The XPLOR Guide to Mod Fashion – The Style of the 60s



The style of the 1950s and 1960s is iconic. It was during this era that mod fashion emerged for both men and women. Mods prefer the bold over the traditional. In fashion, music and life, they prefer richness and complexity. Is this you? If so, read on as we talk about Palm Springs’ version of Mod Fashion. This little valley is full of bold people. Here’s what you need to know to fit in. Learning about Mod Fashion will help you feel the vibe that is Palm Springs. 

There is a plethora of vintage shops, thrift shops and boutiques in the Valley. But the largest concentrations can be found on North Palm Canyon Drive and the Sunny Dunes Vintage Row in Palm Springs and the Perez Road Arts District in Cathedral City.  

If you’re shopping for jewelry or accessories, our picks are Dazzles, Bon Vivant, Gallery 24 and Flow Modern in Palm Springs. For clothes, we recommend Iconic Atomic, Gypsyland, the Frippery, Mitchells and Casa Moderno, all in Palm Springs. The Fine art of Design in Palm Desert is also worth a visit.  

Our Little Valley also has two non-profit thrift shop chains that are worth a peek: Revivals and Angel Thrift. Get mod while you give back!

Dedicate a day, or two, to browsing through these amazing shops. You never know what treasures you are going to find. After your time here, the mod look will be yours for the taking! 

Women’s Fashion 

Now, if you are looking to dress like a mod woman, there’s a few things you should know. We’ve done our research and came up with the following recommendations for dressing in mod in 2018. How much fun will it be to show off your mod fashion to all your friends! 


You want to choose bold, brightly patterned colors. You can’t go wrong with black, white, bright yellow, orange, pink and pastels. Don’t shy away from geometric shapes, stripes and polka dots. Pair your top with your bottom accordingly. If you have a solid top, find a stripe or patterned bottom and vice versa. Choose an oversize man’s button down to complete your outfit.  

Skirts and Dresses 

In true mod fashion style, pick a mini skirt made of lightweight material. You want your mod look to flow with our desert breezes. Stripes, color-blocked skirts in bright yellows, reds or oranges fit the color choices of mod fashion. The A-line skirt that sits right at the knee is also a good choice.  

The shift dress was popular and is still a casual go-to today. It offers comfort because it is loose fitting. It also looks great on any body type. You can get neutral colors that you dress up with bold jewelry or stick to bold patterns and prints. 

Caftans are also a good choice for our desert climate and for the mod look. Get matching caftans with your significant other for a night out.  


Prefer pants over dresses and skirts? Capris and ankle length pants are a traditional mod fashion statement and are perfect for the climate. Choose a pair that is a solid neutral color and wear a bold pattern or brightly colored shirt. 


The shoes of the 1960s were just as forward thinking and bold as the clothes. Women wore t-straps, loafers, flats and booties. T-straps “dress up” an outfit while flats give you a more casual look. Be on the lookout for buckles, colored laces and patterns. 


Mod fashion accessories, not surprisingly, consist of bold, brightly colored pieces. You’re looking for chunky jewelry, flowing scarves in dramatic colors, big sunglasses. You get the idea. Don’t forget about headbands.  


There’s no disputing it; earrings can make or break the look you are going for. You must adorn your lobes according to your taste, but also to complement your entire look. The mod earring of the 60s differed drastically from the decade before. The ladies of the 50s wore button style earrings with a matching necklace. White and colored rhinestones along with beads and faux pearls were common place. 

If you are going for that mod look, you are going to have a lot of fun earrings to choose from. Mod earrings are large and decorative. They are meant to stand out and alone.

One could still get the button earrings, but pair them with dangles, and hoops. Hoops were all the rage, there were small hoops, large hoops, geometric hoops, even kinetic designs. 


Mod necklaces say that you’re a boundary-pusher. That’s why bold pieces with bright colors and geometric shapes make sense for the mod woman. It was no surprise to see long tassel necklaces, necklaces with odd shapes, multi-strand necklaces and chains with large pendants, especially owls. Some of the most popular colors were bright pink, vibrant yellow, orange and lime.  


Another piece of statement jewelry would be a gorgeous bracelet. Just as with necklaces and earrings, you are going to want to look for a large bracelet that has bright colors and bold prints or designs. Perhaps the most popular mod bracelet is a large chunky bangle bracelet.


Ladies, do you love handbags? Small handbags, everyday bags, and clutches? The list goes on. You need a handbag in different sizes and colors to match your shoes and the time of day. You don’t want to carry an everyday bag to an elegant dinner, right? Handbags come in all different shapes. They can be square, rectangular, circular or boxy. The shape doesn’t matter in mod. But, see if you can find a bag made of a unique material.  

In the mid-century modern era of the late 50s and early 60s, designers turned to Lucite. Lucite resembles a piece of glass or rock crystal, but it can be dyed. As opposed to its counterpart, plastic, Lucite is denser. It is also not unheard of to find a bag made of animal skin, jersey, wool, suede or leather.  

Men’s Fashion

Television shows about the mod era often show a man with a tailored suit, clean cut. But this is casual-chic Palm Springs, where the temps soar as high as the palm trees. So, the Palm Springs mod man does things a bit differently to achieve his look.  


Hey gents! The caftan is back. It’s great by the pool as casual day wear. But, you can dress it up with some bold accessories for a night out. If you go for a solid caftan without much embellishment, accessorize with bold and chunky pieces. But don’t be afraid to don one with elegant piping, stripes or even metallic fabric.  


Men too are looking for bold prints and bright colors. Color-blocking is a very popular style. Also, you can’t go wrong with red, white or blue solids.   


Skinny fit pants are very mod. Don’t go for a full break over your shoes. Instead choose a high-water length to show off those sexy ankles. Slim fit capris, and tailored shorts that fall above the knee are also mod looks that work well in Palm Springs.  


Of course, you want to have the correct mod set of footwear. Get yourself a pair of lightweight loafers or lace up plimsolls. You’ll want to get a pair in black and gray or brown in each style to be sure you’ll always have the perfect shoes to match your outfit! 


The mod man accessorizes by topping his outfit with a bold necklace, chunky bangles, oversized rings and wide glasses. Round glasses were common, but look for an oversized pair that suits your face shape.

A button pin, or even a broach make for good mod accessories. As for earrings, go for an understated pair. Let the rest of your outfit do the talking.  

 Greater Palm Springs is a mecca of vintage and thrift shops. No one goes away empty-handed!  Follow this link for other shopping venues.

Do you have any mid-century modern items you found on your last visit to Palm Springs? Why not share them with us @XPLORzine on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. 

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