If you really wanted a wardrobe that was inspired by northern soul, what would it look like? If there is a fashion that goes along with this type of music, it’s not easy to pin down. Besides, when you have musical influences from northern England that took root from the mod era, then add a bit of Tamla Motown, what kind of look would you end up with?
Hard to say, but there are plenty of specialized shops that can inspire those who are looking for a northern soul influenced wardrobe, if not a full-on get up based on the genre. That probably doesn’t exist.
But there has to be a touch of the classic mod in your choice of clothing. Think about button-down Ben Sherman shirts. Or perhaps blazers with centre vents, and perhaps odd configurations of buttons. Brogue shoes and Trickers would top the look off, as would a pair of shrink to fit jeans. In the latter days of this type of music, you might also see a fair few high-waisted baggy Oxford trousers and sports vests. On many of these items you might find a good few sew-on badges representing the membership of soul clubs too.
But for most people, trying to replicate this style today might be considered a bit too much. There are more subtle ways you can introduce a touch of the soul-of-the-north to your wardrobe. Perhaps the shrink to fit jeans can stay, and why not think about investing a unique northern soul-inspired t-shirt? There are plenty about. The brogues, too, would surely add to a look which wouldn’t seem out of place in London or Birmingham. But then, being out of place is probably part of the allure anyway, so maybe you should just go all out and get a blazer with seventeen buttons and a score of sew-on badges?
Northern Soul music is standing the test of time and a new generation is coming through that love the music and love the scene. It’s a haven from digital downloads and the likes of Radio 1, and there is still lots of soul music out there just waiting to be discovered. Vinyl is still an important part of the music and there absolutely loads of top quality DJ’s out there that have tracked down the obscure sounds that you might be looking for.
You also don’t need to look far to listen to this music. It almost seems that every city and town has some kind of soul/northern soul night on each month. Fans can get together listen to records they like (and have never heard before) and dance til the early hours. The fashion continues to look great, people still look very, very cool and of course it’s an excuse to dance the night away.
So whatever you decide to wear and wherever you decide to go, the Northern Soul scene continues to thrive and with the new generation of soulies coming through it looks like it’s got many years in it yet.