Young Fogey

the spectator


The term young fogey was humorously applied, in British context, to some younger-generation, rather buttoned-down writers and journalists, such as Simon Heffer, Charles Moore and, for a while, A. N. Wilson. The term is attributed to Alan Watkins writing in 1984 in ‘The Spectator.’ Young fogey is still used to describe conservative young men (aged approximately between 15 and 40) who dress in a vintage style (usually that of the 1920s-1950s, also known as the ‘Brideshead’ look – after the influence of ‘Brideshead Revisited’, by Evelyn Waugh), and who tend towards erudite, conservative cultural pursuits.

The young fogey is sometimes confused with the ‘Sloane Ranger’ (a stereotype in London of young, upper class or upper-middle-class people who live near Sloane Square in Chelsea), but this is incorrect; whilst there is some crossover between the two in clothing styles, the young fogey tends toward reserved, intellectual and cultured pursuits, and avoids heartiness. The young-fogey style of dress also has some surface similarity with the preppy style, but it is essentially an anglo-centric style, restricted to the United Kingdom and the more anglicized areas of the British Commonwealth such as Australia and New Zealand.

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