publication too, only lasting a handful of issues. I can only imagine that with the fast paced life of the original Mods, with its ever-changing fashions and trends, a monthly magazine would always be behind the eight ball.

In issue #7 (September 1964), Mark Burn’s editorial is quite amusing. I would hate to think that in 50 years from now, someone would stumble upon the Parka Avenue blog and have a laugh at my expense. The only similarity between our two publications is the overuse of the word Mod. Anyway, I let you be the judge. Here’s a transcript of the entire editorial. (Little mistakes and all) You’ll see, it’s pretty fab… I mean funtastic!

Crisp! Crunchy!! Funtastic!!!
Hello again!
It is as the saying goes, a really crisp and crunchy month, so we decided to change our whole front page. The words fab and gear are out – but OUT! Crisp and Crunchy are in. “Having a ball” is now replaced by “Funtastic!” Everything’s “Fun” now, instead of fantastic! But what of the changes in style. Well, like everyone, we are thinking towards the cold winter and autumn. Everyone is already working hard on discovering what new styles are IN for the winter. One style that will again be back this winter will be the kinky boots.

Duffel coats will be OUT this year, also the heavier anoraks. John Stephen, leader of the Mod males’ fashion, is still keeping dark about his winter fashions. Most of the girls’ fashions are likely to be checks or stripes, with the high, heavy collars. One fashion that is certainly catching on is but slowly, is one that we hinted about in our May issue of Mods. Cloaks!! Yes, cloaks. The big problem for Mods is where to get them. So many of the big fashion houses simply can’t or won’t make them, even tho’ I know for a fact that many “fans” of this new style will buy them.
I’m afraid that many cloak admirers will have to resort to making their own cloaks although this will probably mean a lot of hard work.

Other snippets of new… “Top Gear,” BBC 2’s programme is fast becoming a favorite with the Mods, and looks like a serious challenge to the once invincible “Ready, Steady, Go!”. If a few more people get BBC 2 this could develop into a battle royal.

One last point I have to make. Due to the tremendous mail we have been receiving we must unfortunately insist that you send stamped addressed envelopes in the future. We have a backlog of hundreds of letters, so if your letter hasn’t been answered yet, don’t despair.

Let us know however if you would like any particular styles put in “Mod’s Monthly.”

Mark Burns

P.S. To those Mod models we asked for, we are still trying to sort out the best amongst you, but it all takes time!

Another article worth taking a closer look at is the one entitled “Are You A Mod?” I was so happy I could finally put that question to rest! The only thing missing was a 10-part questionnaire, like the ones often seen in women’s magazines, with multiple-choice answers.
"First I must say that theoretically Mods run in an age group between 14 and 22. They are the top of the teenagers. Their dress and styles are original, different, unusual, and usually so successful that, especially in London, there are shops that cater only for the Mods and for no other set."
Well, strike one for me.
"[…] only rarely do Mods ever start fashions with completely new styles and completely new materials.
Take for instance, the latest pyjama suits, called Herbals! Many girls, finding they’re unable to buy them anywhere or finding them too expensive, have resorted to buying men’s pyjamas, widening the trousers, and sewing a lining in for warmth. One can’t say that Mod gear is ever static."

Pyjama bottoms as trousers. Pretty inventive, I must say. Still… Strike two!
"White socks are out. In and likely to be in a very big way are dark, almost black stockings, with a motif on them."
As a Mod revivalist teenager, I was guilty of the white socks fashion crime. Luckily, I’ve seen the error of my ways and socks are now something I pay a lot of attention to. Ball 1.
"Still in in most parts are the hipster trousers with the flared bottoms"
Striiiiiiiike three!

There is an interesting article on Carnaby Street that I will touch on in an upcoming post. The “Mod Mailbag” also provided me with a few laughs. But overall, it is what it is, a teenage magazine.

I have a few more issues that I will scan for your viewing pleasure. We can organize a slumber party, have some popcorn and soda, talk about our boyfriends and look at the pretty pictures.


  1. the true test for whether you are a mod: do you have fur swim trunks?

    1. Hum... Maybe not the fur ones.

      But I have an original Modern Man catalog in my collection. Does that count?

  2. I used to get it regularly with my paper round money, wish I'd kept them.
    I was 14 in 64, so not a lot of money. I had understanding parents who I'm sure must have secretly read the mag, because my mother bought me my first Barracuda Harrington and clothes as near as possible (money allowing - we weren't rich) "mod", guess I was a bit of a "ticket" in those days.
    Now at nearly 65, I can afford the clothes I couldn't then and everything I buy is either original 60's or retro.
    Happy days!

  3. Funtastic post! Thanks!