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In terms of elegance, the need to be worthy of women
Having taste, elegance and personality: all are innate and perfected qualities. It’s true, but does a man really dress elegantly, only for himself? Have you ever asked yourself if we would use the same care that we take in dressing elegantly, if it weren’t for the remorseless judgement of women?
Without a female presence, above all, refined men let themselves “go”: whether it’s a little or a lot, depending on our class and education, and it doesn’t really matter. However, elegant men definitely have to admit that they dress well primarily for women.
Elegance in history
There was a time when men dressed themselves in clothes that today could be referred to as “vintage.” A man was considered well-dressed, only if the fabric were expensive. Luxury and magnificence were more important than a good cut.
After the French Revolution, it was no longer necessary to be part of privileged classes in order to be elegant. At that time Jean La Bruyère, French critic, aphorist and moralist, wrote: “An honest man lets his tailor dress him”. So it was, that the history of dressing with particular refinement began. And from this research, some made their careers.
“Beau” Brummel. The elegant “dandy”
Such a refined dresser was called a “dandy,” a word very dear to Fumagalli. The most famous was George Bryan “Beau” Brummel who was the grandson of a simple confectioner in London. He was still a student at Oxford, when, for his natural sophistication and exquisite taste in clothes, he was introduced to the Prince of Wales, who later became George IV, King of England.
At the beginning of the XIX Century, only because the King noticed the student’s exceptional elegance, he nominated Brummel as Ensign of his Regiment of Hussars. Another refined gentleman, Count Alfred Guillaume Gabriel Grimod d'Orsay, followed Brummel’s stylish manner. It is said that one day, surprised by heavy rainfall, the Count gave two guineas to a sailor, in order to buy the long jacket that he was wearing, made of coarse fabric. Count d’Orsay entered into the park with that jacket worn over his outfit, much to the astonishment of all of the elegant men there. The very next day, at least ten of them had found ten sailors, and as many tailors able to sew the jackets of coarse fabric, in just one night. They all wore the jackets over their outfits. So the overcoat was born.
“To be elegant, it’s not necessary to draw attention to oneself”
The only difference between Beau Brummel and Count d’Orsay is that Brummel put into practice his amendment: “to be elegant, it’s not necessary to draw attention to oneself”. Count d’Orsay was never able to not draw attention to himself. We are, and remain of the same opinion as Brummel.