Oscar Wilde: Victorian Aesthete
Wild Bill Cody: another Victorian Aesthete
Erté: 20th Century Aesthete
Sebastian Horsley: modern Aesthete
An Aesthete's greatest desire is attention. All his actions are focused on his own self promotion, and ways to attract notice. An aesthete is an artist, and as an artist he realizes that not only is art something to which one must be entirely devoted in order to succeed, but that promotion and advertisement is also key. Dress for the aesthete is thus focused around making an impression, and really, there is no "too much" when it comes to this end. An aesthete will keep to the general rules of dress: the four seasons.
Generally there are four color trends which match [at least roughly] the four seasons, and are in fact named for them.
Winter: I'll begin here as it's the first season in the calendar year [not the fiscal year, but we're talking about Dandies who generally overlook such trivialities]. Winter colors tend to be darker, and more jewel toned. black, grey, dark blue, and dark red usually make up the canon. These colors make for a gaunt look and are very dignified looking. Formal wear is almost exclusively "winter" in its flavor. Older gentlemen will generally wear a great deal of "winter" outfits as it gives them a dignified look.
Spring: With the warmer weather [or a warmer attitude] comes the spring look. This look is most known for pastels, and tweeds. Lighter colors and soft hues it gives a pleasant and youthful look to the man who wears it. Younger men [or the young at heart] can wear Spring outfits and it will give them a friendly youthful look. This look may make an older man look "juvenile" so care needs to be taken when choosing this lighter style.
Summer: The bright and light. This style is for fun and energy. Colors are whites, yellows, light reds, and light blues. This style is for fun and betrays no solemnity or real dignity. A man over 50 really cannot wear much "summer" wear, as it makes him look very eccentric.
Fall: On a somber not the "fall" style is full of darker jewel tones, and even more textured fabrics make this style fairly versatile. Rich browns, dark/brick reds, dark blues and greens are "fall" colors. This is a very popular style with many peacocks because of the rich color combinations it allows. This style really is among the most versatile as it is fairly easy to create an appealing ensemble with a mixture of dark earth tones and jewel tones.
The key is to knowing what style you like, what goes best with your personal make up, and putting together outfits that compliment you, rather than stand out in spite of you.
But the aesthete will ignore that last bit...your outfit should stand out! Now a true Aesthete will be a large enough personality that he can wear loud outfits and still be noticed for his talent, but even if he's feeling rather quiet that day, his outfit should still speak for him.
Let him focus on the brighter colors: yellow, orange, bright blue, and pink [colors which dandies have to shun because they are usually too bold and showy: of course that IS by by definition the goal of the Aesthete]. As to accessories, these should be large and bold. Hats, pocket scarves, walking sticks should match [more or less] the outfit, be again be designed to catch attention. Patterns can also be used, but if one wears garish, as opposed loud, he risks going from showy, to stupid...so while prudence is not necessarily required, some common sense still is.
Being an Aesthete is no easy job, self promotion, and always being center stage is a full time occupation. But for those who desire to promote themselves and their art, dressing the part can be one of the most effective means. Look at Oscar Wilde, and Sebastian Horsely