Monday, 6 October 2014

The fashion heyday for cool young chaps was London, 1965

The response to my last post about 1970s male fashions (here) set me thinking: when were young men's clothes really cool? If I were 18 again, three stone lighter and less dorky-looking than I was back then, how would I want to dress? The answer is, I'd want to dress like the members of South-West London R&B groups c.1965:

Obviously, there are some problems here - mainly the Brian Jones-style blond hair-helmet sported by Keith Relf and the fact that Jimmy Page evidently hadn't received the memo about never wearing a parting with hair that length or a military-style top with too many buttons - but, as a tubby 13-year old, I'd have killed to look like any of these blokes. The style worked in black and white, too. which was important back then:

I presume that The Yardbirds had been studying another London-based band of that era:

Obviously, Bill Wyman never quite made the sartorial grade, but the other four look okay to me. The odd thing is that bands from the provinces never quite got it:

And Americans bands didn't quite manage to get the look either:

Of course, by the time I was old enough to afford cool clothes, it was the hippie era and men's fashions had all gone severely Pete Tong!

Oh dear! As for commenter Riley's worries about he and Martin D sporting cravats as they rode around Wimbledon, they'll be relieved to hear that they were stylistic trail-blazers - an Australian Masterchef judge, the generously-proportioned food critic Matt Preston, has made them all the rage again:


  1. Re cravats. The aforementioned Riley and I, to seal our bromance, also went to Oxford Street, before it became a sewer, and bought Paul McCartney style fairisle tank tops. Just to be different, you understand.

    1. Cravats I was prepared to forgive - just a hint of early Young Fiogeydom. But fairisle tank tops??? Please tell me you didn't wear them with loons. Or that you ever bought a Paul McCartney LP!

  2. I have never, ever bought a Paul McCartney LP or anything with Wings or anything associated remotely with the man since his parting of the ways Lennon. They were an astonishing combination: McCartney needed Lennon to remove the saccharin and Lennon needed the cute choirboy to moderate his harsh observation and make his original rawness acceptable to the music-buying public. Happy days.