Great article, but could you go into more detail about why trousers replaced breeches. The article seemed to suggest that many of the innovations Brummel introduced enabled him to be able to afford to keep up with the aristocracy, but I don't see how the shift to breeches fits this.
Simple: breeches are for riding, which indicates that the wearer owns a country estate and has sufficient income to keep a stable. Â Brummell's father was a successful shopkeeper, and left the Beau a few thousand pounds. Â This was enough to allow Brummell a nice life in London, until he gambled it away. Â But it was not enough -- not nearly enough -- to maintain the kind of country house life of the aristocracy. Â So Brummell changed the rules. Â He "citified" his look. Â The point was to eliminate the horsy status symbols that the upper class wore in town, and make everyone look largely the same.
But, I have to disagree with you on the idea that clothes can make you an Adonis. They might make you look better, but there are still limits.
Well, you have to allow a writer a little poetic license.