Young fogey

"Young fogey" is a term humorously applied, in British context, to some younger-generation, rather buttoned-down[clarification needed] 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.[citation needed]. However the term “Young-fogey conservative” was used by Larry Niven in Lucifer’s Hammer in 1977.

"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-1930s, also known as the "Brideshead" look, after the influence of the Evelyn Waugh novel Brideshead Revisited). Young fogeys tend towards erudite, conservative cultural pursuits, especially art and traditional architecture, rather than sports. The young fogey style of dress also has some surface similarity with the American preppy style, but is endogenous to the United Kingdom and Anglo-centric areas of the British Commonwealth such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand.[citation needed]


The movement reached its peak in the 1980s with champions such as A. N. Wilson, Gavin Stamp and John Martin Robinson and a relatively widespread following, but has declined since. Though generally a middle class phenomenon, it had a wider influence on fashions in the 1980s. Young fogeys are rarely rich or upper class and sometimes make a style virtue of genteel poverty, especially when rescuing old houses.[1] They often combine a conservative cultural outlook with a distaste of Conservative political activity. Often religious, their conservative outlook extends to refuting progressive theology.[citation needed]

Today committed young fogeys may be found amongst students at Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh and St Andrews universities; and at some universities in the Commonwealth, notably the University of Queensland and the University of Sydney. Adherents tend to concentrate in some professions: in particular the antiques and art dealing, residential estate agency, conservative classical architecture practices and certain strata of the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches.[citation needed] Strongholds of young fogeys include the Oxford University Conservative Association[citation needed] and Trinity College, Cambridge,[citation needed] but they are also seen elsewhere, with a smattering being found among Englishmen in University Conservative Associations everywhere.[citation needed]


Irish broadcaster Ryan Tubridy, who hosts The Late Late Show, has described himself as a "young fogey".[2]

British Member of Parliament Jacob Rees-Mogg was described as a "young fogey" after his 2010 election to Westminster.[citation needed]

British writer, editor, and broadcaster Anthony Lejeune was described by The Times as: "always out of period, a misfit in the modern world for whom the term 'young fogey' might have been invented".[3]


  • Suzanne Lowry, The Young Fogey Handbook: a guide to backward mobility. Javelin Books, 1985. ISBN 0-7137-1633-9, ISBN 978-0-7137-1633-7, 96 pages
  • The Chap magazine
  • John Martin Robinson and Alexandra Artley The New Georgian Handbook. Harpers, London, 1985

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ John Martin Robinson & Alexandra Artley, The New Georgian Handbook. Harpers, London, 1985
  2. ^ McBride, Caitlin (30 December 2009). "I won't stay on Late Late Show forever, reveals Ryan - Making plans: Tubridy doesn't see 'dream job' as his final TV gig". Evening Herald. Independent News & Media.
  3. ^ Anthony Lejeune. The Times, 26 March 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2018. (subscription required)

External linksEdit