I’m doing something different for my Dapper Day coverage this year. Normally, I would talk about the expo and the outing, but it’s becoming too cut and paste. I’m always going to be impressed by the expo and you’ll get my point and click Canon photos of people’s Dapper Day coordinates. My first Dapper Day Expo was back in Fall 2015 when the Expo was half the vendors and had a mini classic car show.
I still remember my first Dapper Day. I wore my red Heidi dress from Pinup Girl Clothing. It was the first dress I bought that evoked the aesthetics of mid-century women’s style. It was a dress that arrived in my Boston apartment nicely packaged. I wore it and felt like pinup. So much so, I wore the red Heidi to my first pinup shoot and subsequently, my first Dapper Day!
I look back at this photo and I know I’ve grown a lot in mid century styling. I see Dapper Day newbies coming in with dresses they bought at Hot Topic or just something from their closet that made them feel fabulous. There were a lot of folks in this category at the Disneyland Resort every year that celebrate their first time stepping out in style.
And I hate, hate seeing new folks coming into the Dapper life meet scrutiny. I see private Facebook folks complaining that people don’t wear true vintage. Not everyone can afford or fit into true vintage, Becky. I see people complain about petticoats being too large or showing. Not all petticoats are made then same, Lisa. I see people saying the don’t like seeing women wear shoes other than high heels. Theme parks weren’t made for Christian Louboutins, Karen.
What we should be celebrating is people wanting to dress up nice. That Hot Topic dress might make a newcomer to Dapper Day feel awesome. Dapper isn’t just a style on the outside. It’s on the inside, wearing something that makes you cool, smooth, and confident. The idea of Dapper Day evolving from 1955 opening day fashion to any era of fancy is amazing and should be celebrated.
I grew up in a community where I would get consistently made fun of for wearing dresses and gemstone necklaces when (white, suburban) folks would wear Hawaiian prints and puka shells. Dressing fancy and fabulous was a rebellious act for me because the glamour of mid-century really called out to me. I felt I was the only one, but anytime I see people make an effort to be fancy, it makes me happy. Even if it’s a simple skater dress with tussled hair. Why should we care so much how others dress? When we care too much about the happiness of others to the point we are putting them down, it’s wicked ugly. You might be wearing true vintage, but truly, you are hideous on the inside.
It’s sad that Dapper Day has a contingency of elitists. I’ve had my share of elitists this year dealing with dirty looks when I wore one of my Lolita coordinates on day one. I was happy to finally wear my Dawn of the Morning Dew dress. There’s no rule against wearing Lolita at Dapper Day. Dapper Day celebrates the fancy and evokes the spirit of putting on your Sunday best down Main Street. While there will be elitists everywhere, Dapper Day is just about style and clothes. I see no reason for people to judge one another because of clothing choices. If it’s the latter, I graduated high school a long time ago.
In short, let’s not be bullies to folks getting into Dapper Day. If you’re still nervous about Dapper Day, go fo it! Wear that old prom dress or outfit you came up with from Goodwill. You don’t have to drop $150+ on a true vintage dress to enjoy Dapper Day. Does it make you feel fancy? Does it make you feel stylish? Overall, are you happy in your outfit? If so, get through those gates, get the nearest photo pass photographer and take all of the stylish selfies!