Definition of Dandizette

Dandizettes defined by history

The terms Dandizette & Dandy were initially terms of mockery. Dandizettes were a manifestation of the growing power of female intellectuals using sexual allure & wit to leverage power.
The Dandy’s were Cavaliers who allied themselves to the Royal Court – largely Catholic in the 1640’s. In flamboyant lace-trimmed velvets, jewels & feather-plumed hats they were making a sartorial statement on their aesthetic philosophy as well as attesting their loyalty to the artistic court of the Stuart King Charles I & Queen Henrietta (nee De Medici)

Tyne O'Connell Dandizette Mayfair montage

In 1642 Puritan cartoons mocked the Dandy as cartoon fools in boots & hats garnished with bells such as those worn by court jesters. The Dandizette was similarly lampooned as intellectual aristocratic ladies, ostentatiously attired in expensive fripperies, their long noses – disfigured warts – immersed in reading books.

To the fury of the Puritans, the Cavaliers appropriated the insults as badges of honour & their ostentatious dress flourished even after their Stuart King Charles II was restored to the throne.
The Civil War 1642 to 1651 was triggered by greed & justified by religion but at its heart the 17th Century Civil War was a bloody battle over the morality of art & beauty. Protestant-Puritan Parliamentarians stridently opposed any & all expressions of Beauty & Art perceived as gateways to sin & Satan. The Royalists Cavaliers believed Art & Beauty were the gateways to grace & God. The death toll of the Civil War was enormous & Britain was bankrupted.

Upon the Catholic Stuart King Charles II restoration May 29th 1660 fountains flowed with champagne, there was dancing on the streets & people threw rose petals at the procession of Dandies & Dandizettes rode through the streets of London.

From the ashes of the Civil War & Cromwell’s brutal oppressive regime came the uniquely British Characters; the Dandy and Dandizette & the British Eccentrics became part of the warp and woof of British Society, as tea, tweed, and tolerance.

A Mayfair Dandy

The Mayfair Dandy

The Mayfair Dandy

The Mayfair Dandy was first spotted during The Civil War 

The MayfairDandy - A LONDON DANDY OF 1646

The British have a long history of expressing their opinions sartorially but protestants in the 17th century eschewed all decoration believing beauty & art & larks & fun, like dancing & theatre, were the Devils-Gateway, while those loyal to the Catholic Stuart King Charles I, The Cavaliers, flaunted their finery lace & feathered hats.

The Dandy was mocked by the Puritans & after 1649 Dandizettes & Dandies were beaten by Cromwell’s Protestant Army who patrolled the streets of Britain meting out their brutal punishments to anyone caught dancing singing or wearing decorative clothing makeup or jewels – even toys & games were banned under the Protestants who saw all fun as a gateway to Satan.

No wonder the fountains of London flowed with Champagne & Londoners danced in the street for a fortnight when King Charles II was restored to the throne on May 29 1660.

The Dandy & The Dandizettes & reigned supreme & beauty & fun saw off the Puritan Tyrants.

In 1660 Charles II began creating Mayfair & St James’s as a residential & retail haven where lovers of art & beauty & eccentrics of all genders & faiths could feel safe & mingle amongst their fellow eccentrics. God save the King!

St James's Street

St James’s Street

St James's Street

St James’s Street : This is why I live in St. James’s: nothing I wear or do or say will raise an eye-brow in this spiritual homeland of Eccentrics, where every vista hosts a heartening reminder of the inspirational women that created this retail & residential paradise in the 1660’s.

Lady Elizabeth Wilbraham the architect who designed the glass-fronted arcades & garden squares; The Duchess of Newcastle who gave us the salon-life, spearheading Britain’s Enlightenment in the 1660’s; Queen Catherine of Braganza who introduced tea‬ & tolerance & the stiff-upper-lip approach to the struggles she faced as wife of the rake-ish King Charles II.

AphraBehn‬ spy, playwright & poet she outstripped Dryden‬ with the number of plays written & produced in the era & was the first writer to mention Mayfair‬ & StJames‬‘s in her play The Rover of 1667 igniting the curiosity & imaginations of the London populace as to what was going on in the drawing rooms & ball-rooms of the area…

The fuse of intrigue lit, Mayfair & St James’s has been exploding with intrigue, fashion, art & thrills ever since.
St James’s & Mayfair I doff my tiara to you.

Tyne O'Connell reading at home house poetry evening

The 4 Dandizettes Who Created Mayfair

Tyne O'Connell reading at home house poetry evening

Tyne O’Connell reading at home house poetry evening

Tyne O’Connell read from her upcoming book Mayfair Eccentrics which uncovers the secret history behind The Coterie of Eccentric Women who created this international homeland of eccentrics in the heart of London.

Tyne O'Connell reading at home house poetry evening The 4 Dandizettes Who Created Mayfair.

Hark the sartorial splendour of the Dandizette as she darts from salon to salon, sipping tea on Mount Street and quaffing champagne on Grosvenor Square as she has done since the 1660’s  when London was really swinging.

As King Charles II and his retinue of cavaliers rode through the streets of London on the 29th May 1660 the fountains literally flowed with champagne and the crowds danced and sang in the streets for a full fortnight.

According to the diarists Pepys & Evelyn the crowds threw rose petals to celebrate their liberation from twenty years under the yoke of Cromwell’s puritan tyranny & celebrated the erstwhile forbidden fun of drinking, dancing, theatre, poetry, singing and the wearing of fine clothes as art. No one embraced these freedoms more than the women of London who outnumbered men in the Capital two to one in the 1660’s & were, for the first time in history, able to act on stage & take up professions such as architecture, literature and even spy for the king.

The Four dandizettes Of Mayfair

I urge you to join me on this festive night in making four toasts to the Four Dandizettes who created not just Mayfair & St James – an area created & built by eccentric women for eccentric women & forward-thinking gentlemen but these four dandizettes gave us the qualities we now embrace as Englishness: Tea, Eccentrics, Literature, clothing as art, tolerance and indeed the very bubbles in our champagne.

I begin with a toast to Queen Catherine of Braganza who gave us tea and tolerance & our stiff upper lips with her philosophy of bear and forebear. Though a serious and devout Catholic herself she loved nothing more than throwing decadent parties and masque balls especially on Sundays which shocked the sensibilities of protestants but thrilled the saloniers & eccentrics of King Charles II’s Court of cavaliers. For in giving us tea & the ports of Tangiers and Bombay, Catherine opened up society to women & extravagantly dressed dandies and dandizettes who had been excluded from Coffee houses where religion and politics ruled and gave us after afternoon tea salons where chat of fashion, philosophy and larks held sway!

Our next toast is that to magnificent doyenne of the 1660’s Mad Madge!

Margaret Cavendish, The Duchess of Newcastle who gave us our English Enlightenment with her nutty penchant for hosting blue-stocking salons in her Mayfair home where she gathered the eccentrics of the world, seating poet beside king and cobbler beside duchess.
As philosopher, author and proto-feminist she attended the first scientific experiment at the Royal Society in1667 – rolling up with a ribald retinue of extravagant eccentrics in extraordinary costumes – creating such a sensation it was 1947 before the society allowed another women across its threshold.

To Mad Madge we raise our glasses for when it comes to kicking the traces in richly embroidered silk slippers, The Duchess of Newcastle is Queen.

My next toast is to Lady Elizabeth Wilbraham the architect who designed Mayfair and St James’s and created this residential & retail paradise of glass-fronted arcades and garden squares – The first woman architect in the world she also gave us St Paul’s Cathedral & though at the time she posthumously attributed her work to her young pupil Sir Christopher Wren, The Royal Society of Architects has now correctly attributed them to Lady Wilbraham – A toast please to the uniquely feminine skyline of London’s Magical Domes and Spires – for there could be no better backdrop for poets and artists to draw their inspirations. Brava! Chin-Chin & Cheers!

Finally, blazing a trail of theatrical genius & WIT across Lady Wilbraham’s skyline we raise our glasses to Agent 160 – Aphra Behn, Spy, Poet, court-wit & playwright extraordinaire. Her wit was so popular that the newly reopened theatres of Covent Garden saw more plays produced by Aphra Behn than her admirer Dryden. It was she that a coined the term “She stoops to conquer” in her 1667 production of The Rover.

Though Aphra Behn started her career as a spy for King Charles in Antwerp and succeeded in rescuing the British Fleet  from the Dutch using  her lemon juice-coded messages scrawled over her witty verses, the king never paid her so upon her return to London she was banged up in debtors prison where she was soon rescued by a fellow dandy who had heard of her famous wit. Forthwith, Aphra Behn became the world’s first woman to make a living through her writing.

So Charge your glasses Chaps & Chappesses Dandies & Dandizettes can we all stand now and salute the FOUR dandizettes.
Mad Madge, Lady Wilbraham, Queen Catherine of Braganza & Aphra Behn whose tomb in Westminster Abbey is inscribed with the inspirational words….

“Alas here lies proof that wit itself is no protection against mortality”

©Tyne O’Connell

Take a stand against the tyranny of casual wear

The Tyranny of Casual Wear

Take A Stand Against The Tyranny Of Casual Wear

I Beseech you to Bespeak your suits & gowns Ladies & Gentlemen, gather your girdles while yea may & glove up for glamour! I resist the strenuous pressure society places on me to wear what they erroneously refer to as casual-attire. Besides who wants to be Casual?

Take a stand against the tyranny of casual wear

I embrace the Formal! One knows where one is with formal.

Casual is not a state I’m comfortable with. Casual implies a state of lurching chaos, in which a cricket-ball or hand-grenade could be hurled into to my life without warning. As a consequence, Im perpetually what is cruelly termed: “overdressed”. The world is out to shame me into man-made-fabrics, stretch-fabrics poly-cotton-mixes & other highly flammable man-made textiles.

When a girl can’t feel safe in candlelight or snuggle up to a hearth, Society has come to the nasty impasse. We must not surrender our girdles or ballgowns girls! We must stand firm in our #whale-bone-corsetry & wiggery & say “No, I eschew your casual, scratchy poly-textiles”. There is nothing casual about clothes that cling to one’s silhouette without the requirement of whalebone corsetry. It is unsettling.


There is an honesty to being laced into a girdle, but I shudder at all stretch-fabrics & consequently I am perpetually out-of-step with a society that claims it wants me to feel comfortable.

I am comfortable in my girdles & whale-bone corsetry & ball-gowns.

I am comfortable in cheeky hats & sable-muffs & Georgian-robes.

I am comfortable in my dear little wiggies & I am comfortable in a tiara.

Casual clothes, like ready-to-wear are the sartorial gateway to poor-posture, indifferent manners & unattractive seating arrangements.

Start embroidering your banners for we are on the march! Heed the call to charms! Don your ballgowns & white-tie, summon all prettily-minded, Forward-thinking gentlemen & women to march down Pall-Mall & demand an end to the jack-booted brown-shirted Tyranny of casual-attire & man-made-fabric proponents & demand gymnasium-wear be contained within the walls of gymnasiums & made of natural fabrics.

The Tyranny of Casual Wear.

Chandalier hanging Claridges purple ballgown

Dandizettes Always Wear Ballgowns

Ballgowns – Don’t wait for the Occassion – always wear a ballgown

Dandizettes ballgowns Tyne O Connell

“Life’s too short to waste a moment on the mundane” I told my children. We owe it to posterity to live extraordinary lives.

We instinctively know this as children but as we age we accept the ordinary all too readily.

Tyne O'Connell fencing in St James's Square London

Since my illness – unable to wear heels or lug handbags – I’ve taken to wafting about my flat or hospital in ballgowns as I did as a little girl because I can’t afford to wait for occasions that may never come again.

So I sit about my flat or hospital bed sipping tea from bone china in tiaras & antique robes in to raise my spirits & add some glamour.

Ballgowns are always appropriate attire for a dandizette

My mother said, “inside every little old lady there’s an antique little girl eager to break free. She never believed you’re too old! Mummy danced on tables & drank champagne & wore ALL her jewels & finery ALL the time until the day she died.

Her generations still held balls & celebrated life & beauty while enduring depressions & fighting wars. My grandfather read poetry in the trenches of the Great War.

Tyne O'Connell dandizette in ballgown

Tyne O’Connell – Dandizette in Ballgown

Like Queen Elizabeth II Mummy relied on her friends pooling their ration books in order to purchase the fabric for her wedding gown – I’m wearing in this picture taken with my spaniel. The idea that she should forgo duchess-satin because bombs were falling or there was a depression was unthinkable.

We must never surrender larkiness art or splendour in the face of illness or war. For that’s what makes life extraordinary.

Besides everything seems more possible in ballgowns tiaras & white-tie.

Tyne O'Connell with spaniel and champagne

Eccentric Thinker of the Year

Eccentric Thinker of the Year
TYNE O’CONNELL Awarded “The Most Eccentric Thinker of the Year” 2015 by The Eccentric Club – Patron HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

“An accomplished writer, thinker, philosopher and dreamer, worshiping, just like the rest of us, the Eccentricity of Mayfair! Romantic, witty, funny and thorough when it comes to philosophy or nostalgic reminiscences of the glorious days and glamorous attires, good manners and classic flirt! The style of her narration and the logic of her reasoning are somewhat unique and representative of the great Mayfair eccentric thinker.” The Eccentric Club

The 2015 Eccentric of the Year Awards are out and Tyne O’Connell has been awarded Eccentric Thinker of the Year as the above quote explains. Dandizettes fully agrees with and supports this excellent decision.

The phenomenon of practical eccentricity has been an object of great interest for centuries. This worldwide phenomenon has its spiritual home in Mayfair and St James’s where dandizettes, dandies and eccentrics roam the streets, haunt the bars and clubs, and parade in the parks and squares. Tyne O’Connell is one of Mayfair’s famous dandizettes and as a natural eccentric and prolific writer she will no doubt honour this honour with her usual joie de vivre and mots de jours.

As Tyne has oft said – as a dandizette it is your duty and honour to express yourself to the benefit of the eyes of others. After all, what culturally aware person does not enjoy a well dressed, beautifully bejewelled and deliciously scented dandizette. But who will make the effort? Well thankfully you will darling and so will I and so there is hope.


Dandizettes – right behind The Eccentric Club’s Eccentric of the Year Awards.


Tyne O'Connell Mount Strreet

Dandizette Pronunciation

Dandizette pronunciation in a nutshell:

Dandizette pronunciation: noun, dan·di·zette  \¦dandē¦zet\
Tyne O'Connell on Mount Street Mayfair with books
Definition of DANDIZETTE

A dandizette is a woman who gives exaggerated attention to personal appearance: a female dandy

However in the opinion of a dandizette is far more than her fabulous, stylish and sometimes flamboyant appearance. Being a dandizette is about attitude, elegance, linguistic technique, sisterhood, quality, mindfulness, wit, charm and above all the decision to accept only the best even if that means making major sacrifices along the way.

Dandizette sensibility is as old as the hills though it peaked in Mayfair in London during The Restoration and was a force to be reckoned with across Europe particularly in the late 1800’s. The Dandizette, also known as the Quaintrelle or Cointrelle, is to the female what the Dandy is to the male – both exhibit cosmopolitan flair, humour and joie e vivre and have a dedication to sartorial originality and flair that invokes both envy and joy in all who meet them.