To Cut A Dash


Recently we watched the 2011 BBC production of Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations,” in which the protagonist, Pip, who is newly risen from poverty by an anonymous benefactor, is told by an admiring peer how he “cuts a dash.”

And indeed he does. Played by actor Douglas Booth, Pip’s impression of energized elegance comes down to a certain set of qualities, all of which require the blessings of Providence.

In brief, to properly cut a dashing figure in society, you need to be:

• Young

• Handsome

• Tall

• Slender

• Rich, or fortified by credit

The 19th century novel was largely centered around the young man, often from the provinces, who goes to the metropolis in search of love and money. Often these characters adopt dandy airs — and machinations. Never are these characters:

• Old

• Ugly

• Short

• Fat

• Poor

Pip, Pip hooray. We should all be so lucky.

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Beau Brummell Shaving Equipment


Because whiskers are so d’Orsay. (more…)

Digg TwitterFacebook StumbleUpon Inspires Businessweek Cover


A couple of months ago launched a Twitter account. It didn’t take long for Bloomberg Businessweek to notice, and acknowledge our sophisticated contribution in this vintage-inspired cover of the current issue.

Remember: in business the early bird catches the cigarette holder.

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JC Leyendecker’s The Smoker


Strolling last night on our way to a concert of clarinet sonatas, we spied this fellow in the window of an antiques shop. It’s an Art Deco bronze called “The Smoker.”

We plugged in the search terms this morning and were surprised to learn it’s by JC Leyendecker (we had no idea he worked in this medium). But that explains the rakish pose and details, such as the scarf draped perfectly about his neck.

He’s currently on eBay with a price of $1,920.

You can get a better look at him in the video below, where, like a figure on Keats’ Grecian urn, he strikes us as forever waiting to exhale.

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Revenge Of The Fops


Not that the mainstream media can be counted on to discern the niceties between a rake and a poppinjay, a beau and a coxcomb (and their concept of “Macaroni” can certainly be counted on to be cheesey), but when Yahoo! Sports ran the above photo with the headline “Three Foppish Dandies attended the Chicago Bulls/New York Knicks game on Halloween night,” our diabolical monocle fell from its perch beneath our ever-arched eyebrow.

Dandies ran the fops out of fashion, with Brummell leading the way in the revolt against powder and wigs, brocade and lace. Now, 200 years later, the fashion has gone full circle, as the fops, in a gaggle of shrill laughter, get themselves taken for dandies. Sink me!


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Retro Vs. Modern: The Handlebar Mustache


In this post, the first in a new series, we’ll examine components of dress and grooming and present contrasting retro and modern versions. Up first is the handlebar mustache. 

Retro (above): Worn on the face

Modern (below): Worn on the ankle


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