DANDIES AND AESTHETES

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DANDIES AND AESTHETES

In his youth an advocate of “aesthetic” dress (for both men and women), Oscar Wilde later repositioned himself as a dandy, who celebrated the “dangerous and delightful distinction of being different from others.” Not all dandies were men. The “Sapphic” subculture that emerged in large cities in the late 19th century was closely associated with dandyish menswear styles. Many lesbians adopted the tailored suits, starched white shirts, neckties, and short hair associated with upper-class men.