The Dandy Version 2019: Who Is He?

The Dandy Version 2019: Who Is He?

Redefining the 17th-century dandy into the modern menswear landscape.

Left: A portrait of Beau Brummell. Right: Street style from London Fashion Week Men’s Spring Summer 2019 by Getty Images

There has not been a bigger moment for menswear than in 2019. The recently wrapped Pitti Uomo encapsulates this thriving energy, particularly through the multitude of impeccably-dressed attendees mingling about the Fortezza da Basso in Florence where the celebrated fashion fair is held. The modern male wardrobe is going through a revolution where menswear no longer plays second fiddle to womenswear.

However, the first revolution occurred centuries ago, led by Beau Brummell from the Regency period. Brummell openly rejected the conservative men’s dress code of his day, choosing instead to dress in beautiful shirts, opulent cravats and full-length trousers (instead of short knee-length birches). Brummell introduced the suit and tie, founding the modern man’s style through dandyism. He believed in pushing the boundaries of men’s fashion while keeping an understated elegance.

Stewart Granger as Beau Brummell in 1954. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images

Brummell constructed the image of menswear that we now know today as he and his friends infiltrated the upper echelons of British society and became the dandies of the 17th century. Fast forward to the modern age where a burgeoning menswear fashion market is due to reach a value of £17.1 billion in 2022, we ask (an ode to Paris Fashion Week Men’s that started yesterday): what does a dandy look like in 2019?

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Balmain Autumn Winter 2018. Monica Feudi / Indigital.tv

The dandy style, although known to incorporate a multitude of opulent elements, is known to give off an air of effortlessness. Beau Brummell himself took around five hours to put himself together every morning yet there is a simplistic elegance integral to the dandy appearance. In 2019, with the rise of logomania and a revival of glam rock in recent years, men are either going big or going home. Logos are emblazoned across both knitted sweaters and collared shirts. A sequinned blazer paired with shiny PVC trousers would not look out of place for an evening soirée. Men are currently making a loud statement with their sartorial choices.

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