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September 25, 2008

The "Dandy" in My Project

Oscar Wilde, outspoken dandy

So you have been reading my posts for a little while now, taken a peek at what I wear on a daily basis and the things I own, and might be wondering why this blog is called “The Dandy Project”.  I mean, you don’t see me in slim pinstripe suits with polka dot pocket squares, floral ties and turquoise socks do you?  How preposterous of me to call myself a dandy!

Ancient connotations of dandies were rather negative.  A famous dandy, Baudelaire, commented that the dandies had “no profession other than elegance…no other status but that of cultivating the idea of beauty in their own persons….The dandy must aspire to be sublime without interruption; he must live and sleep before a mirror.”  Dandies lacked noble blood, connections, and any innate characteristics of aristocracy. They were like actors living out fantasies that could never come true, adopting outward characteristics that aided in this public and personal deception.

from men.style.com
However, dandyism, I believe, is more than just Savile Row suits and colorful socks.  Although the living out fantasies stuff, I’m totally up for!  I wouldn’t call it a lifestyle, but it certainly is a way of looking at things.  Aside from really taking care of yourself and spending time on your appearance, these are the things that I believe make the modern Dandy:
1.  Finding joy in the ability to take on different personalities with your clothes.  I remember in college, my friend Michelle and I would have costume days where we would come to school dressed as cowboys, goths, or even as sales associates of a local boutique Tyler.  Let me illustrate by way of my stuff.  When I wear this, I imagine myself to be ________
A lumberjack.

plaid shirts from Hong Kong
The Dark Knight.

Martin Margiela cuff
A Native American, or my uncle in the early 90′s.

Bottega Veneta suede moccassins
2.  Dandyism, though extravagant and all-out in nature, can also be subtle.  Little unexpected pops of color or print add just the right amount of “crazy” that makes for a good conversation started, and that surely sets you apart.  I say unexpected pops of color because that whole corporate pop of color thing where they do red pointy stiletto pumps with a black top and skirt, or umm yellow pointy stiletto pumps with a black top and skirt is sooo 2002.

A dandy has got to have his colorful socks.

Hermes Looping bracelet, my daily pop of orange juice.
3.  A modern dandy appreciates good tailoring: sublime cuts, perfect fit.  It is said that the Victorian British male has been described as a hidden consumer, his consumption of fashion undertaken away from the public sphere in the relative privacy of the tailor’s suite
.  And nowadays, it seems that all my new clothes are coming solely from the tailor!  This blog is witness to how tailor-crazy I have been nowadays, pictures of my newest projects coming up soon!

Sir Ian McKellen, a man with a great relationship with his tailor

4.  And lastly, I think true dandyism is in the details.  To people who come to me for advice on how to dress up, I always say well-chosen accessories, accessories that say a lot about the wearer, really bring depth to a look.  (Shout-out to Chauss and her Bliss Lau body chain.  I totally understand why you can’t part with it, I couldn’t imagine any piece of jewelry that would be more YOU!)

striped bowtie from Brooks Brothers and vintage floppy velvet bowtie

Martin Margiela necklace…

…which opens to reveal three dice inside, speaks of my inner gambler!
References:

9 Comments

  • Frederic
    September 25th, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    I´m in love with those mocassins!

  • michelle
    September 26th, 2008 at 6:04 am

    i gave you those blue socks! i need more socks in my life. :(

  • camie
    September 26th, 2008 at 8:23 am

    Hello, Izzy, ang cute ng batman cuff. :D

  • kirstie
    September 26th, 2008 at 8:29 am

    you might just be my new favourite person. i need friends like you haha.

  • izzydore
    September 26th, 2008 at 9:56 am

    camie: Okay, I’ll make it a point to wear it the next time I see you!

  • Joanna Goddard
    September 26th, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    ha! i love this post!

  • LENORENEVERMORE
    September 26th, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    Did I see HERMES???
    luvluv luvvvv it… orange is also my fav you know…hee!
    I also love your style babe really do…
    Hope to hear from you 2!

    blessings*

  • crispulo
    September 30th, 2008 at 1:29 am

    you have really cute margiela stuff! i wish i could get my hands on those!

    and yeah, socks are IT. i have a lot of socks, different prints and patterns!

  • izzydore
    September 30th, 2008 at 4:20 am

    thanks! Jappy of Homme et Femme gave me a beautiful discount on those!

    I do love socks, but I love sock-less more!


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