Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Dandy's List Of 15 Most Dapper Men

Since the last few weeks have been all about count down lists, we decided we would compile our own list of the most stylish men. And then we thought it might be fun to ask our friend Ray Frensham (the dandy of all dandies) to pen the list. Without further ado we bring you Ray's 15 Most Dapper Men.

Yes, I really do watch the day-long televised debates from the Lords on the Parliament Channel…not for the “glory” of the debates, but for style tips in suits. Honest.

One of the best new news anchors around today and you’ve probably never seen him, because he’s on Russian TV (, the English language network beaming from Moscow. This channel has been my big discovery of last year - it certainly gives you a whole new perspective on the news, and how others’ see us.

If GQ can have Princes William and Harry, then I can have Charles - the man who guides them. Put simply, the man is the epitome of restrained good taste. And, yes, he Will be King someday.

Czech Ondrej and his Melody Makers have for years been making recordings and affectionate little films inspired by the Dance Band years of the 1920s and 30s. Do yourself a favour and put his name into YouTube.

Another minor hero of mine. He was an ABC tv reporter, news anchor and rising star until in 2007 he had a third of his skull blown away by a road-mine in Iraq. Slowly but surely he’s made recoveries and has returned as Special Reporter for the ABC Network (essential viewing) and set up his own Foundation to support wounded servicemen and women. A man of courage, honour, integrity, determination and incredible generosity. And, even after all the surgery, he’s still one damned handsome devil!

The current Dr. Who - for services to popularising the bow tie again, and the revival of the Tweed industry - all true. It is also with great relief that fans will notice in the latest Christmas Carol special, he has finally learnt to tie his own tie, so that he can now ditch those ghastly apologies on bits of elastic. [Fact: Did you know that our own dear Queen has an absolute and deep-seated hatred of clip-on bow ties? -and quite right too!].

US ABC news reporter, recently taken over as co-anchor for the weekend Good Morning America. I’ve been a fan of this New Englander for some years and watched his progress through the ranks. Just one great journalist with an easy quasi-Preppy style and restraint. He is comfortable in his skin. I predict even greater things for him.

One of the mainstays of the current 1920s/30s inspired Berlin Cabaret scene (and across Germany now). His “monocle-pop” creations are unique. A very funny performer who is not afraid to push boundaries.

7 - The entire Cast of MAD MEN:
It’s stretching my brief a little but how could I Not include them? Dammit everything in this drama oozes class and attention to detail everywhere you look.

(Pronounced Eye-rez). Third generation Portuguese tailor - he was my tailor until recently, he is now based in New York City… and I miss him! And, yes that is him cutting one of Prince Charles’ suits - that was when he worked in Savile Row. New York, you don’t know how lucky you are.

OK, so Gossip Girl (along with Glee) is my guilty pleasure, and Chuck Bass (played by Sarf London actor Ed Westwick) reigns supreme in this household. I love how the character, having so much money, is always so immaculately clothed and perfectly co-ordinated…except for maybe one item that is just So Very Wrong! But, hey, he’s Chuck Bass.

…maybe THIS is the look he’s seeking….

Up-and-coming British actor, seen here from the rather intriguing UK tv series Trinity.

FineandDandyShop’s very own shopkeeper. Call it “knowing what side my bread is buttered”, but I don’t care. I honestly think our dear Matt is a damn classy guy. Editor's note: I nearly removed myself from Ray's list but ultimately decided to leave it in (perhaps against my better judgement).

But, failing that, how about…

4 (b) - PETER McGOUGH:
Now back in New York, while his partner David McDermott remains in Dublin, this artist just improves with age (yes, I would love to meet him).

Who? Reporter and Presenter for SampTV (Italian soccer club Sampdoria’s own TV channel). A man of style, intelligence, wit and grace, he wears his erudition lightly. (I could almost get interested even in soccer).

2 - The entire Cast of DOWNTON ABBEY:
The big UK tv drama hit of 2010 - it surprised everyone, even the channel. Edwardian ‘upstairs/downstairs’-type series created by Julian (Gosford Park) Fellowes; even if downstairs is a little too pristine and clean, the stories are grubby enough. Besides, with Dame Maggie Smith sailing through it like a stately galleon, what more could one ask for. Essential viewing for the style-starved.

1 (a) - ME:
Well, of course I am going to put myself at Number 1. Who else could there be? …Apart from:…

1 (b) - HENRY De WINTER:

(Not forgetting Bobby, his permanent canine companion). Just go to YouTube, put in Henry’s name + Herr Ober, Zwei Mocca and revel in genius: you will understand why his music has given me more pleasure in 2010 than anything else (apart from loads of money). Based in Berlin, Henry is the bedrock of the current German 1920s/30s-influenced cabaret and music scene. Pure Class - the world is waiting to discover you, my friend.

Honorary Mention / Inductee into the Hall Of Fame:
Drummer. On-stage he oozes restrained nonchalance, with a look of "I don't have to be doing this, you know - I could be out getting measured up for a suit". Off-stage: a devotee of Savile Row who decides on the cloth he will use for the seats of his next vintage car and then gets a suit made up to match. The man glides on elegance and style and has done since the 1960s (when I was #746 of the Rolling Stones Fan Club).

And Finally….. The Booby Prize goes to:

Overpaid, under-achieving UK soccer ace. He can wear a $10,000 suit and still make it look like a sack of potatoes. He is a walking fashion disaster zone.
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Aurélien Violet said...

What about Tom Ford, Colin Firth, Peter Doherty, and Barak Obama ... instead of Tv comedy character (even if MadMen Cast is awsome).
But anyway, i like it, and i think you could make a TOP 15 with booby price ...

Anonymous said...

If dandyism is based on attire as it seems to be by the list posted, then I am surprised & disappointed not to find Agatha Christie's M. Hercule Poirot sadly omitted from that list.

But then, we all know that it takes more than clothes to make a man - at least one who is a true dandy in every sense of the term. Wouldn't you agree?

Anonymous said...

I do reckon it would be sensible to revise the title of this post... As there are several women included ... then, why that misogyny? said...

Aurelien and Anon1, I'm sure everyone would have his or her own list with varied results. From this post on our Facebook page we decided we would create a community-based monthly Man Of Style. Stay tuned. Yes, I agree Anon1 that it takes more than great clothes to make a man or even a dandy.

Anon2, the women included were part of groups: The House Of Lords, and the casts of Mad Men and Downton Abbey. The definition of misogyny is the hatred of women. Titling this post 15 Most Dapper Men with women indirectly included as a part of groups is not misogyny.

GS said...

One cool list of Fine Dandies! Near the top of my own list would be Nucky from Boardwalk Empire. Even glancing at Wayne Rooney for a few seconds in his "rent a tent" whistle was very, very painful.

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