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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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4. The Bigger The Better

Vetements Autumn Winter 2017. Marcus Tondo / Indigital.tv

The well-fitted coat was key to Dandy fashions and the focus was on the skills of the tailor to create the perfect silhouette. In 2019, over-sized proportions (à la Vetements) has motivated designers to create coats and jackets with larger-than-life shoulders. Menswear has shifted from designing attire simply for the more formal situations that call for a blazer to designing clothes akin to armor for our politically-tense society.

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