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They had hipsters back then?

I’d say that this is a dead on description of hipsters, but it’s not. It’s just an exert from Vicor Hugo’s Les Miserables. It doesn’t matter, I’m going to call them dandies from now on anyway.

If they were richer, one would say, “They are dandies,” if they were poorer, one would say, “They are idlers.” They are simply men without employment. Among these unemployed there are bores, the bored, dreamers, and some knaves.

At that period, a dandy was composed of a tall collar, a big cravat, a watch with trinkets, three vests of different colors, worn one on top of each other – the red and blue inside; of a short-waisted olive coat, with a codfish tail, a double row of silver buttons set close to each other and running up to the shoulder; and a pair of trousers of a lighter shade of olive, ornamented on the two seams with an indefinite, but always uneven, number of lines, varying from one to eleven – a limit which was never exceeded. Add to this high shoes with little irons on the heels, a tall hat with a narrow brim, hair worn in a tuff, an enormous cane, and conversation set off by puns of Potier.

Over all, spurs and a mustache. At that epoch, mustaches indicated the bourgeois, and spurs the pedestrian.

The provincial dandy wore the longest of spurs, and the fiercest of mustaches.



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