You don’t have to have lived in the 60s to love it.
The decade that gave us mini skirts, pill box hats and comically oversized sunglasses is about to hit Blackpool big time when the Winter Gardens plays host to Shout! The Mod Musical.
If you want to dress up (we’re not saying you should, but you should), then you need a handy guide.
For some this’ll be nostalgia, for others a chance to live the coolest decade in British history.
1. The Miniskirt
Has this skirt, in some form or other, ever really gone out of fashion?
It’s claimed that the legendary Beatles stylist, and ‘mother of mod’, Mary Quant was the inventor, but in fact similar skirts can be traced back to ancient China and Egypt.
Regardless, Quant was the lady that said:
“A miniskirt was a way of rebelling.” She defined a miniksirt famously as “The bottom edge of the skirt must hit roughly halfway up the thigh, and fall no more than four inches below the butt.”
Where to buy: Aside from the local high street chains, do check out Lady Retro, on Alexander Court in Flyde (If they have any they’ll be best for a classic number).
The proper 60s style: For a proper 60s feel it should be 6-7 inches above the knee. Bright block colours, plaid or tartan, with maybe a little loose pleating.
Level of Requirement: Vital
2. Kitten Heel Pumps / Mary Janes
First, the Kitten Heel Pump.
Just because it’s the current fave of Prime Minister Teresa May, doesn’t mean they don’t owe their roots firmly to Audrey Hepburn. Referred to as ‘training heels’ in the US, and marketed at young girls, it’s no wonder they became a 60s style symbol with the youth.
As for the Mary Jane, well…
…they’ve gone nowhere. A perennial fashion classic, you probably own a good four pairs anyway. ‘Nuff said. Get ’em on.
Where to buy: (I’m a 28-year old man form Hull, I’m gonna stop telling you were to buy shoes).
The proper 60s style: Of course we’re gonna say bright colours again, flower motif, maybe. You know what to do.
Level of Requirement: Moderate
3. Shift Dresses
The shift dress, or smock, or (non-sexy) chemise, is another classic of the decade.
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In Shout! The Mod Musical, expect the shift dress to be a heavy feature.
The show’s five leads, like a psychedelic Reservoir Dogs, are all named after the colour dress they wear.
Getting ready this morning? ✨Add a lil sunshine to your day with this bright yellow shift dress with white Swiss dot and floral bead appliqué ! Has some flaws but still a great dress so $22 shipped! 36" 32" 36" fits like a true small ! Link in our bio☀️💕 • • • • • #atxvintage #austinvintage #shiftdress #60s #etsyseller #vintagefashion #60sshiftdress #atxvintageshop
In fact, the ‘Yellow Girl’ in our story, in a number similar to the pic above, is the only American of the five. She arrives in England to try and meet Paul McCartney.
The others, spanning their 20s (Red), 30s (Green, Blue, Yellow) and 40s (Orange), all have their stories intertwine as they write to Gwendolyn Holmes, Shout! Magazine’s fictional agony aunt, with their problems.
The proper 60s style: Block, colour, bold patterns, being as thin as Twiggy (Actually, don’t bother with the last one. Nobody wants that).
Level of Requirement: High
4. Elaborate Eye Make-up
Okay, so it doesn’t quite have to be this…
Nice try though.
Fabulous eye make-up is really a must. The look of Carnaby Street.
Were talking, dark, deep, brooding, lots of eye shadow and heavy mascara.
Or, just do this:
The proper 60s style: Either classy and with a bit of a wing, or just go ‘mental experimental’. why not just stick on jewels or something, go wild.
Level of Requirement: Reasonably High.
5. Patent Leather Boots
If you’re not feeling sweet enough for your mary janes, there’s always the leather boot-ed option.
We’ve barely mentioned the impact models like Twiggy and Edie Sedgewick had on the era.
Above is Sienna Miller playing Edie in the absorbing Factory Girl, one or of the original ‘It girls’ she set as many trends as she followed.
The knee-high, deadly shiny, patent boot is now such a common addition to any modern wardrobe, it’s a practical necessity for some.
The proper 60s style: Glossy, block coloured and brash.
Level of Requirement: Interchangeable with your Kittens or Marys
6. 60s Hair
If you watch far too much Heartbeat (not possible), you’ll be all over the 60s barnet.
Fist up, the beehive. Maybe not quite the look of the ‘young adult’, it still held sway for most of the decade.
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The best thing about this ‘do’ is that it can be created with out the use of any aggressive and frightening cutting tools.
It’s also called a B-52, due to its resemblance to a the nose of the famous American bomber. (Apparently)
Still got snaps from bournemouth to upload but i went up to fairford to see these arrive so unfortunately ill be uploading b1b and b52 pics for abit #b1b #b52 #bomber #buff #bone #usaf @usaf_pics @usairforce #fairford #aviationgeeks #aircraftgeeks #aircraftgeek #aviationgeek #aviation #aircraft #av #planes #planespotting #aeroplane #planegeek #aircraftphotography #aviationphotography #planepics #aircraftpics #excellentaviation @repost_for_aviation partners @gripen_jet_photos @jb_aviation_photography
If you don’t fancy endless backcombing and you want to get in the mode for some classic mod tunes in a BIG way, why not go full 60s ‘Bob’.
In the 60s the classic Bob was brought back by none other than Vidal Sassoon. it’s basically just a female ‘mop top’ Beatle-cut, if you will.
If you want to go the whole hog try what the French call ‘Gamine’, or ‘boyish good looks’. It’s the full ‘Audrey Hepburn’ in essence. It might have been ten-years-old by the time the 60s hit, but boy did it linger, in one form or another.
The proper 60s style: Get the beehive done on one of these smooth, sci-fi looking, hairdryer things.
Level of Requirement: Too easy not too.
7. Pillbox Hat
On this lady the pillbox hat should need no introduction.
Originating, strangely, all the way back in Roman times, when it was used as military headgear, the pillbox hat came to be an achingly sixties symbol of the decades style.
So much so in fact, that Bob Dylan’s £Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hat” was written in homage.
Music is important to a show like Shout! The Mod Musical. Actually, it’s vital. The show contains some absolute classic tunes. With “To Sir With Love,” “Downtown,” “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me,” “Son of A Preacher Man,” and “Goldfinger” all featuring.
The proper 60s style: Making the outfit and light pink, if you’re looking for the classic ‘Mrs Kennedy’ look.
Level of Requirement: Optional
How to see the show…
If any of this has whetted your appetite and you want to get int he 60s groove. (We seriously recommend that you dress up). Then, tickets start at just £10 for the Opera House and can be bought online here.
The show will run from Oct 19 – Nov 3.
Also, if want to take a look at the ultimate Mod playlist for the show then the Blackpool Winter Gardens also has you covered.