They don't get much dandier than Master Big Star. Yes, that's his real name.
"A Dandy is a clothes-wearing Man, a Man whose trade, office and existence consists in the wearing of Clothes. Every faculty of his 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, he lives to dress ... And now, for all this perennial Martyrdom, and Poesy, and even Prophecy, what is it that the Dandy asks in return? Solely, we may say, that you would recognise his existence; would admit him to be a living object; or even failing this, a visual object, or thing that will reflect rays of light."
— Thomas Carlyle
The dandy is intensely concerned with his clothing and appearance; he's always well-groomed and generally avoids physical exertion, lest he become mussed. His main pursuit is his comfort and lots of pretty things. He will be obsessed with maintaining the condition of his body and his clothing but will not necessarily be particularly interested in the attentions of the opposite sex. Dandy-ism can be found in characters of any degree of good or evil, as it is a personality trait rather than an alignment trait.
In comedic works, writers will saddle him with kid co-stars who don't buy his act at all or a gorgeous woman who happens to be incredibly cynical about men.
The modern use of the word "Dandy" is somewhat ironic, since the original dandies were rebelling against the fashion excesses of the macaronis, by choosing simpler, 'more masculine' clothes, that emphasized high-quality fabrics and immaculate tailoring rather than excessive decoration.
Being male is not a requirement, especially for Bifauxnen. Very likely to overlap with Upper Class Wit or Upper Class Twit. Compare and contrast Sharp Dressed Man. Many of these males may fall under In Touch with His Feminine Side.
A rough Distaff Counterpart would be The Fashionista. For the version of this that jumps at combat rather than running from it, see Agent Peacock.
Not to be confused with the long running British comic of the same name.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
Griffith from Berserk is an excellent example throughout the early volumes.
Tubalcain Alahambra from Hellsing is an example of this trope. He is often referred to as "The Dandy" and has all of the typical traits. Somewhat subverted though in the fact that he isn't opposed to combat in the least (being a Nazi vampire and all).
Bleach has a surprising number of these, many of which subvert the part of the trope about a dandy being afraid to fight in case it messes up their appearance. They're all willing to fight, but if they do get messed up in their fights their opponents - and sometimes their allies - won't be allowed to forget it.
Yumichika Ayasegawa is obsessed with beauty. When the Gotei 13 is on a war-time alert, he still detours to change his torn clothing after a fight rather than immediately returning to his captain's side. He also loses a fight because his hair gets messed up by a firework. He even has a wig lying around that he can wear until his hair has recovered.
Although it might seem as though Yumichika is the biggest dandy in Soul Society, he's not. Eighth Squad captain Shunsui Kyouraku dislikes fighting to the extent that he'll even try and disobey a direct order from the captain-commander himself to escape it if he can. He far prefers making friends, napping and drinking. If he does go into fights, he likes his vice-captain to shower him with flower petals as he makes his entrance onto the battlefield and he wears a pink, flowery woman's kimono everywhere. In fact, taking the kimono off means he's finally gettingserious. The Bleach Character Book of Souls confirms that he is indeed considered the biggest Dandy in Soul Society.
A milder example than the above is Uryuu Ishida, who has insanely good tailoring skills, with a penchant for making alterations to everyone's clothing in an attempt to improve them (they always end up cute - impressing female characters but not male characters). He's so concerned about his own Quincy outfit that he'll carry spare capes in case the one he's wearing gets damaged in battle. He's trying for Sharp Dressed Man according to his own weird tastes, but the fact that he does the sewing himself lends it an extra something.
All the boys in the club are good-looking and generally sharply turned-out, and the twins are actually the clothing experts by way of their mother, but Tamaki's the only one who seems to really care. He's the ladykiller variety, except his idea of how to be a ladykiller involves no actual relationships or close contact. Instead, he started a club where he charms women for money that he doesn't care about. One wonders whether it was his father who told him of the existence of Host Clubs, and if Tamaki even knows about regular prostitutes, let alone the classy male kind he's pretending to be.
Mr. Turveydrop in Bleak House - he has no job skills to speak of, but dresses very stylishly and is well-known in the neighborhood for his Deportment. Unfortunately, he's not independently wealthy, and his family members have to support him in his elegant idleness.
Loras Tyrell, anyone? He subverts the "avoids physical confrontations" bit, but otherwise...Good lord, he's slight and beautiful, lovelier even than his sister, cocky, very chivalrous, and is usually impeccably, rather gaudily dressed. A breastplate encrusted with gemstones forming floral patterns? A cloak with actual roses sewn in? Knight of Flowers indeed. And let's not even get started on the rainbow cloak...
Lord Renly arguably also fits this trope.
Also, Littlefinger in the Live Action TV version.
Squire's Tales, Princess, Crone and the Dung-Cart Knight. King Bagdemagus. Good Gog, King Bagdemagus is the man who decides in which room will he receive visitors to his castle "by the colour of his robes". Who was stopped from seeing Sir Kai and Guinevere by his son saying that the queen's orange dressing gown would clash with his bright green robes. Who arranged for his servants, on the day of a trial by combat, to all dress in fake-shepherd's gear. King Bagdemagus is this, but without any taste, making him completely ridiculous and utterly obsessed.
Howl Jenkins is practically the king of this trope. This is the man who gets up in the morning and takes at least three hours to get ready, then goes off and falls in love at the drop of a hat. Who probably owns more cosmetics than Maybelline. Who threw a temper tantrum withgreen slime when Sophie accidentally tinted his hair strawberry blond.
Calcifer predicted that the day Howl forgot to do his hair and face, he might believe he was really in love.
Dorian Gray and Lord Henry Wotton are classic examples. Unsurprisingly, they were created by Master Dandy, Oscar Wilde.
William Marsh in Victorian-set fantasy Darkness Visible is a very snappy dresser. He doesn't really fit the "avoids physical confrontation" part (luckily for Lewis, who is only five feet tall, and never learned not to pick fights with people twice his weight). Marsh is an ardent admirer of Oscar Wilde, and his mode of dress reflects his philosophical beliefs.
To the general public, Danilo Thann from Elain Cunningham's Forgotten Realms novels fits this trope to a T, though it's really just a part of his Obfuscating Stupidity act.
Dragonlance: Dalamar. Described as well clad and very good looking and certainly has the behaviour down to a t. He is supposedly hardworking and obsessed with his magical studies as any ambitious mage, but we hear more about his womanizing, his fine china collection (!), his fondness of quality wine and how he fills the formerly proper and self-respecting dark tower with floral displays.
In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero Lost, Miranda, describing her brother Ulysses, mentions his obsession with his clothing.
In Poul Anderson's A Midsummer Tempest, Rupert angrily rejects apologies for giving him commoner's clothing while he's prisoner; he's not a popinjay.
Anne Elliot's father, Sir Walter Elliot, in Persuasion, is obsessed with his clothes and appearance. When he lets his house to another, more down-to-earth gentleman, the new tenant complains about the great lot of mirrors there are hanging about the place.
In Cerberon, George and Aladavan both observe this trope. George plays the part of a dandy when he can idly mooch off a wealthy widow, but when he has to travel, he's practical enough to wear his older, worn dragoon uniform, to prevent his better clothes from becoming dirty or damaged. Aladavan is considerably more vain, wearing top style at all times and cleaning/mending his clothes as soon as possible when they become dirty/damaged. Neither of them are averse to physical confrontation, but Aladavan is more likely to get someone else to do real work for him.
Leonard Stecyk in The Pale King wears a stylish carpenter's apron for his high school wood shop class. It keeps his clothes from getting covered in his teacher's blood during an accident with a machine. It also carries his metric-conversion ruler, which he uses to create a perfectly-tied tourniquet.
Fashion is one of Bertie Wooster's loves. If he and Jeeves ever have a falling-out, it's usually because he's insisting on wearing some utterly ridiculous article of clothing that Jeeves doesn't approve of. In one episode, he goes through a period of depression because he can't think his way out of Aunt Agatha's latest plan for his future; he cheers himself up by wearing a cummerbund.
The Jonathan Green-written branch of Abaddon Books' Pax Britannia series features the character of Ulysses Quicksilver, an agent of Magna Britannia working for the 160-year-old Queen Victoria, who is regularly described as a "dandy adventurer".
Noblemen in A Brother's Price are pretty much expected to be this, since social rules prevent them from doing most other things, and they're not expected to cook or clean or renovate like lower-class men, so they are more focused on fashion and their own appearances. It aggravates the viewpoint characters.
Tobias Maxilla from the Eisenhorn series, and Carl Thonius from the Ravenor series (both by Dan Abnett) are both dandyish in their appearance.
Actually not so odd. A doctor has good practical reasons to be a fanatic about cleanliness in any case. And a rich doctor would have means to express said tendency even in normal life - and silk is very hygienic, after all...
Also, being respectable is useful in the circles he's now traveling in. Even if he could stand to part with another part of his identity, this time for no real reason, it's not sensible to neglect an asset.
A more villainous example of this trope is Atherton Wing, who Mal comes to blows with in one episode. And by contact we mean they stab each other.
Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother is a womanizing, lecherous sex fiend who obsesses over his personal appearance (especially his suits). In other words, a modern day foppish dandy.
The Third Doctor in Doctor Who, with his velvet smoking jackets, ruffled shirts, capes, and gloves.
The First Doctor actually makes reference to this in "The Three Doctors":
So you're my replacements! A dandy and a clown!
The Second Doctor calls the Third "Fancy Pants."
The Eleventh Doctor fits this trope, too.
I wear a fez now. Fezzes are cool. Not for long. He's also donned top hat, white tie, and tails on more than one occasion.
The third Blackadder series has a few since it's set in the late 1700s/early 1800s. Prince George might be a particularly dim dandy.
Jason King from Department S and Jason King was a major sex symbol of the Seventies. He was foppish and camp and spent most of his time drinking, smoking, lounging and shagging. Ultimately, he became the inspiration for Austin Powers.
Neal Caffrey from White Collar is always impeccably dressed in 1950's era suits, and his hair is perfectly coiffed at all times. It's too early in the series to tell if this is to cover up something from his past, but the look does finish off his "charming rogue" persona nicely.
Jeff Winger on Series/Community is preoccupied with his appearance to such a ridiculous degree that it's become a Running Gag. This ties in with the fact that he's pretty much a Hipster.
Richard Castle is something like one of these, having been called a 'metrosexual' by numerous people in the past. He once spent the entire time during a crime scene investigation gushing over the decorative tastes of the owners. Another time, the investigation was briefly sidelined while he introduced Those Two Guys Ryan and Esposito to the victim's range of heated male body products, particularly the shaving cream.
Vince Noir of The Mighty Boosh, especially in the third season. His hair is always dyed, teased and styled, he wears capes, gloves, low-cut jumpsuits, stack-heeled platform boots, feather boas, and most of his wardrobe is shiny and/or skin-tight. On the one occasion he shows up dressed in a normal, conservative outfit with plain hair, Howard faints.
Bewitched had an episode where Endora cast a 'vanity spell' on Darrin, having him dress in a series of increasingly baroque outfits, looking like a 'mod' Louis XIV.
Oz has this trope in effect for two of the gang leaders, Nino Schibetta, leader of the Italian inmates in the first season and Alonzo Torquemada, leader of the Gay inmates in the final season. Nino Schibetta subverts this trope, as he is a deadly and Wicked Cultured old-school Mafia Don, and is considered the most powerful inmate in Oz during the first season. Torquemada plays it straight, as he is a typical flamboyant dandy and Camp Gay nightclub owner.
I'm the dandy highwayman so sick of easy fashion The clumsy boots, peek-a-boo roots that people think so dashing So what's the point of robbery when nothing is worth taking? It's kind of tough to tell a scruff the big mistake he's making
Fellow Tethe'allan noble Regal actually gets called this in his formal-wear alternate costume, and a few skits indicate that he may have had aspects of this before things went downhill.
Dudley from Street Fighter III, complete with roses and uppercrust attitude. He even has his butler bring him tea in one of his winposes.
As well as Vega, whose roses can be seen during his Ultra Combos.
St. Germain from Castlevania Curse Of Darkness. The interesting part is that he's not the kind of dandy that would be prevalent in the game's time period (the 1400s), as he wears a top hat and carries a saber and a dueling pistol.
Flea from Chrono Trigger, taking it so far that the party think he's a woman.
The self-proclaimed "Beautiful Demon Lord" in Half Minute Hero's "Hero 30" and "Evil Lord 30" modes.
Fauxnel is something of an Obfuscating Dandy. Because he fits this trope so well, people have a hard time suspecting him of the multiple assassinations he's arranged to protect his position. He's also surprisingly tough if you recruit and use him (albeit prone to whining about getting blood on his shoes.)
The mage Finn in the Dragon Age: Origins expansion "Witch Hunt," who uses magic to keep his robes immaculate at all times, comes equipped with matching fox fur-lined gloves and boots, and has a "Ghastly Hat" that he hates wearing so much that it lowers his Willpower by three whole points.
Conrad from Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name dresses better than the rest of the cast and is easily the most useless when it comes to actual fights. The author herself even described him as 'metrosexual.'
Luca of Sfeer Theory is a Downplayed version. Word of God says he's rather vain and takes painstaking care of his appearance. It's subtle in the comic itself where Luca is usually fixing up his often mussed up hair and visibly upset whenever it or his clothes are ruined.
Huge numbers of men in the 17th to 19th centuries would have fit this trope, since it was the style of the time. Notable dandies include Beau Brummell (the common name for this trope in the 19th century), King George IV, and Samuel Pepys, who once fretted for days about whether his lace cuffs should be trimmed with silver or gold. Note that there was little Ho Yay to this, since The Dandy was seen as almost hyper-heterosexual. (After all, every girl's crazy for aSharp Dressed Man.)
You can add Giacomo Casanova to the list; he made a point of out-fopping every other male in the general region where he was staying at any given time.
Brummel's fashion sense, and most notably, the dress code he devised for the Almack's Club in London, would go on to inspire the modern business suit/coat-and-tails. Strangely, his fashion sense was much more austere and simpler than the gaudy nobles and fops before and after him, he preferred a simple white on black look and a streamlined silhouette.
W.E.B. DuBois, one of the people who created the NAACP, was a notable black dandy.
Louis XIV of France was a dandy who subverted the trope in order to better control the French nobility. He made his most senior noblemen attend him at all times, and instead of giving them money or titles allowed them privileges such as being allowed to help him dress, undress, or eat dinner. (It took about 200 men and an hour and a half to help Louis get dressed most mornings.) The point was to keep them at Versailles doing pointless and stupid things, which he hoped would prevent them from raising peasant armies against him. To paraphrase Will Cuppy: if you think society's bad now, be glad you don't have to get up at seven in the morning to watch Louis XIV put on his pants.
Maximilien Robespierre, being a French lawyer living in the 18th century. Due to the whole "French Revolution" thing going on, the excesses of the French nobility were obviously falling out of fashion for his social circle, but he never stopped caring about dressing fastidiously neatly.
The late Don Meredith, something of The Pete Best to Roger Staubach's Ringo as quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, was nicknamed "Dandy Don."