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Alexandra Rowland @ WORLDCON! ✨
Okay you know what, I'm pissed about some stuff so that means it's time for another thread about fashion history. This one is for all my boyes suffering under toxic masculinity. Thread af.
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Alexandra Rowland @ WORLDCON! ✨ Feb 25
Replying to @_alexrowland
BOYS. MY BOYS. Do you know why you dress Like That? Why you have that haircut? Do you know whose fucking fault it is that "acceptable" colors for men are: black, grey, navy blue, olive drab? It is because of one man. ONE MAN. BEAU FUCKING BRUMMELL
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Alexandra Rowland @ WORLDCON! ✨ Feb 25
Replying to @_alexrowland
i need to take a moment to seethe with rage, hang on
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Alexandra Rowland @ WORLDCON! ✨ Feb 25
Replying to @_alexrowland
ok we good. BEAU FUCKING BRUMMELL -- ok no actually we not yet good, maybe a nap and a cup of tea to calm me down
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Alexandra Rowland @ WORLDCON! ✨ Feb 25
Replying to @_alexrowland
so BFB (i'm gonna have to keep stopping to grind my teeth if i type out his whole name) was one of the most famous dandies in Regency Engla-- wait you don't know what a dandy is, do you
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Alexandra Rowland @ WORLDCON! ✨ Feb 25
Replying to @_alexrowland
Dandyism was a whole aesthetic movement -- you know how in the 80s/90s there was that whole trend of "cynicism is cool"? The cool guy in shades at the party, lounging with studied carelessness against a doorjamb and smoking?
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Alexandra Rowland @ WORLDCON! ✨ Feb 25
Replying to @_alexrowland
And dandies were also really concerned with physical appearance and dress. And the king of the dandies was BEAU FUCKING BRUMMELL *throws a chair out the window*
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Alexandra Rowland @ WORLDCON! ✨ Feb 25
Replying to @_alexrowland
BFB was not a gentleman or an aristocrat. He was just Some Guy. He was Some Guy so fucking hard that IN HIS LIFETIME he wrenched men's fashion in a totally new direction. And i hate him so much. So. Much.
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Alexandra Rowland @ WORLDCON! ✨ Feb 25
Replying to @_alexrowland
See, he couldn't afford fancy jewelry or expensive fabrics, so he made it unacceptable for ANY MAN to wear jewelry or expensive fabrics. He convinced everyone that it was vulgar and effeminate.
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Alexandra Rowland @ WORLDCON! ✨ Feb 25
Replying to @_alexrowland
Which is how, in less than 50 years, men's fashion went from this:
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Alexandra Rowland @ WORLDCON! ✨ Feb 25
Replying to @_alexrowland
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Alexandra Rowland @ WORLDCON! ✨ Feb 25
Replying to @_alexrowland
And then men's fashion functionally froze. It went that far and then no further for *two hundred years*. Do you know why men's suits have long pants? Because Beau Brummel thought breeches and stockings were for losers. His style is the DIRECT ancestor of modern suits
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Alexandra Rowland @ WORLDCON! ✨ Feb 25
Replying to @_alexrowland
There is a statue of BFB on Jermyn Street in London, with the inscription: "To be truly elegant one should not be noticed."
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Alexandra Rowland @ WORLDCON! ✨ Feb 25
Replying to @_alexrowland
He's THE LITERAL AUTHOR OF THAT PART OF TOXIC MASCULINITY. He is the *inventor* of the reason that many men today feel self-conscious in anything eye-catching or unique. Shapeless hoodies and jeans or cargo pants for everybody! A suit that looks exactly like everyone else's!
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Alexandra Rowland @ WORLDCON! ✨ Feb 25
Replying to @_alexrowland
And now we have a whole culture where men are *aching* just to BE SEEN, to feel cute or special or unique, to get validation on their physical existence, and they... don't. And then they don't understand why catcalling women on the street is wrong.
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Alexandra Rowland @ WORLDCON! ✨ Feb 25
Replying to @_alexrowland
(A post I saw on tumblr described this as "Someone dying of thirst in the desert can't understand what a drowning person has to complain about" and that's so fucking apt. They just don't have the framework to empathize with that kind of life experience, it's totally alien)
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Alexandra Rowland @ WORLDCON! ✨ Feb 25
Replying to @_alexrowland
Beau FUCKING Brummell *seethes*
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Alexandra Rowland @ WORLDCON! ✨ Feb 25
Replying to @_alexrowland
Ahem. Now, the dandy philosophy might initially strike you as quite egalitarian, right? Dressing more plainly, more subdued fabrics and less overt ornamentation -- it's a fuck-you to the aristocratic class, riiiiiiiiiight?
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Alexandra Rowland @ WORLDCON! ✨ Feb 25
Replying to @_alexrowland
well fucking no, actually, because Brummell dandyism demands flawless bespoke tailoring, and an *incredibly* painstaking approach to dressing (literally 5-6 hours to dress). Brummell recommended having your shoes polished with champagne
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Alexandra Rowland @ WORLDCON! ✨ Feb 25
Replying to @_alexrowland
Oh, and the clothes were so fitted that you literally could not get dressed without the help of a valet. So between the tailoring, the leisure time required, the champagne, and the valet? This is not fashion that's accessible to the masses.
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