A WELL DRESSED GENTLEMAN SHOULD NOT BE CONSPICUOUS

“A well dressed gentleman should not be conspicuous. […] Looking with blithe condescension upon the extravagant suits, oversized collars, gold chains and pointed hats of the Bohemian bousingots, the dandies, as true upholders of elegance, restrict themselves to embracing the principles – which constitute a philosophy of life – upheld by their undisputed master, Lord Brummell.

George Brummell, the grandson of a confectioner who became an artist of elegance despite his modest fortune, made subtle nuances of style – combined with a certain effortless attitude – the yardstick by which high society was to be measured. In 1909, the catalogue Devambez printed for the luxury tailor High Life Taylor revived the exquisite refinement of this style of dress, which is also, and above all else, a way of life.

Jacques Boulenger, Le Chic et les Dandys, Paris, Devambez, 1909