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10 Writers Who Moonlighted as Dandies

Dandyism is more than just a dress code. A dandy believes that, through a refined command of dress and manners, he or she can impress their greatness upon the world. This meant that a dandy could live a rather indolent, carefree lifestyle and still be regarded as influential and powerful despite not being born into wealth. It makes sense that so many writers were of the dandy sort, given the meager income their career path promised. This pursuit of elegance gave them access to bon vivance in Paris, lifestyles of jet-setting between the Swiss Alps and the Riviera, summers in coastal cottages, or early retirement (before retirement was even deemed acceptable). Dandyism is a interplay between fashion and mannerism, a perfect blend of style, sophistication, and caprice. Here we take a look at 10 authors who successfully made elegance, not just writing, an esteemed profession.

Sebastian Horsley

“Being well-dressed gives a feeling of inward tranquility which psychoanalysis is powerless to bestow.” Sebastian Horsley lent modern-day dandyism a nefarious edge, painting himself as a misogynist, a sexual deviant, and a narcissist before dying of a heroin overdose just before his 48th birthday. The infamously debauched writer claims to have spent equal amounts of money on each of his addictions: drugs, prostitutes, and tailored clothing. He managed to eke out a controversial memoir, Dandy in the Underworld, before dying of a heroin overdose just before his 48th birthday.