The year of the dandy

I am not a dandy.

Before actually coming to rest upon the topic of dandyism, I took the idea to a close friend, so as to get her take on it. After reading to her Merriam-Webster’s somewhat archaic definition of the word, she responded quite simply with, "so basically a metrosexual." I responded immediately with a delightfully unconvincing, "no." Realizing that I had no idea what I was talking about, I conceded my argument and buried myself in dandy-related literature.

The sartorial blogosphere has been ripe with dandyism thus far in 2008. GQ’s "Style Guy" Glenn O’Brien went as far as to title his first 2008 blog post, "A year made for dandies." So who the hell is a dandy and what makes them so?

The aforementioned Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines a dandy as "a man who gives exaggerated attention to personal appearance." More concisely put, a metrosexual. I still, however, refuse to allow the two to become synonyms. When I think dandy, I think Winston Chesterfield the third. When I think metro, I think more along the lines of a Hans Schweiser.

However, the world’s foremost Web site on the subject, offers little help in answering the question of who is a dandy, stating that dandyism is not only difficult to describe but as well difficult to define. Essentially the line between dandyism and metrosexuality cannot be seen.

Without a clear definition of dandyism, it’s impossible to say what exactly sartorial writers mean when they declare 2008 the year of the dandy. With that in mind, the year can be simply described as a year for the style conscious, perhaps even a year for the less than style conscious to broaden their horizons.

Perhaps it could even see as an end to this absurd wide-leg-pant fiasco. There’s something to be said about wishful thinking.

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