Recently I attended the MODA trade show at the NEC in Birmingham as part of a three person panel to discuss the latest Dandy Trend in Menswear. But what is a Dandy or a Dandy Dresser? Well it's someone who takes particular pride in their appearance and a man who embraces fashion as a form of self expression. In tailoring it would be considered as someone who would appreciate the fine little details such as the stitching, the fabric, the pattern cut and the importance of quality.
It was an interesting discussion and on the most part the panel agreed with each other, although for me there was one major disconnect which was the word 'trend'. I don't believe dressing 'dandy' is a trend at all, as that would suggest cyclical elements of ups and downs. Dressing dandy or dapper has always been there, it's somewhat engraved in us Brits. You just need to look back at the history of tailoring in Britain to understand the affinity that we have to this way of life.
All the way from the master tailors of Savile Row to the traditional shirt makers of Jermyn Street, you can find signs of our great heritage for this craftsmanship. Dressing dandy has a history throughout our lives, at every major event we tend to wear a suit...from your first job interview to your wedding. So if there is a trend here, I would say that it is that men are experimenting more. For example, men are becoming more adventurous in choosing suit fabrics as there is a big increase in pin-stripe and window-pane check suits being brought. In shirts buyers are being more expressive with collar types such as the pin collar or tab collar rather than a standard spread collar. Men are also mix-and-matching suit colours and textures as well as adding a waistcoat and accessorising more.
On Instagram if I post a photo looking dandy, the two main comments will be about the suit, coat or layering. So therefore if I was going to style someone and predict the next 'dandy trend' I would start with a pinstripe double-breasted suit which has a tiny bit more prominent height in the shoulders. I would then choose a pair of single pleated trousers, turned-up of course and tailored slightly shorter than normal. I would wear a pair of plain socks and brogue shoes, keeping the look classic and classy. I would have a range of shirts, an extreme cutaway shirt for business, a pin collar shirt for special occasions and a button-down shirt for smart casual situations. Ties should be kept simple and then a boldly beautiful pocket square maybe in a geometric or paisley pattern to finish off the look. Layer with a camel cashmere overcoat.
One final closing tip. It is important not to get carried away with accessorising, yes be expressive but be careful not to overdress or over accessorise.