Following on from the previous post regarding the jam and the beginnings of my mod roots,one of the items that was a "must have" item was of course the Fred Perry polo shirt,this is a mod classic and was worn by the mods in the 60s and since then has been one of those items that never seems to go out of fashion, always seeming to reinvent itself,but never really changing the design whatsoever! the skinhead and suedeboys of the late 60s and early 70s championed fred perry's it was part of there uniform, come 1978-79 and the mod revival every youth who was attracted to this new scene had to have one,i as a 14-15 was lucky in that department as my older sister had been a skinhead around the early 70s and of course most of what she wore was mens clothes so i was well looked after by having all her hand-me -downs!!
the 1st perry i had was the classic white polo shirt, others followed swiftly once i had saved the dinner money and my glass collecting money!all my mates where wearing them and looking back now at old photos and the internet,everybody looked fresh faced and smart,it was a great time.
fashion changed in the early 80s of course and the casual movement got a grip on the nations youth,with fred perry being swapped for lyle and scott,lacoste,sergio tacchini,ellese,fila etc,to me these brands never compered to the great fred perry polo shirt,as you can dress them up or dress them down, i wore mine,with jeans and trainers, jeans and shoes, drainpipe trousers and shoes or trainers,you always look at somebody differently if they are wearing a perry,it signals what kind of music they are into,at one time you could walk round town and by just looking at what teenagers where wearing you knew what sort of music they where into,not anymore its all tracksuits tucked in silly socks and hoods and crappy sportswear, the generation of dressing good seems to have gone out the window.
You can of course dress a perry up,unlike the masses of henri lloyd and hackett wearing kids who just chuck one on with it hung out matched up with the baseball cap and the jeans,plus the collar turned up,doing this with a perry would be a sin and worthy of being hung drawn and quartered,in my youth probably around 1980 my best mate's mother had a catalogue may have been freemans,anyway they had some knitted wool round neck fred perrys,they where sky blue with a darker blue band around the chest with the perry laurel in white,boy did we think we where the bees knees wearing these, i teamed mine up with either black or sky blue drainpipes or bleached jeans,i got some serious wear from this top, i can even remember i had a pull on the side somewhere,fred perry also did those great bomber jackets in white and blue of which i had both,i lost touch with all this gear around 1983 and sort of fell out with it all, selling most of what i had at a local youth club to all the young mods coming thru,i had loads of perrys and ben shermans, which is another story.......................................
Myself and a mate circa 1980 sporting fred perry jacket,levi 501s,ben sherman and the long weller cut!