Guest Article: Why Does Bradley Wear His Polo Shirt Like That?

Bradley Wiggins; have we seen too much of him now? The answer to that would be yes, unless you are British. Thank god the British road race strategy blew up in their faces. Had Cav won the Olympic road race we really would all be in a spot of British bother. @blackpooltower has a theory here and it explains some twiggy things about Wiggo.

VLVV, Gianni

It has been widely noted, both here and elsewhere, that Bradley Wiggins is not just the first Brit to win the Tour, but the first mod too.*

For the unfamiliar, mods are followers of a style code that has been described as “narcissistic and fastidious”** (sound familiar?) and is every bit as demanding and passionately adhered to as The Rules, so a little compare-and-contrast seems in order. But first, some history:

Mod style began in London in the late 1950s when working class boys with office jobs started to spend their new-found cash on Italian tailoring and good haircuts (and amphetamines, but let’s not dwell on that).

A slim silhouette, sharp lines and fine detailing were crucial (as were getting f***ed up and fighting with horrible untidy rockers, but again let’s not dwell on that).

So, to compare, here are a few mod style rules and their Velominati equivalents. They may lead you to conclude that the Velominatus is the mod of the cycling world. For more detail on these, check out Mods! by Richard Barnes.

1) Carry nothing in the pockets of your (slim, narrow lapeled, single-breasted) suit, lest you spoil the line. And don’t put your hands in your pockets, for exactly the same reason.
Compare: Rule #30 No frame mounted pumps.

2) Casual sports shirts are worn buttoned to the neck.
Compare: Rule #82 Close the gap.

3) Ties are slim and dark. No reason why, they just are.
Compare: Rule #37 The arms of the eyewear shall always be placed over the helmet straps.
And, if any doubt remains, take a look at this sample post from with its clear Rule #27 parallel:
Trousers not too short and not too long!
The break should never be below the top of the shoe. Nothing worse than trousers that crumple over your shoes.
And for Steve’s sake NO buttonholes on the lapels.

*Merckx’s neatly layered hairdo notwithstanding

** A Concise History of the British Mod Movement by Melissa M. Casburn

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76 Replies to “Guest Article: Why Does Bradley Wear His Polo Shirt Like That?”

  1. Wiggo also let his Mod flag fly during the Olympic ITT with the traditional RAF roundel on his aero helmet and as a headbadge. The tricolor roundel has doubled as the international Mod symbol since the use by The Who.

  2. @graham d.m.

    @G’phant isn’t it amazing when a record is still completely awesome 30 years later!

    If also a little depressing that you remember listening to it when first released…

  3. Does the “Wiggo Love” bias of this site have no boundary?

    I mean where was the style article for the Tour winner last year?

  4. @G’phant indeed. Although, in the case of The Jam I’m still young enough that I don’t remember the release. I’m stuck on  alot of that music from that time because of what was played in my house growing up. It’s just cool how some bands still sound current and amazing decades later. So certainly the point isn’t lost on me.  It’s also crazy when you realize something is older than you expect, like a movie you still think of as a new release turns out to actually be 10 years old or what have you….time flies.  Man, this is depressing….I’m getting another beer.

  5. @mxlmax

    @Harminator Hands in pockets. Not good.

    Also, that tie looks like something a Canucks fan would wear. And the dimple that is supposed to be in the knot appears to have migrated to the chin. Not good.

  6. @Harminator

    Does the “Wiggo Love” bias of this site have no boundary?

    I mean where was the style article for the Tour winner last year?

    Cadel looks like he’s wearing his big brother’s jacket. Too big! Mind you, given the overall spic aesthetic, he needs room for all the nylons and watches he has stashed inside.

  7. @Oli

    Spic aesthetic! What a typo!

    I know, sorry. Damn c amd v are right next to each other . . .

  8. @il ciclista medio Thanks (and also to @brett @brett and @nate). Glad you enjoyed. I’m now on the lookout for other fashion subcultures represented in the pro peloton. I’m sure there must be some secret emos in there.

  9. The Telegraph reports that Bradley Wiggins will host a “Ride with Brad” event.

    In Australia, fans of Mark Renshaw will have the opportunity to “Head-Butt Mark.”

    In Luxembourg, cycling fans can line up to “Swivel at Andy and/or Frank.”

    Vinokouov’s fans will get to participate in “Vino’s Retirement Ride”, at the end of which he will announce that he is coming out of retirement for one last time.

  10. @brett

    @graham d.m.

    oh well what you shoudl’ve seen was a live performance of The Jam doing “In the City”



    I guess I’m a Mod. Never knew that. Every man needs to know as much about his suits as he does about a bike. And before you go all snooty about this, a suit has lots to do with materials and so forth, but the most important thing is the cut, how well its tailored, and the way you wear it.

    No matter how expensive your suit is, if you don’t have it cut and tailored right, it will look like shit. On the other hand, if you have a cheap suit but spend $150 on tailoring, you’ll look the business.

    Fantastic shit, mate.

  11. It’s sort of mindblowing how these boneheads think of this as viable marketing.

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