Best Dandy

Sir E. Channing
In a city where fleece is a three-season fabric and there’s no social sanction for tucking your T-shirt into your pants, clipping a cell phone on your belt, or heading out with your ID badge flapping in the breeze, there’s little hope for a style revolution. And yet this past November, hundreds of people slowly pedaled through town dressed in wool plus-fours, fur stoles, and argyle socks. Thank Eric Brewer, or “Sir E. Channing,” his dandy name. Brewer, 41, is a federal contractor who got interested in the British tradition of ironic frippery and, inspired by similar events in Portland, Ore., and Boston, wedded it to his love of 20 years, cycling. (Steel bikes only, please—lugged, if possible.) Dandyism, Brewer says, is label-agnostic: “It’s more about the look and how you put it together than any brand can say,” he says. “I think in D.C. that’s important because I don’t think it’s really acceptable to show off here. But if I can get somebody who works for a nonprofit to say, ‘I’m gonna find a way to look acceptable and not have to wear clogs…’” He trails off, no doubt imagining downtown swarming with fellow Sartorialist readers in clothes reclaimed from vintage shops, their Japanese brass bells ringing in greeting as they glide by one another on old Rudges. This spring, he says, the tweed ride will be followed with a lawn party, with croquet and badminton. Seersucker will be involved.
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