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Who am I? I'm the best dresser in town.
June 28, 2009 2:14 PM   Subscribe

Who were very well dressed English gentlemen? I'm going to a fancy dress party and I'd like to go as someone who's been drinking pints of sartorial elegance.

The following items of clothing could make up the outfit:

monocle
tanktop
cravat
some sort of hat
pipe or cigarette holder
watch on a chain
umbrella
all that kind of stuff

The Chap magazine has the kind of look I'm going for. But who could I say I am?
posted by mooreeasyvibe to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (28 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
You most assuredly want to claim the persona of Oscar Wilde, my dear chap!
posted by BostonTerrier at 2:17 PM on June 28, 2009


Beau Brummell
posted by Frasermoo at 2:17 PM on June 28, 2009


What's the proper term for a tank top? You know the kind of sweater with no arms?

Like the guy is wearing on The Chap website (he's in red).
posted by mooreeasyvibe at 2:23 PM on June 28, 2009


Jack Buchanan?
posted by Comrade_robot at 2:24 PM on June 28, 2009


That garment is called a sweater vest.
posted by lalalana at 2:25 PM on June 28, 2009



What's the proper term for a tank top? You know the kind of sweater with no arms?


Sweater vest.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:25 PM on June 28, 2009


What's the proper term for a tank top?

Since you're in the UK not the US that would be a 'tank top' :p What makes you think that isn't the proper term? You could go for the more descriptive 'sleeveless sweater'. Sweater Vest is just American for tank top, neither is more 'proper' than the other (although, fwiw, google has about 30x more hits for tank top than it does for sweater vest)
posted by missmagenta at 3:03 PM on June 28, 2009


John Steed (Patrick Macnee's character in The Avengers).
posted by hangashore at 3:04 PM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


(although, fwiw, google has about 30x more hits for tank top than it does for sweater vest)

Yes, but "tank top" also has a meaning in American English, and judging from the top Google Images results, it's not the sweater vest to which they're referring.
posted by The Michael The at 3:08 PM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


I did type in sleeveless jumper to a few searches, that seems to have done the trick.

John Steed does look good alright.

Beau Brummell a bit too old school for my particular vision.
posted by mooreeasyvibe at 3:08 PM on June 28, 2009


I'm very happy that there's an AskMe thread that's not music related in which I can still answer Paul Weller.
posted by scody at 3:12 PM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


You must memorize and recite this entire quote upon the asking:

"I am a clothes-wearing Man, a Man whose trade, office and existence consists in the wearing of Clothes. Every faculty of my soul, spirit, purse, and person is heroically consecrated to this one object, the wearing of Clothes wisely and well: so that the others dress to live, I live to dress!"

re: Thomas Carlyle, "The Dandiacal Body", in Sartor Resartus
posted by foooooogasm at 3:25 PM on June 28, 2009


Sir Topham Hat?

He appears to have a waistcoat, though, rather than a tank top, FWIW...
posted by corey flood at 3:25 PM on June 28, 2009


Monocle says to me Lord Peter Wimsey, always impeccably dressed.
posted by andraste at 3:34 PM on June 28, 2009


Edward, Prince of Wales was considered the best dresser of the 20th Century. He became King Edward VIII, then abdicated to marry an American divorcee.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:36 PM on June 28, 2009


He has the look but is not English... Rich Uncle Pennybags
posted by kitkatcathy at 3:36 PM on June 28, 2009


Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII, then Duke of Windsor) basically looms large over The Chap.

Steed's a good character. T.S. Eliot? You get the brilliantine, the three-piece suit, the watch on a chain. Slightly more modern: Michael Caine as Alfie or Harry Palmer. And if you think you can get away with it, Radclyffe Hall.
posted by holgate at 3:37 PM on June 28, 2009


You could be Julian Kestrel, but that's probably to obscure.
posted by foooooogasm at 3:39 PM on June 28, 2009


Edward VIII's golf pic here is pretty damn good. I do like, though if I'll be able to finance such an outfit on a teacher's wage is a different story.

A good shout nonetheless.
posted by mooreeasyvibe at 3:52 PM on June 28, 2009


"Tank top" US = "singlet" UK.

Wearing a monocle and a top hat would rule out Beau Brummell, as the monocle wasn't fashionable in England until the mid-19th century, and the top hat wasn't fashionable in England until around 1815, by which time Brummell was already broke and in disgrace.

The sweater vest (as we call them here in the US) wasn't fashionable for anything other than outdoor sports (golf, shooting, etc.) until the 1920s. Even then, it was considered "country wear" until the 1940s; if you look, for instance, at 1930s English movies, men wear a suit (either two-piece or three-piece, with matching US!vest/UK!waistcoat) in the city, and a sports jacket, sweater vest, and flannels or corduroys in the country.

The posh toff to go as to an elegant costume party is always Bertie Wooster. Despite being fictional, he remains a fashion icon.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:07 PM on June 28, 2009




Lord Whimsy.
posted by ixohoxi at 4:19 PM on June 28, 2009


Hugh Laurie as Bertie Wooster. Just be sure to avoid any white mess jackets.
posted by permafrost at 4:21 PM on June 28, 2009


Not British, but Eustace Tilley?
posted by oinopaponton at 5:17 PM on June 28, 2009


Cravat, Brylcreem and a pencil 'tache and you could say you were the 13th Duke of Wybourne; bit of Youtubery and you could pick up the mannerisms.
posted by Abiezer at 5:24 PM on June 28, 2009


Dear me. Has no one mentioned Quentin Crisp yet?
posted by Dr. Wu at 8:00 PM on June 28, 2009


One more well-dressed Englishman for you to consider: Noel Coward. Photo with cigarette holder.
posted by Mael Oui at 8:25 PM on June 28, 2009


Clovis Sangrail from The Chronicles of Clovis written by Saki?
posted by cpdavy at 8:45 PM on June 28, 2009


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