"We know a dandy when we see one. Three-piece or double-breasted suit of ineffable, enviable fit, often in rainbow-trippy tweeds, tattersalls and velvets. Pristine collar, tie and pocket square. Vivacious socks. Shoes pampered and polished. A boutonniere, hat, walking stick—or all three—as grace notes. The dandy has the disciplined vigor of a Bach fugue, the ebullience of a male warbler in spring plumage. There is no female equivalent to this virtuoso of the three-way mirror, perhaps because a dandy’s display takes place within the narrow paradigm of men’s attire—shirt, pants, jacket—a silhouette hardly touched by fashion trends. Dandiacal energy, this exhibition argues, is more often an expression of nonconformism, romanticism, self-invention and idealism—not to mention the aesthete’s unrelenting life of the eye—than it is an act of vanity."
Beau Brummell and His Heirs, by Laura Jacobs