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Fops vs. Macaroni

A comparison of fops and macaroni in fashion and trends

Fop and Macaroni are often used interchangeably, but there was a difference between the two. And while these may be fighting words, the Fops would one day become the Dandies (the Dandies would disagree, of course), but the Macaroni would not. Both Fops and Macaroni were the fashion conscious gentlemen of the Georgian era to the point of exaggeration and excess. Were all fashionable gents who cared about their appearance Fops or Macaroni? No. The terms were used derogatively for those who took both fashion and attitude to extreme.

Fops were those who, regardless of wealth or status, chose to focus on their fashionable image to the point of obsession. Hours getting dressed? Preening before the mirror? Judging others by their wardrobe? Those are the Fops. They were vain and put on airs, wore more lace than Great Aunt Myrtle's side table, and would never been seen in public without their face powder, face patches, and wig.

Macaroni, however, specifically referenced the wealthier gentlemen who had returned from their Grand Tour dressing like and acting like they were French or Italian. They walked the walk, talked the talk, and boasted the fashion--all to the extreme. The Macaroni style featured the highest of heels, a mincing stride, a fake lisp, effeminate mannerisms, perfumed handkerchiefs and fans and flowers, excess rouge about the cheeks and lips to contrast with heavy face powder and paint, and a listless lifestyle of partying and little else.

Enjoy this post from Pen & Pension:

Of Popinjays, Fops, and Macaroni

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