From the Dowdy to the Dandy


For years men have been strolling around in their worn jeans, printed shirts and velcro trainers, relieved that nothing will rival good, comfy clothes, until now. The return of a true daring men’s style that is flamboyant and sophisticated at the same time. Yes, the dandy is back.

To achieve this particular look, the most important thing you will need is confidence and a bit of creativity. A real dandy will be able to walk into a room and turn the heads of both the men and women, looking the epitome of style and sophistication.

The definition of a dandy is a man excessively concerned with his clothes and appearance, who affects true elegance. The original nineteenth-century dandies perfected this. They were not afraid to mix things up; wearing frilly shirts with silk jackets, patterned cravats and high topped hats.

Ok, this may all sound a bit (ok a lot) camp right now and you’re probably thinking something along the lines of, ‘Er… frilly shirts? We’re men?’, but stay with me, lads.

The modern day take on this style includes some of the original elements, but these are tactfully played down. Most common components of the style include, slim fit trousers (usually black), fitted shirts, a tailored waist jacket or coat with interesting detail on the collar or another area, and most definitely some neck accessory. It is very typical for a modern day dandy to team a shirt and trousers with a cravat or tie. Yes it is that simple!

Contrasting colours will add a rocky edge and make the outfit more striking, or stick to simple block colours to look effortlessly smart. (NB, wearing a florescent pink t-shirt under a black blazer may seem like you’re being daring, but this will only make you look like you wish you were in Green Day. Or you just robbed H&M in a hurry…)

The next most important thing to consider when aiming for serious dandy status is the hair. A dandy will have mid-length hair, not overly styled, suggesting that it has only taken little time to look so slick, and sometimes top it off with a smart black hat.

Becoming a modern day dandy is easy if you enjoy putting clothes together and creating a look for yourself. It doesn’t have to be expensive either. Plenty of high street retailers are preparing for the rise of the dandy and stocking all that you will be looking for.

I don’t suggest that you go to your local pub in a dinner suit and polished black shoes, but cut down on the excessive jeans, t-shirt and trainers combinations. Be imaginative, and you might actually like it!

Article contributed by guest writer Nicola Jackson



  1. Tom Brown says:

    Very interesting. Thinking about ditching my trainers now