The traits of a ‘Dandy’ | Sunday Observer

The traits of a ‘Dandy’

26 March, 2023

I am still struggling to assess as to what makes a voguish, modish and stylish man, as simply the word “style” itself is assuredly individual and subjective.

But, in contrast, there are some specific similarities which a dapper gentleman in every nook and corner of the world shares, which would undoubtedly put him into a specific cohort of people that belong to a particular group called “well-dressed”.

During the late 18th as well as early 19th century in Great Britain, the word ‘dandies’ was part and parcel of a subculture of gentlemen. Dandies are generally attributed to men who are quite concerned and specific with their physical outward appearance.

Beau Brummell, a British socialite who lived from 1778 to 1840, was supposed to be the most sought-after dandy during that particular period of time. Brummell was a commoner who had a close friendship with king George IV until he quarrelled with the king and took refuge in France.

Brummell made a name for him as a trend setter of sorts in men’s fashion. During the reign of King George IV, Brummell had the distinction of being one of the most eligible bachelors while being clean-shaven, well- powdered and perfumed, and also ideally and flawlessly dressed in a dark blue coat and elaborately and intricately tied crevette.

James Bond

With the dawn of the 1960s, James Bond came into stardom as everybody’s most favourite spy. Regardless of which actor plays the character of James Bond or whatever the movie he appears in; wherever it is screened, the character has been maintaining its unique identity as an absolutely composed and dandy stylish man. Encountering and combating crimes in an utterly and magnificently tailored suit, each and every part of the character radiates a perfect class and style; right from the cocktails he drinks to the way he lights a cigarette.

As you get inquisitive over the modern-day man of style, Ryan Gosling’s character, Jacob Palmer in ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’, would most probably come into your mind.

From the year 2011 onwards, in this particular romantic and fun film, Jacob is frequently noticed sporting a finely tailored suit, where it is assured that no single strand of his hair is never out of place. It is also clearly noticed that each and every bit of available detail, from the top to the right down to his socks, is deliberate and well-coordinated.

The man depicting the character drips and summons courage and confidence while believing in his style of superiority, where he becomes a mentor to Cal Weaver, Steve Carell’s character.

In spite of the fact that Jacob is quite a few years junior to Cal, Jacob’s concern, Knowledge and versatility in account of the smart dressing and embodying the characteristics of a well-dressed man leave Cal in amazement and admiration to absorb from him.

Latest trends

Every man who calls himself a dandy has got a strong dedication to his outfit. It is true that some colours, fit, and fabrics may still vary, but a dandy makes sure that he pays attention to the latest trends and goes along with them.

He knows provided that everything fails, he hardly goes wrong with a classic black suit. There remains a slight difference between a well-dressed man and a stylish man. You may understand that anybody is able to have a suit and retain a good look, but in contrast, it is the seamless incorporation of personality, surrounded by a sense of flair and instinctive ability which is able to give an unassuming perfect look. In that context, George Clooney in his 60s is the classic example that bears testimony to the above-highlighted facts.

The ‘Custom suit makes the man’ is a popular adage within the world of fashion. Accessories also contribute considerably in shaping a good look. It may be as easy as coordinating a pocket square to a sock or the addition of the clip of a tie.

A rich-looking pair of sunglasses may also add a bit of glamour and grandeur, along with the right choice of a bag being able to elevate your smart ensemble into the next level.

From the Roman Legion to the US Marine Corps, the most sophisticated militaries in the world have believed that sharp dressed soldiers are relatively more disciplined and abide by the ethics of war than that of the ragtag militias. Meanwhile, the rage during the time of the dandies of the calibre of Brummell was the powdered wing, whereas in the present-day context, barbered hairstyles are enjoying an immense popularity.


Among those noticed as popular are the quiff, undercuts and fades, while beards, as well as that of the well-groomed facial hair, are also sought after. Most importantly, you should have a knack of finding a hairstyle which suitably complements your face while reflecting your personality and personal style.

Despite all those selections being around you, you will only be a well-dressed man unless you have the required degree of confidence. You have your own unique way when it comes to the matter of style. Confidence is definitely your key.