Mods and Rockers Fancy Dress: A Guide

Fifty years since the infamous seaside dust-ups that made headlines in 1964, Mods and Rockers remain powerful symbols of sixties youth culture, with elements of their distinctive music and fashions having undergone numerous revivals and reinterpretations. While the influences of these contrasting subcultures can still be detected in contemporary styles, we thought we would turn our gaze to the essential elements of Mods and Rockers fashion that can be distilled into the perfect retro fancy dress costume. So whether you're planning to revisit the Rocker tradition, or dress with a nod to the Mods, read on for our indispensable guide on this fascinating topic.

How to Dress Like a Mod

Mod Costume

The best thing about Mod fashions is that there's plenty of room for you to impart your own style on any outfit. As long as you're looking sharp you can stay true to the Mod look with many different types of clothes including suits, polo shirts and smart jackets. For women it's all about bold styles based on some recognisable sixties clothes, so you're free to add your own customisation to your costume. Key apparel and accessories include the following:

Men's Mod style

  • Stylish suits - slim cut suits and narrow lapels are always a good look
  • Parka jackets - makes the outfit work well in any weather
  • No grubby jeans - remember, we're after a stylish, even dandified, anti-Rocker look

Mod ideas for women

  • Bold designs - colour-blocking and geometric patterns are a must
  • Show some skin - think sleeveless dresses and miniskirts here
  • Accessorise - big sunglasses, headbands and chunky jewellery

Top tip: If you're worried about being too subtle with the look then there's always our Mod Girl Costume, complete with RAF roundel on the chest that just screams "This is Mod clothing!"

How to Dress Like a Rocker

This one's quite simple really; with an earthy style that has its roots in practical everyday clothes, the Rocker look is easy to achieve with a few basics that can be customised for a unique appearance. You can have a lot of fun with additions to the leather jacket that forms the basis of the outfit - why not add some classic biker-style logos or even make up a few of your own? Wear a white scarf and long white socks rolled over the top of long biker boots for convincing details that show you've done you're homework on Rocker styles.

Rock the Rocker look with

  • Jeans
  • A leather jacket
  • Long leather boots
  • A white scarf

Bonus nugget of information: As a fun accessory for any Rocker outfit, this Flick Comb is the perfect way to look the part while not having to worry about being kicked out of party venues for carrying an illegal weapon!

So there you have it - the Jokers' Masquerade how-to for Mods and Rockers fancy dress, a vital reference for 60s-themed parties, festivals and all events that call for a little inspiration from Mods and Rockers fashion. If you can't - or just don't want to - make your own, we've plenty of ideas for sixties costumes including lots of great mod dresses and accessories that will make any Mod or Rocker outfit complete.

Mods vs Rockers Mini Quiz

When it comes to the choosing between the rival gangs whose infamous mid-sixties seaside brawls were immortalised by feverish media coverage, as well as in the 1979 British film Quadrophenia that was loosely based on the 1973 rock opera of the same name by The Who, it's hard to decide where your loyalties lie. Should you devote your life to speeding along race track-like arterial roads around British cities on a café racer motorcycle, or would you be more at home on a Lambretta scooter listening to R&B and ska music? Take our Mods vs Rockers quiz to find out:

What best describes your hairstyle?
a) A Brylcreem-based pompadour style popular with 1950s rock'n'roll musicians
b) A daft haircut with them pointy bits at the side like Paul Weller
c) A layer of milky froth

What's your preferred method of transport?
a) A Triton motorbike
b) A Vespa scooter
c) A mug

Which of these would be a good look for you?
a) A black leather jacket, denim jeans and leather boots
b) A tailor-made suit and a parka
c) A hot beverage-like appearance, in a mug

Which of these ranks among your favourite musical artists?
a) Gene Vincent
b) The Who
c) I can't hear anything in this mug

What do your answers say about you?

Mostly a): You are a bona fide Rocker, a member of a biker subculture that originated in the United Kingdom during the 1950s that was mainly centred on British café racer motorcycles and rock'n'roll music.

Mostly b): You are a Mod, part of a British youth subculture of the early to mid-1960s, significant elements of which include: fashion (often tailor-made suits); music (such as soul, ska, and R&B); and motor scooters.

Mostly c): You're neither a Mod or a Rocker; you are in fact a Mocha, which is not a combination of the two but a coffee-based drink that consists of espresso, steamed milk, foam, and chocolate syrup.

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This post was written by +Chris Hood from Jokers' Masquerade fancy dress.

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