Isn’t it strange that while women are considered to be more concerned with clothes and appearance than men, there are far more words for a well-dressed man than a well-dressed woman?
Dandy comes from the Scottish abbreviation of Andrew. It means a man greatly concerned with smartness of dress. I must say our website director Andy Drane is a snappy dresser, although he’d probably object to being called a dandy!
A swell is a man who is fashionably dressed or socially prominent. A gallant is a dashing, fashionable young man. A beau, as well as being a boyfriend, is also a man greatly concerned with his appearance.
Then there’s a fop, a nob, a popinjay and a coxcomb.
There was a time when titled undergraduates (men only of course!) at Oxford and Cambridge Universities wore black velvet caps with gold tassels or tufts. This gave rise to the slang word toff meaning a well-dressed or upper-class person and led to toffee-nosed, meaning snobbish.
But where are the equivalent words for female fashion followers? There’s a clotheshorse, which could be either sex.
I wish the men in my life would pay a bit more attention to their appearance – nobody could accuse any of them of being clotheshorses. Meanwhile, if anyone can find a word for a well-dressed woman, please let me know!
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