I think the essence of Dandyism in anyone’s style is the refinement of androgyny. Be ye man, woman, boi/butch/andro/trans or gay, Dandyism is about more than just wearing masculine inspired clothing, it also carries with it the femininity and elegance of presentation.
Salvatore Ferragamo, best known as one of the worlds premiere designer of shoes, is also a brand that includes elegant fashion lines for both men and women.
I can never say enough about suits because they are the cornerstone of masculine dressing and they are also one of the bigger bug-a-bears for the gender bending Dandi. To buy a suit cut for a man’s body is to do a dis-service to your own curves, yet that is the point for many of us. Unfortunately in order to hide curves we wind up having armholes that are too long, shoulder widths that are too big and pants with waists too wide to accommodate hips and crouches to low.
This can be a real problem for shorter, slighter Dandi’s. In fact there are many who buy their suits out of the boy’s departments but it can be challenging finding fashion forward trends. For slighter Dandi’s it can be worth it to have your suit tailor made.
And it is not always necessary to wear a suit even if you are looking for the more formal look of a jacket and pants. The looks above can give you ideas for how to mix it up and still come off looking great.
Now if you’re not afraid to wear women’s clothes then Ferragamo also has some beautiful suits for women. I love this suit, particularly the coat, though for me I wouldn’t wear the pants. They do not look good with flats and are designed to show off the ankle and be worn with heels. I would, in fact, wear a masculine cut pant, maybe navy (I would not try to match the silver blue), or ones with a pattern. I would also wear both a men’s tie with this as well as the one shown.
I know some butches and bois do not like to wear women’s clothing but if you don’t care and are comfortable with any interpretation of the masculine aesthetic then don’t be afraid to mix and match designs for men and women in your wardrobe. You will be surprised how this can solve some of the fitting challenges you face.
One of my favorite television programs along with one of my favorite style decades for men’s fashion has come together in a collaboration between Banana Republic and AMC’s hit show Mad Men. This collaboration has birthed a 1960′s inspired collection for Dandi’s and women that have 65 items at great price points and sensibilities.
The Don Draper look is the thing and it will look great on any Dandi who likes to wear suits as their form of expression or who like to be a little more buttoned up in their every day lives. This collection offers a little bit of everything; ties, cardigans, Mac outerwear, sweaters, vests, pocket squares, tie clips as well as the classic Don Draper inspired suit.
The average price on a suit jacket is $355, pants average $150 and up. The Mac Jacket is $225 with everything else in the line below $130. The cut on these clothes, as was in the ’60′s is tailor and slim fit so you might need to try on a few sizes to get the right fit. The great news is that this collection has a good variety of sizes and goes up to 42W in pants and 48 Chest in the blazers.
If you don’t live in a major city or near the flagship store you may find that particularly for us Dandi’s there is a limited selection, but it is all available online and if it doesn’t fit you can return it to the store nearest you. If it does fit and you desire the length of your pants to compliment your height better Banana Republic offers a limited tailoring service at all of their locations.
Should the Dandi carry a bag? Or is it just too much like carrying a purse? Well why not, why should feminine inspired dressing have all of the fun.
If you are looking for the perfect bag to go along with your Fall wardrobe look no further. Constructed in the finest of leathers and with the most masculine of styles the Santiago brand for the well-dressed Dandi is an excellent choice!
There are two types of belt classes; casual and formal. That’s it! And this fact can make belt shopping a pretty easy task. Formal belts are typically as wide as your thumb (anything wider and it is considered casual), neutral in tone, substantial in material and supportability, and the hardware tends towards the practical and conservative. Causal belts come in more choices of fabrics, textures and colors and come in many different sizes with many different selections of hardware.
There was a brief period in fashion recently when belts took a little hiatus but now they are back in full swing and it is important that the Dandi on trend wear them with everything from shorts to formal attire. Keep in mind belts are an accessory and unless you are trying to pull off a look from the eighties you should not consider your belt as the centerpiece of your outfit.
Number one question oft asked. Does your belt need to match your shoes? No. Well, let me say that I say no but there are some out there who still believe that a dapper Dandi’s dress belt should not only match the color of their shoes but that the finishes should match as well. I am not one for matchy-matchy but you can never go wrong by keeping this simple option open. However, if you are more daring and have a pair of dark brown shoes but only have a black belt don’t let this bog you down and vice-versa, wear it with confidence. But to pull it off in style keep the colors of the clothes you wear neutral in tone. You don’t want too much going on or you’ll start to lose your style edge.
How should you store your belts? Do not roll them as over time the material they are made of may adhere to the roll and lose shape or begin to crack at the seams and show wear. Always hang them vertically and in a dry place away from harsh sunlight.
Great belt designs for all ranges of wallets; J. Crew, Band of Outsiders, Billykirk, Smart Turnout…
Photo courtesy of Details
Even if you aren’t planning to get within 100 miles of the water the trend this summer is an interpretation of the maritime look. The one featured here is very low key and can be worn both on and off the shore. Everything works here if you are on deck sailing the high seas except the Macalister swede boots which can easily be traded out for Sperry top-siders.
The pull over weather resistant hooded jacket will keep you warm and dry when you are out enjoying nautical fun whether you are in P-Town or Cherry Grove and when the temperatures drop at night. To keep the look easy wear a simple t-shirt underneath which will also give you an alternative look for when you get back on shore and the temperatures or the company you’re with get a little hot. Wear a slimming pair of shorts, linen is great for these occasions.
This look will compliment Dandi’s of all sizes and shapes. Just make sure and get the jacket to fit like you would a sweatshirt. If you get it too big it will add extra bulk to your shape. Oh, and don’t forget your accessories, the days of not wearing a belt are over so pick a great one that compliments the colors and the fabrics you are wearing, along with the perfect pair of sunglasses and you will not only be sharp but comfortable as well.
Photo courtesy of J. Crew
The word on the street is color! One great way to add color and a bit of Preppy to your summer wardrobe is to get yourself a pair of chino’s that are not in the traditional khaki color. Almost every designer of chinos has them in a wide variety of bright colors and they look great with a t-shirt or even a sports coat if you are looking to dress them up to go to a club or to dinner with friends.
As shown in the picture above there are many shoe styles that you can wear to make your individual Dandi statement. Be sure to add the roll of the cuff to be in fashion for the season. It is not necessary to get them too long to accommodate the cuff, we want to see a little ankle. And this isdefinitely another look that requires a no sock zone.
Picture courtesy of Details Magazine
As a matter of course shorts are always a summer staple. The showing of the leg can be scary to some Dandi’s and finding the right pair that fits is very important to keeping our dapper silhouette from getting too bulky. When summer rolls around and it’s time to add to our shorts collection – buying on trend, staying within budget and keeping signature styles are all a concern.
There are many styles and lengths of shorts to chose from this year. A few tips before buying, if your parents didn’t give you much height long shorts will make you look even shorter and if you have long legs it’s great to show them off but too much leg will give you that daisy duke look (a great thing if that’s what you’re going for.) The trend right now is for shorts to be several inches above the knee though the acceptable length is right at the knee. Flat front shorts are still a must. Pleats will make you look like your grandpa. If your legs will accommodate it a tapered silhouette will give you a more sophisticated and dapper vibe, complimenting the Dandi style.
Shorts can be spiced up with the perfect fitted shirt and tie or rocked with a well fitted t-shirt. Solid colors are great but don’t be afraid to add some preppy spice to you wardrobe and add a madras plaid or paisley number to the collection. Don’t wear socks with shorts, it really does make a person look like they don’t understand the basics of style and fashion. If you want to buck trends wear a clunky boot, that will give you the style edge you are looking for and keep you away from the fashion police.
Photo Courtesy of J. Crew
The 4th of July is always about friends, family, and food for me. So I am wishing all of my PreppyBaba readers a happy and safe 4th of July. Good eats!
BBQ STYLE PORK RIBS RECIPE
- Place ribs in a large pot with enough water to cover. Season with garlic powder, black pepper and salt. Bring water to a boil, and cook ribs until tender.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
- Remove ribs from pot, and place them in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Pour barbeque sauce over ribs. Cover dish with aluminum foil, and bake in the preheated oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until internal temperature of pork has reached 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).
Amount Per Serving Calories: 441 | Total Fat: 22.2g | Cholesterol: 128mg
Recipe courtesy of Allrecipes.com
The big summer trend in shoes for 2011 is the Espadrille. They are stylish, comfortable and even designer labels are easy on the pocket.
The Dandi wears them with anything they would wear with a pair of sneakers or flip-flops, even a summer suit! Espadrilles are also the perfect travel shoe; they are lightweight an easy to pack and you can coordinate them with everything from your looks for the beach to your dressier looks for evening.
Shoe styles range from open and closed toe to exposed back. They are made of canvas, cloth, or jute (a plant fiber) with flexible but solid soles. The fun part about them is they come in many fun colors and designs plus they let your feet breathe during the hot summer months while giving you this summers fashionable yet relaxed Dandi look.