Seems various media outlets covering WIJW like to refer to me as a Gatsby/dandy—and I don’t mind. In fact, Fitzgerald’s fictional character is one of my favorite dandies (though I’d like to think I’m a bit happier than our friend Gatsby!).
Certainly there are many great historical figures who fit the dandy profile—Oscar Wilde, Cecil Beaton, Count Robert de Montesquiou or, say, Jean Lorrain—these men made careers from their innovative fashion sense, eccentric mannerisms, wit, and what some might consider unabashed naughtiness. While they were often branded fey or effeminate, I’d say they showed great inner strength and conviction in the face of a good deal of cultural bigotry.In today’s overly casual world, it’s as if all one has to do is wear a coat and tie to be called a dandy, but this really shows a lack of understanding. Being a dandy has more to do with celebrating personal style and pushing beyond stayed cultural/aesthetic bounds—not in some impulsive, sloppy way, but with real consideration and an understanding of the word elegance. Dressing “up” is a way of showing respect for those around one—and hopefully in doing so, it encourages others to do the same!
Many men still balk at the idea of wearing a pink or lavender suit, a floral print, etc.,—that somehow colors and patterns connote gender of sexual proclivity. I entreat our readers to have fun and explore their inner dandy. You might raise some eyebrows, but do go forward and be confident in your choices!
I thought Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra’s depiction of a vintage New York City scene would be a brilliant backdrop for today’s post. Dressed like a modern day dandy, I’m wearing a Tom ford era Gucci black cashmere topcoat, Turnbull and Asser white and black silk scarf, Paul Stuart dove grey suede gloves, a Tom Ford three piece suit in charcoal wool cashmere Prince of Wales plaid, pale blue woven herringbone cotton shirt with French cuffs, black and white silk pocket square and black and tan leather loafers, Charvet black and grey striped silk tie, vintage pearl and sapphire cuff links, Rolex watch, Swaine Adeney Brigg Bark Ash handleumbrella, and my fragrance is Creed Royal Oud.