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The Dandy Version 2019: Who Is He?

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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3. Borrowed From The Girls

Bruce Weber for Louis Vuitton

Dandyism was a response to the ‘Macaroni’ fashions adopted in 17th century England as men were heavily influenced by gaudy French styles and started favoring make-up, elaborate stockings, and powdered wigs. The father of dandyism, Beau Brummell embraced masculinity instead of femininity. In 2019, the gender boundaries have blurred in the best way possible and menswear is more gender fluid than ever, evident through one of the trends for Autumn Winter 2019: the men’s skirt. The London designers this season featured a myriad of skirts in their menswear collections, showcasing fashion’s enthusiasm for genderless clothing.

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