For fun, I’m reading Ian Kelly’s Beau Brummell: The Ultimate Man of Style (Free Press, 2006) and have discovered a couple of interesting facts. Or at least things I did not know.
According to Kelly, tailors during Brummell’s heyday tended to specialize. Gronow had said Brummell favored Weston as his tailor, but Mr. Kelly’s research found that Brummell frequented several tailors. The primary ones were Schweitzer and Davidson on Cork Street, Johnathan Meyer on Conduit Street, and Weston, the only one British born. He favored different tailors for different items of clothing: Weston primarily for waistcoats; Schweitzer and Davidson for his coats and greatcoats; Johnathan Meyer for the forerunner of our modern trousers that Brummell pioneered.
Kelly states that Brummell “wore slim-cut trousers or ‘pantaloons’ that flattered his famously long-legged frame. For daywear these were made of leather, mercerized cotton, or nankeen and plain cotton in summer. Evening wear necessitated black, according to the new asthetic, and Brumell wore sheer black silk jersey, made up as breeches for Carlton House or the theatre, and as pantaloons for the clubs.”
I guess that answers my question of a couple of weeks ago about what color my hero’s breeches should be.
I much prefer this image.
James Purefoy as Brummell!
The BBC says: “The Taunton-born actor is heading a star cast in BBC FOUR’s Beau Brummell, a new drama at the centre of the channel’s The Century That Made Us season focussing on the 18th century, to be screened on Monday 19 June, 2006.”
Oh, don’t you wish they would air all the shows in the US???
What do you think about James Purefoy as Brummell? He certainly wears the clothes well!
One more important fact about Brummell.
Kelly could find no evidence that Brummell wore underwear.