THE MACCARONI ‘Rise at Eleven – Survey my sweet Face in the Glass, and pick my teeth for half an Hour. Breakfast at Twelve – over the Morning Papers. Dressed by Half-past One – to saunter in the Park and stare at the Women, for the Reputation of having Taste for them. At Three o’Clock saunter into the City, to show myself to the Brutes who are void of Taste. Mem. Never to look at Print Shops. Dine at Four – saunter an Hour at the Coffee-House and then to the Play, to talk louder than the Actors. Nine o’Clock – take a Woman to the Town to the Shakespeare; treat her with a Bottle of Champagne, and leave her as I found her. Sup with our own Club at Eleven – drink, swear and invent new Toasts till Three, and go Home in a Chair to Bed. ‘Journal of a Maccaroni’, from the Macaroni Jester, published in Aileen Ribeiro, ‘The Macaronis’, History Today, 1978, pp. 467-68.
2. Fashion Changes and New Ideas Ball under Henri IV The Role of Neoclassicism ‘Wilhelmine von Cotta’, 1802 by Gottlieb Schick Staatsgalerie Stuttgart
The Inconvenience of Dress, 1786. Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University
A Fashionable Lady in Dress and Undress, c. 1807. Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University
Ball under Henri IV ‘Men may be said to have suffered a great defeat in the sudden reduction of male sartorial decorativeness which took place at the end of the eighteenth century. At about that time there occurred one of the most remarkable events in the whole history of dress, one under the influence of which we arte still living, one, moreover, which has attracted far less attention than it deserves: men gave up their right to all the brighter, gayer, more elaborate, and more varied forms of ornamentation, leaving these entirely to the use of women, and thereby making their own tailoring the most austere and ascetic of the arts. Sartorially, this event has surely the right to be considered as ‘The Great Masculine Renunciation’. Man abandoned his claim to be considered beautiful. He henceforth aimed at being only useful. So far as clothes remained of importance to him, his utmost endeavours could lie only in the direction of being ‘correctly’ attired, not of being elegantly or elaborately attired’. J.C. Flugel, The Psychology of Clothing (London, 1966), pp. 110-11. Cit in C. Brewards, The Hidden Consumer (Manchester 1999), p. 24.
Fashion plate from The Tailor and Cutter, Summer 1880.
4. The Dandy - Oppositional Fashion Elizabeth Wilson considers the Dandy as part of what she calls ‘oppositional fashion’. Dandies use fashion to express: ‘the dissent or distinctive ideas of a group, or views hostile to the conformist majority’ (E. Wilson)
5. The Great Renunciation Revised Summarising. The Great Renunciation has been defined as: 1.The sartorial and aesthetic abandonment by men of fashion 2. in the pursuit of a bourgeois ethic and 3. such renunciation was quintessentially male and part of the public sphere. Women were relegated to a ‘private sphere’ of domesticity and fashion (the so-called ‘Separate sphere’ paradigm W17).
5. The Great Renunciation Revised Criticism of Flugel’s original formulation 1. Paradigm based on thin primary and empirical research (Breward, Matthews David) 2. Flugel’s original formulation was too categorical (Breward) 3. The dandy should not be seen as a ‘deviant’ (Wilson) 4. There is no direct correlation between a new restrained male aesthetic and the rise of the bourgeois values (Kuchta) 5. Unclear how the Renunciation works across social classes (Breward)