An alternative way of looking buff

Buff used to mean one thing in relation to a man’s appearance, and now it mainly means another. Anyone familiar with Ian Kelly’s superb biography of George ‘Beau’ Brummell will know that buff waistcoats and trousers formed an important part of the wardrobe of eighteenth century dandies, and, as a colour, it still has relevance today.

The name of the colour is derived from buffle, an old French word for wild ox. This is presumably because buff used to refer to clothes made from chamois leather – much like that now used to dry cars – although now the word is used to describe a pale, milky yellow colour.  This colour is now almost exclusively used for waistcoats worn to weddings under morning coats, like this bespoke linen one made by London tailor Nick Tentis. Nick Tentis (020 7355 3399)

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