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Guest Post: A Curvier Girls Guide to Mod Dressing - It's All About the Attitude

It's no secret that I love that fifties pin up look. I love a full skirt, a nipped in waist and a slick of liquid liner. It's definitely a look that works on a curvy figure, and for that reason I have probably been drawn to it more than other eras. However, I am a vintage fan in general. My icons (fashion and otherwise) range from Marilyn to Elisabeth Taylor, from Brigitte Bardot to Stevie Nicks, from Blondie to Gwen Stefani.

Today I have a guest on the blog, to talk about dressing 60s style when you're more curvy than you are Twiggy! My beautiful Betsy Dubs ranges between a size 12 and 16, has boobs, thighs and an ass, and she channels some serious Mod glamour every day. She kindly agreed to share some of her secrets here...

Bets in a vintage Mod dress from Watch the Cloth Moth

"My journey into Mod culture (and fashion) was exhilarating - and could easily have been endless. There was a time when I defined myself as a Mod, but there are many reasons I no longer do. However, learning about Mod culture has given me some style rules that really work for me, and I am still a total 60s chick and dressing as such brings me happiness every day!

One of (many) debates within Mod culture is whether passion for the clothes or passion for the music is paramount. It’s a tricky one - I personally think the music must come first. However, the way in which you choose to present yourself to the world, express yourself, and create your identity is heavily made up in how you choose to dress, making style an integral part of being a Mod. 

So, what I learnt initially about Mod clothing for women was very much about an androgynous, boyish look, worn by very slim icons such as Twiggy and Cathy McGowan. The dresses seemed to have a low-waisted, twenties vibe, very short hemlines, high necklines, worn with flat mary jane shoes. As a woman that had always strived to look my slimmest, I lived in heels, low necklines, mid-thigh to knee length hemlines and very much only ever empire waistlines. I did not have the narrow hips, flat chest and skinny legs that Twiggy majorly rocked. Not that you have to wear what is ‘flattering’. Not that you have to wear the right look for your ‘shape’. A woman should wear whatever the hell she wants. But I needed to find a way to express myself as a Mod and still feel like I was doing ‘me’. 

Key Mod looks include (clockwise from top left): stripes, macs and boots, polo shirts and cigarette pants, Peter Pan collars, stripes, low waisted or A-line dresses, polkadots, and more stripes.

So how do I make these looks work on a curvy figure? Well for example I have learnt that I can wear a shift dress, that doesn't show off the smallest part of my waist, that isn't the most ‘flattering’ thing I could wear, and still feel shit hot. I also learnt, that wearing high necklines 24/7 (I haven’t shown cleavage in about 5 years) makes you sexy in a different way. I've learnt there isn't one kind of ‘attractive’. 

Original vintage Mod dress in orange circa 1967

But I do go ‘in’ and ‘out’, I do have curves, and I want to show them. And I found there any many original Mod dresses that do have empire lines, such as my mum’s orange dress (pictured above) which I adore. Also, a Mod staple is opaque black tights which i have ALWAYS lived for. Which makes the shorter hemlines much more flattering on me.

Girls with big bangers can totally rock a horizontal stripe

Horizontal stripes have always supposedly been a no no for me, according to some ridiculous fashion rules. Well I have boobs, and I positively live in stripes. I also found black, stretch skinny jeans that look ok on my not so skinny legs, from M&S. Has to be M&S! I’ve always thought I had to live in bootcut to ‘balance’ me out. But now I wear the skin-tight-ness and feel hot through the 60s-ness of my outfit and how confident I feel, rather than being told what to wear!

Dress from Candy Says - late 60s

I also moved, style-wise, into an era that fits with my personality a lot more, which is something a bit more hippie. I was a natural flower power hippie growing up. I lost it along the way, but have rediscovered it now. It runs against all Mod culture, in that it isn’t tailored, structured, classic or block colour. It is free, floaty and wild. But when I dig out a floaty, empire line, paisley dress and let my hair do its natural wave rather than straighten it to Mod-aesthetic straightness, I feel great. 

Bets in a mustard lace dress from M&S

I tried to only wear vintage for a while, but now, I wear lots of high street too. It simply isn't practical to only wear vintage. So now I find things that fit in with my love of vintage fashion on the high street, like this mustard dress from M&S pictured above. 

I love Mod rules on how to look smart - loafers, skinny trousers, stripey top, mac. I wear that a lot. But I wear patterned psychedelic hippie stuff too. And 50s shirt dresses with plimsoles. I love my parka and my converse trainers. And all my Fred Perry tops. It means I never have an easy outfit to put together - the purple hippie dress only goes with my Mod handbag and I have no shoes that go with either...but then I just clash styles and don’t care whose rules I am breaking! 

And the thing I care about least of all is that I don’t have Twiggy’s body, yet love Twiggy’s clothes...because I put my boobs, arse and thighs in those clothes, wear them with confidence and feel like me!"

If you'd like to read more from Betsy Dubs you can check out her blog which details, among other things, her sexcapades and adventures in the land of dating.

Do you rock the 60s vibe without the archetypal 60s figure? Are you breaking fashion "rules"? Let me know in the comments you lovely lot! 


  1. I love mod style but have to admit I have never tried it out but with these tips I think I will give it a go x

    Miss Kitty Kaos (Adventures Of A Riot Grrrl)

  2. Hey Kitty Kaos, let me know how you get on! One of my current style icons is Gizzi Erskine. Curvy, very gorgeous, very mod! Also Lucy Porter. I always look to both of them for ways to dress 60s without feeling like I am not thin enough! xxx

  3. Love the 60's vibe and had a 60's photo shoot with Chiara. Looking forward to trying to channel some of these in my every day look!


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