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In 1964, the second bank holiday of May saw gangs of mods and rockers descend on the seaside resorts of Brighton, Margate and Broadstairs for a great big ruck. More than 50 years on, mod and rocker styles remain a key touchstone for men's fashion, only with none of the violence and – aside from a few die-hards – little of the tribalism of old. Which means the old 'mod or rocker' question carries with it none of the fraught implications of before and allows you to pick one (or both) of the below looks purely on the grounds of personal taste. Rock on! 

mod outfit

Your mod outfit

The mods were one of the original post-war youth cults, merging a love of music (initially modern jazz but more famously R&B) with a strong, label-obsessed sense of personal style. Slim-cut tailored suits (usually Italian-made), sharp shirts with thin ties or the more casual Fred Perry polo and Chelsea boots or loafers were the 60s mod uniform, with military surplus parkas on top to protect their premium gear from the elements. Several waves of mod revivalism since then means authentic mod gear isn't too hard to find but the basic principles of sharp, skinny-fit suiting, a well-buffed loafer and that classic olive green jacket can (and should) be incorporated into any wardrobe.

rocker outfit

Picture: ASOS

Your rocker outfit

If mods looked to the very latest European fashions for inspiration, their rocker rivals turned their gaze backwards and westwards – to the motorcycle gangs and rock'n'roll sounds (Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran et al) of America in the 50s. A timeless black leather biker jacket is the essential weapon in any rocker arsenal, paired with a crew-neck T-shirt and black kicks (mosh-pit ready Converse in this case). Update the getup with ripped black skinny jeans, a grungy check shirt and some headphones from the legendary Marshall brand.