It takes a certain mindset to deliberately out-dress the people around you. After all, "Who does he think he is" is a more common reaction than "I wish I dressed like that." So dressing well and dandyism, which if we throw out the literary pretensions boils down to Johnny Depp dressing to attract attention, both require a healthy dose of ego.
Now it's easy enough to pose as an individual so long as a man is in school, but during adulthood it's not the best strategy for success when one is working with other people. And since a dandy avoids being thought common at all costs, dandyism tends to be one of those life choices that are practical only if one is independently wealthy. Perhaps the minimum is independence combined with an income from an individualistic pursuit such as writing or performing, and in that case some dress-related notoriety is just good marketing.
The majority of men do not fit into those categories and are left with the option of dressing well. And in our culture, that means dressing so as not to stand out. Clothes should fit and be sober in coloring without drawing attention to the wearer. That's been my philosophy for most of my life.
Recently, Dandyism.net asked its readers to choose the better dandy and offered as options two "micro-celebrities," myself and Nicholas Antongiavanni, author of The Suit. We were interesting choices, as to the best of my knowledge neither of us has ever intended to be other than merely well dressed. In my case, they selected photos from my web site, which were shot for my consulting business to be the antithesis of dandy.
But in the spirit of the thing I offer today's photo, where I dressed as I might if I wanted to attract attention. And indeed, judging by the heads that turned on the street that day, I succeeded.