HBNTrader

New Member
I would like to start a thread specifically for the discussion of (European) aristocratic style.

Not just England, and not just high nobility and royal families. Rather your next-door aristocrats who own a small castle and 1000 or so hectares of land.

I live in Germany and I have noticed that the following is common among the aristocracy, from the landed gentry to HRH Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia.

- Polka dot ties, worn both with full business suits and with blazers. Also patterned ties but less than in the UK.
- Blazers, pullovers and pants in earthly colors, e.g. some sort of green, beige, yellow, orange, sometimes bordeaux; bright blue is rather seldom found except in ties
- Double-breasted jackets are very common
- Striped shirts
- No or toned down pocket squares, except in younger nobles who have picked it up
- Clothing somewhat influenced by hunting style - Barbour and Burberry jackets (there is a similar German brand called Lodenfrey)
- Bavarian-style closed-collar jackets (Trachtenjanker) especially in the south, but never with Lederhosen. Usually worn open so that you can see a tie. Never full folk costume, but regional/folk influences on business suits. High-end German brands produce Trachtenjanker cut like business suits or blazers specifically for this clientele. In fact they are called "Trachtensakko" ("Sakko" means "blazer/jacket") due to their hybrid nature. In Austria they are part of police, fire and military uniforms. In fact the "Trachtensakko" is somewhat reminiscent of Austro-Hungarian uniforms from the early 20th century.
- Overall, nothing flashy or too modern, everything has taste and class, no excesses whatsoever. Very calm yet elevated style.

Gentlemen from non-noble old money families (by "old money" I mean really old dynasties going back to the 19th century or earlier) share a similar style.

It does share similarities with British aristocracy, but you can notice that it is specifically German, it is somewhat stricter with different cuts. A tad bit of military influence.

Examples:

kami-hohenzollern-jung-DW-Vermischtes-Hechingen-jpg.jpg

HRH Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia († 1994) with HRH Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia as a teenager

prinz-bernhard-von-baden-mit.jpg

HRH Prince Bernhard of Baden in front of the famous Salem boarding school. Note the brown blazer or sportcoat under the modest jacket.


alexander-zu-schaumburg-lippe.jpg

Liberal politician HH Prince (Fürst) Alexander zu Schaumburg-Lippe

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Conservative politician Alexander Gauland. Not a nobleman but very similar, with English and Trad influence. He bought his famous dog tie in Britain. Considered one of the few, if not the only, well-dressed MP in the Bundestag.

geschaeftlich-art-linie-f-babenhausen-gal-002.jpg

HH Prince (Fürst) Alexander of Fugger-Babenhausen. The Fugger dynasty descends from Europe's richest man during the medieval era, Jakob Fugger, and was later ennobled.


P.S.: If you believe that I start too many threads, please tell me and I will calm down.
 
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G

Guest-99172

Guest
Not much to add, just wanted to say I think you captured this rather nebulous look quite well. I admired the understatedness of this class of person when I occasionally ran into them in Germany. You are exactly right about the double-breasted suits and anglophile influence.
 

smmrfld

Super Member
Why don’t you just try being a kid for a while, rather than a “next-door aristocrat” or other similar nonsense? Lightening-up will do you a world of good.
 

HBNTrader

New Member
berlin01a.jpg

berlin02a.jpg

Do you think I captured this style well? The polka dot tie is to arrive tonight or tomorrow, as soon as it does I will take another picture.
 

Dhaller

Advanced Member
Most of my experience with European aristocracy is Austrian (I'm good friends with a number of von Schwarzenberg princes and princesses, and the Count of Seefried auf Buttenheim) and Italian (the Visconti di Modrone).

I guess if I would summarize their style it would be "elegant country". Mostly, these are people who work in public service and hunt a lot in their spare time. Uberto Visconti (RIP) was the most dapper man I've ever known (and very charming), but he had a more "corporate" elegance with dark suits and so on, though his daughter Chiara - who is very involved with the family's ranch business - is usually very practically dressed as an America cowgirl (jeans, riding boot, cowboy hat etc.)

Offhand I see a fair number of checks and windowpanes among the von Schwarenbergs, at least when they're not dressed for public appearance. They are well-dressed people, though. Princess Lilly von Schwarzenberg, when I've seen her, is usually in a houndstooth jacket, jeans, and boots - again, an equestrian aesthetic.

Summary: business, hunting, equestrian seems to be the blend.

But of course it's going to be very regional. No Italian or French aristocrat is going to be wearing a trachtenjanker, and of course someplace hot (like Spain) will be very different from someplace cool (like Scotland).

I will add this: I never met an aristocrat who *mentioned* his or her title in public, so part of the "function" of aristocratic dress is, frankly, to lay low. It's going to be subdued; no attention is good attention. Peakockery is vulgar.

DH
 

vonSuess

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to look like an aristocrat, if that's where we're going with this. You just don't want to be obvious about it. I'd say it's a matter of quiet good taste. Perhaps take a cue from Aristotle and lean toward moderation in all things...
 

Dhaller

Advanced Member
Oh. I thought it fell off the Space Station and impaled itself there.
A big, high-tech-looking TV tower is a common sight in most of the world's cities (Tokyo Tower comes to mind) - I don't know why we don't really have them in the USA.

I mean, obviously the USA *has* them, but they're generally just antennas, not "architecture pieces" (the Seattle Space Needle being a noteworthy exception.)

DH
 

HBNTrader

New Member
Some more pictures, to get us back on topic here:

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HSH Prince (Fürst) Hans-Adam II. von Liechtenstein. Usually wears sober business style in official situations but dresses according to his class in private. The Princes of Liechtenstein still yield political power and have the right to overrule bad decisions by politicians and forcibly dissolve the parliament in case of a major screwup, making the Principiality one of the few countries without national debt.

Ur-Ur-Grossneffe-von-Annette-Droste-zu-Huelshoff-stellt-Buch-vor-Fesselnde-Familiengeschichte_...jpg

Baron (Freiherr) Wilderich von Droste zu Hülshoff, from Westphalia. Note the Bavarianized yet formal style described in the OP.

Familypic2.jpg

HH Comte Jacques de Lalaing, with family. A typical representative of the Belgian countryside nobility.

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Mr. Hans Georg Friedrich-Karl von Ribbeck, who returned to the Brandenburgish village of Ribbeck founded by his ancestors. While the magistrate refused to give him the historic castle that rightfully belongs to him, he could successfully restore the family business. The von Ribbeck house, which does not hold even a baronial or knightly title but is very old, has always been famous for growing fruit, especially pears, and nowadays turns them into fine spirits. His ancestors inspired Theodor Fontane's famous poem "Herr von Ribbeck auf Ribbeck im Havelland", which is written partially in the local dialect. This might help you understand it, as the Northern German dialects, also called Niederdeutsch or Platt, use many words found in English, Dutch and in Scandinavian languages in a similar form.


Herr von Ribbeck auf Ribbeck im Havelland,


Ein Birnbaum in seinem Garten stand,

Und kam die goldene Herbsteszeit

Und die Birnen leuchteten weit und breit,

Da stopfte, wenn's Mittag vom Turme scholl,

Der von Ribbeck sich beide Taschen voll.

Und kam in Pantinen ein Junge daher,

So rief er: "Junge, wiste 'ne Beer?"

Und kam ein Mädel, so rief er: "Lütt Dirn,

Kumm man röwer, ick hebb 'ne Birn".

So ging es viel Jahre, bis lobesam

Der von Ribbeck auf Ribbeck zu sterben kam.

Er fühlte sein Ende. 's war Herbsteszeit,

Wieder lachten die Birnen weit und breit;

Da sagte von Ribbeck: "Ich scheide nun ab.

Legt mir eine Birne mit ins Grab."

Und drei Tage drauf, aus dem Doppeldachhaus,

Trugen von Ribbeck sie hinaus,

Alle Bauern und Bündner mit Feiergesicht

Sangen "Jesus meine Zuversicht".

Und die Kinder klagten, das Herze schwer:

"He is dod nu. Wer giwt uns nu 'ne Beer?"

So klagten die Kinder. Das war nicht recht -

Ach, sie kannten den alten Ribbeck schlecht;

Der neue freilich, der knausert und spart,

Hält Park und Birnbaum strenge verwahrt.

Aber der alte, vorahnend schon

Und voll Mißtrauen gegen den eigenen Sohn,

Der wußte genau, was er damals tat,

Als um eine Birn' ins Grab er bat,

Und im dritten Jahr aus dem stillen Haus

Ein Birnbaumsprößling sproßt heraus.

Und die Jahre gehen wohl auf und ab,

Längst wölbt sich ein Birnbaum über dem Grab,

Und in der goldenen Herbsteszeit

Leuchtet's wieder weit und breit.

Und kommt ein Jung' übern Kirchhof her,

So flüstert's im Baume: "Wiste 'ne Beer?"

Und kommt ein Mädel, so flüstert's: "Lütt Dirn,

Kumm man röwer, ick gew' di 'ne Birn."

So spendet Segen noch immer die Hand


Des von Ribbeck auf Ribbeck im Havelland.
 
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