Difference Between Mods & Rockers

Here at Relco London, we love discussing and learning about the historical past that led to such iconic vintage clothing. Mods and Rockers'. We just can't get enough of two great British cultures at Relco London! However, many of you may not precisely know the difference between Mods and Rockers, so we're here to help you out and educate you on this. 

In a press release article in 1964 (Bridlington Free Press, 1964), a journalist interviewed an individual from both the mod and rockers group. When the mod was asked how would you define a mod, he stated, "We think about hardly anything else but clothes. I spend an average of £2 - £10 a week on clothes. Mods like to assert themselves and be in the limelight, so we wear clothes that make us stand out. We don't mind if people think we look weird, as long as we are noticed.” The same question was then asked to the rocker "Sometimes we get into trouble with the police for speeding and things, but the lot I knock around with try to keep out of trouble and keep friendly with coppers. If one tries to be a bit cocky, however, we have a bit of a giggle with him." He was then asked what he thought of mods. “They're all right," he said, "I have nothing against them. As long as they mind their own business, I'll mind mine. I think their clothes are a bit soppy, almost girlish, but If they like that sort of gear, good luck to them.”

This shows the difference between the two; obviously, one individual does not represent the entire group; however, from the difference of tone and character, we can see in the interview is that mods were a lot more out there and wanted to be noticed. In contrast, rockers love their fast bikes but like to keep things neutral and calm, but they are not afraid to say how they felt about the mod.  

Rockers rode powerful motorbikes, drove large cars and loved visiting a coffee bar. Rockers were more working-class and had jobs in engineering and similar trades, whereas, in contrast to this, the mods were more from the lower middle class. The mods followed trends in fashion and music and prided themselves on their appearance and dress sense.

 Male mods wore button-down white shirts, Levi jeans, trendy puppy shoes and parka coats (if you want to relive the mod era, check out our website where we have these items in stock). Mods rode scooters known as hairdryers were not as fast as motorcycles and were cleaner than motorcycles. The original mods followed groups like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Small Faces. 

The significant differences between these two groups were drugs, with the rockers being entirely against them whilst on the other hand mods were more in favour of them. The rockers wore black leather jackets, tight jeans and black shirts. Rockers aspired to be like their idols, such as Elvis Presley and many more similar artists. 

This youth culture was one of Britain's most recurrent types of moral panic since rivalry and riots were associated with the emergence of various forms of youth culture. In 1964 mods and rockers riots began, with a large group of teenagers going against each other on sea sides across Britain. A couple of months before this, over a thousand Londoners had gone to Clacton to cause violence, resulting in arrests and a lot of public media attention. 

The public life of 1960s teenagers was acted out in terms of Mod clothes, Bluebeat music and Soho clubs. In the 1960s, there were extensive riots across the British seasides between the two groups, mods and rockers. They set the pattern of tribal violence leading the skinhead vs hippies, and in the 70s, punks vs teds and many more iconic rivalries to come over the years.

If you want to relive the intriguing, spectacular and unique times in the 1960s, visit our website today, where you can find many of these clothes mentioned in this article. 

Back to top