New Look Book - The Modern Dandy

Over the past few weeks I have noticed a lot of people who visit this site really do love high end men’s designer wear and we get a lot of young-middle aged professionals on here. This is great for me as I have been learning more and more about who my audience is and what type of stories you want to hear about. Some of you even like to mix up your styles and have one work “persona” and then another type of style completely for the off days. This is completely natural for the modern male – we want to progress in our jobs and become the most successful we can be, this unfortunately means towing the line in a lot of professions and dressing appropriately.

Dressing appropriately for the occasion is a style rule to live by. I have answered questions about “what to wear for work”, or “what to wear to my mate’s wedding” from a lot of readers and it nearly always comes back to this. To be fashionable you don’t have to go against the grain. Often the most fashionable males are those that dress “like” everyone else (i.e. for the occasion) but totally make the outfit they are wearing their own. Great cuts, quality garments, the right accessories and just enough individual style/flair thrown in is what makes you fashionable – not prancing round like Willy Wonka sub-consciously screaming “LOOK AT ME”.

The Scarlet PimpernelWith this in mind I am going to show you a look today we have created in association with MyWardrobe. As you may of noticed from my previous post’s, they are one of the only people stocking new Autumn/Winter stuff at the moment, so they have a great palette for me to choose from when it comes to formal wear. Also, they only stock the higher end men’s premium garments so you can get a really sharp look with great investment pieces for your wardrobe. You may pay a little extra for the items, but you know they will have the quality to last multiple seasons.

Today’s look draws inspiration from “The Dandy”. For those that don’t know – or are too young – The Dandy was a term given to middle class males back in the late 18th and 19th century who used to dress like they were “upper class” aristocrats. This meant they groomed themselves immaculately, wore what was known as upper class attire and gave off that air of stature, even when they weren’t. At the time it was one of the first political rebellions against unequal civil rights between living classes and they did it all through fashion. The Scarlet Pimpernel is one of the most famous Dandies of modern literature. I have shown a picture to the right to give you an idea of exactly what I mean.

I want to bring this look right up to date. Of course I must stress I don’t mean going out in long Johns tucked into extravagant socks and wearing a big curly judges wig! I want to take the premise behind it of dressing like a modern gentleman who gives off the air of class and wealth even if you don’t have it all yet. The Dandy movement was more than just dressing like the Upper class to look like them, they were really just making a point that you should have the same rights no matter how rich or poor you were. These are the values we are going to uphold. We don’t want to just buy designer names because people associate them with having money and style – we want to buy items that make you look like a modern and stylish male… f*ck the labels.

So without further ado, let’s get into the items that would optimise this style.

The Modern Dandy

The Modern Dandy dresses with class and elegance but adds a modern twist. This could be a lovely knitted tie but with a squared off end or a beautiful tailored jacket/coat in a bold modern colour/cut. We want items that will make you look like a gentleman and we are going to concentrate on: Shirts, Jackets, Coats, Polo’s, Jeans, Shoes and Accessories. Of course I will put the designer labels into this article, but also try and throw in some items that are lower costs for all budgets. You can then mix and match styles according to your taste’s and cash flow. Some investment pieces are a must because you can team these with other lower cost items and you will still look like you spent a LOT.

This look I must stress is not all out formal (power suit etc.) but brilliant for those in a relaxed formal environment at work and for casual attire. You could roll around town in an outfit like this and I would guarantee heads would turn. On a night out, champagne bar after work, casual day at the shops – The Modern Dandy dresses his best on all occasions.

The Blazer
The blazer and overcoat is an integral part of the Dandy outfit. This is really what adds class and stature to your whole look because it is a very obvious piece of formal wear. The pieces I would recommend investing in this whole outfit would be your blazer/jacket and shoes/boots. This is because they can really become the focal point for the total look. Plus with shirts, jeans and Polo’s you can fake it with low cost items that people will assume are expensive just by looking at your high quality shoes and overcoat. I have featured a Marc Jacob blazer because I loved the checks which add a fashion “edge” and bring some Dandy flair to the look. Have also featured a light grey cheaper jacket which I think would work really well as separates i.e. different colour lower half to top. That is a major trend right now for men’s formal wear so it can work with jeans too.

Navy Black Watch Check Cropped Blazer by Marc by Marc JacobsBlack Label Pinstripe Jacket
Navy Black Watch Check Cropped Blazer by Marc by Marc Jacobs
£385
Black Label Pinstripe Jacket
SALE £40
Black Heavy Cotton Jersey Pinstriped Jacket by Polo Ralph LaurenGrey Prince Of Wales Check Jacket
Black Heavy Cotton Jersey Pinstriped Jacket by Polo Ralph Lauren
£240
Grey Prince Of Wales Check Jacket
£69

Coat
Remember that beautiful royal blue trench coat from yesterday? Perfect for this look. The long extravagant overcoat is a beautiful addition to this look and slightly less formal than rocking the blazer. Again go for modern bold colours or styles like trenches and macs.

Royal Blue Cotton Trenchcoat by Marc by Marc JacobsBlack Label Stone Coloured Mac
Royal Blue Cotton Trenchcoat by Marc by Marc Jacobs
£470
Black Label Stone Coloured Mac
SALE £40
Navy Cotton Classic Duncan Coat by MackintoshStockwell Pea Coat
Navy Cotton Classic Duncan Coat by Mackintosh
£485
All Saints Stockwell Pea Coat
£160

Shoes and Boots
The other most important aspect of this outfit is the shoes or alternatively, boots. The key points to look out for would be bold fashion colours such as light browns (tan) and patent material. You want to have great looking shoes because a lot of people notice them and make assumptions based on how great they look. Like I said earlier, great shoes and the jacket will make this outfit totally, and everything else can be substituted. Check out the tan boots below and tell me they wouldn’t just set this whole outfit off. Match it with a tan shoulder bag and you are really rocking gents.

Tan Wing Tip Darby Brogue Boot by GrensonBlack Chelsea Boots
Tan Wing Tip Darby Brogue Boot by Grenson
£170
Black Chelsea Boots
£38
Black Patent Leather Lace-Up Shoe by D&GBeige Pointed Loafers
Black Patent Leather Lace-Up Shoe by D&G
£270
Beige Pointed Loafers
£40

Accessories
Accessories that will really set this look off would be; knitted ties, lightweight silk/linen scarves, pocket squares, “man bags” and statement watches. I am going to show some quick examples below of the types of garments I mean in a few price ranges. Remember to keep a modern edge with patterns on items, square cut fashion ties, and you can even add a nice flap cap to really add to the gentleman look. From pictures I have seen, Brad Pitt is a big fan of the flat cap in this type of dressing style.

Tan Brynmore Bag by MulberryBlack Leather Double Messenger by Marc by Marc Jacobs
Tan Brynmore Bag by Mulberry
£450
Black Leather Double Messenger by Marc by Marc Jacobs
£295
Premium Black Leather Record Bag    Brown Holdall
Premium Black Leather Record Bag
£45
Brown Holdall
£35
Black Felt Gangster Hat by New York Hat CompanyGrey Herringbone Flat Cap
Black Felt Gangster Hat by New York Hat Company
£43
Grey Herringbone Flat Cap
£10
Midnight Spotted Silk Knitted Tie by Nick BronsonGrey Silk Knitted Tie By Nick Bronson
Midnight Spotted Silk Knitted Tie by Nick Bronson
£39
Grey Silk Knitted Tie By Nick Bronson
£34
Navy Dog Print Cravatte Scarf by Paul Smith Accessories    Grey Slubby Lightweight Scarf
Cravatte Scarf by Paul Smith Accessories
£95
Grey Slubby Lightweight Scarf
£10

The Other Items
Like I said at the start the other items necessary for this look are: jeans, trousers, formal shirts and polo shirts. This means you can really dress the look up with trousers and a shirt, or casually with jeans and a polo. Alternatively you can mix and match these 4 items dependant on your mood and preference. I particularly like the dark jeans with a more formal shirt to really up the style stakes. The tips would be get great fitting items so you keep that fashion formal edge. Also dark washes in indigos, greys and blacks work better for jeans and trousers as well – it also helps to keep that smart formal edge.

Grim Tim LAB 4 Skinny Jean by Nudie JeansGrey Coated Premium Jeans
Grim Tim LAB 4 Skinny Jean by Nudie Jeans
£185
Grey Coated Premium Jeans
£40
Black Cotton Five Pocket Trousers by Polo Ralph LaurenCharcoal Herringbone Trousers
Black Cotton Five Pocket Trousers by Polo Ralph Lauren
£85
Charcoal Herringbone Trousers
£35
White Classic Mesh Polo by Lyle & ScottBlack Plain Polo Shirt
White Classic Mesh Polo by Lyle & Scott
£39
Black Plain Polo Shirt
£10
Black Slim Fit Square Spot Shirt by PS Paul Smith
Black Slim Fit Square Spot Shirt by PS Paul Smith
£115
Lilac Fine Stripe Shirt With Tie
£20