The dandy is perhaps the gentleman who has the most fun with his wardrobe. A dandy knows the boundaries and pushes them to the limit. His personality is larger than life and his mode of dress reflects that. He shows creativity in his selections that often fly in the face of the current zeitgeist. The dandy is not afraid of color. His socks, tie and pocket square or circle might be of a bold and colorful nature, not meant to match anything but his mood. He is the gentleman often seen wearing a bow tie or an ascot, he might wear cufflinks of a fun and whimsical nature. He draws inspiration from old Hollywood, when the clothing often appeared larger than life, all the better to show up on the screen. Double breasted jackets and vests might hold particular interest to him. Bold jacket linings and bright belts or braces would be his cup of tea. Unlike his more conservative dapper brethren, he definitely enjoys having others notice his individual flair.
As an aside here, there is a middle ground between the two. One might accompany elements of each in one’s every day dress, adopting one or two elements of the dandy into otherwise serious business clothing. There might also be occasions where one might dress in two completely different modes, say as the confident dapper gentleman when closing the billion dollar deal, and as the exuberant dandy when celebrating it.
Who is the perfect candidate for dandyism? You know who you are. C.E.O.s are great, because they can do as they please. Those who are in public speaking will probably also want to call a little attention to themselves. Those in creative professions, such as actors, designers, architects, restaurateurs, gallery owners, artists, musicians, athletes, and haberdashers, to name a few, are expected to dress in a manner that shows forethought and creativity. Just be sure that in calling attention to yourself in this manner, you must be on top of your game. But of course you already knew that.
- On Being Dapper…
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