Is it just us or has the recent upheaval in modern society (the global financial crisis, ultra feminism, technological leaps and general uncertainty) led to men becoming more daring with their appearance and first impression, as a way to get ahead in this dog-eat-dog environment?
It’s not a new concept. Venetia Murray’s quote above that links ‘dandyism’ i.e. the phenomenon of men taking great pains with their clothes and appearance, to social change, first appeared in her 1800s literary work – ‘High Society: A Social History of the Regency Period, 1788–1830′.
Barbey d’Aurevilly, one of the leading French dandies at the end of the nineteenth century, explained: “Some have imagined that dandyism is primarily a specialisation in the art of dressing oneself with daring and elegance. It is that, but much else as well. It is a state of mind made up of many shades, a state of mind produced in old and civilised societies where gaiety has become infrequent or where conventions rule at the price of their subject’s boredom … it is the direct result of the endless warfare between respectability and boredom.”
So could the the rise and rise of men’s fashion blogs be an indication that men today are becoming keen to express a distaste for the extravagance and ostentation of the previous generations (the 80s and 90s), and to show sympathy with the new mood of democracy a la Obama, who’s a stylish cool cat himself? Food for thought!
Either way, men are increasingly fashion savvy or at least eager to find out the best and most credible information on how to dress themselves well and the current men’s fashion revolution is led by a pack of style-mad dudes – from Justin Timberlake to Johnny Depp and hip hop bad boy Kanya West – who make sure they’re always seen publicly looking great.
Today’s style kings have replaced the 1700 and 1800’s immaculate high collars, perfectly tied cravats, and exquisitely tailored long coats with Versace Collection Pinstripe Suits, Crew-Neck Sweaters, TAG Heuer ‘Aquaracer’ Automatic Chronographs and Burberry Double Breasted Trench Coats.
They’ve tossed aside the powdered wigs, sideburns, arched moustaches and short curled haircuts à la Brutus (Roman fashion) and mixed in Alexander McQueen Classic Skull Scarves, Fedora Hats, and left their locks to grow luxuriously to the shoulder.
Instead of breeches and snug pantaloons, they rock Polo Ralph Lauren Double D Twill Pants, Rock & Republic jeans, cargo pants and chinos.
It’s a pleasantly surprising revolution and here at MSP HQ we’re all raging fans!
However not every male aspiring to attain this sense of elegance and style can succeed, so BUYER BEWARE! Visit our men’s fashion blog – menstylepower.com, to keep on top of the latest, greatest and best for you.
Overall gents, always choose the best fit and style for you unless you want to be, like the extreme dandies of the 17 & 1800s, subject to caricature and ridicule.
We leave you with this example of dandyism taken to the extreme: Venetia Murray quotes an excerpt from Diary of an Exquisite, from The Hermit in London, 1819:
“Took four hours to dress; and then it rained; ordered the tilbury and my umbrella, and drove to the fives’ court; next to my tailors; put him off after two years tick; no bad fellow that Weston…broke three stay-laces and a buckle, tore the quarter of a pair of shoes, made so thin by O’Shaughnessy, in St. James’s Street, that they were light as brown paper; what a pity they were lined with pink satin, and were quite the go; put on a pair of Hoby’s; over-did it in perfuming my handkerchief, and had to recommence de novo; could not please myself in tying my cravat; lost three quarters of an hour by that, tore two pairs of kid gloves in putting them hastily on; was obliged to go gently to work with the third; lost another quarter of an hour by this; drove off furiously in my chariot but had to return for my splendid snuff-box, as I knew that I should eclipse the circle by it.”
Moral of the Story: Like anything else good out there, style yourself in moderation. (However you could also argue the opposite, a la Oscar Wilde: “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.”)