The phrase Northern Soul was coined by Soul City record shop owner Dave Godin circa 1970, who noticed that northerners visiting his London store weren’t interested in the latest black American chart developments but were buying energetic, up-tempo soul records from smaller and rare labels. Emerging from the mod scene in clubs like Manchester’s Twisted Wheel, Wigan Casino and Blackpool Mecca to name but a few, Northern Soul was based around dancing all night to a fast paced soul sound.
Mod Clothing Loosens Up: Northern Soul Style
And the fashion? The earliest Northern Soul scenesters’ look had its roots in mod clothes; trim fit shirts by Ben Sherman and Brutus, Levi’s jeans and brogues. By the start of the 70s, mod clothing still found its way onto Northern Soul dancefloors but the overall look was being adapted to accommodate the energetic dancing that characterised the scene, which demanded something a little looser and easier to move in.
For the guys this meant slim fitting mod cigarette pants now gave way to wide Oxford Bags style trousers, teamed with vests, polo shirts, sports and track jackets and leather soled shoes (all the better for gliding across the dance floor).
Northern Soul attire for the ladies evolved from mod A-line skirts to include ankle- length circle skirts, vests, patterned slim fit shirts, platform shoes and knitted tanks teamed with classic bowling bags adorned with Northern Soul patches.
So what are you waiting for? Hot foot it to yours truly and check out our pick of the finest Northern Soul threads on the Rokit website!