What We Wore This Week: A 1940’s Dapper Day

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Dapper Day is the best bi-annual event of the year.  It’s a day where you get to show up to the Disneyland park instyle, whether its vintage or modern!  As expected, Spencer, Fran, and I strolled around in our vintage outfits.  Last time, we styled ourselves with the sharp peak lapels of the 1930’s, but this time we went 10 years later as the more laid back and swingin’ 1940’s.

The Window Pane Man

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Patterns are my favourite thing about vintage clothes; almost every piece has a unique fabric and pattern that you just can’t find today.  Spencer’s suit is definitely no exception.  His beige suit with light orange checks is simply amazing.  Paired with a white spearpoint collar shirt and a red and yellow tie, Spencer brings an air of simple sartorialism to his outfit.

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Just check out his suit, man.  It’s not just orange windowpane on brown, it’s windowpane on houndstooth.  This amount of detail is lost on modern clothing, unless you go bespoke.  And this suit is far cheaper than going to a custom tailor.

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Next, note his pocket square.  People always think that you have to match the pocket square to something already in your outfit; this is wrong.  Just keep your pocket square in the same palette as your outfit and you’re golden!  Here, Spencer is tan and green, which goes smartly with the earthy tones of his ensemble.  It pops in a subtle way!

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Can’t be a well-dressed gent without some details.  Even though Spencer drops his usual collar bar, he still keeps that old school elegance with some deco cufflinks. Today, most guys wear them with tuxes but back then, they were still used with regular dress shirts!  He then keeps his tie anchored with a trumpet tie bar.  This guy has got some crazy tie bars.  You guys should get some if you want to include a sneaky part of fun into your sartorial outfit.

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Brown is the go to color for brown suits, but Spencer isn’t a sheep.  Just look at these bad boys!  Dark olive green captoes with pine green laces?  Holy god, these are awesome.  Earth tones don’t restrict personality if you’ve got the right pieces.

Suit and Tie from Joyride Vintage  

Princess Belle

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I love it when people combine vintage and Disneybounding.  For those of you who don’t know, Disneybounding is a way for people to dress up like their favorite character without stepping boundaries on Disneyland’s “no costume rule.” Here, Fran is clearly disneybounding Belle from Beauty and the Beast.  Even though she’s wearing all modern clothing, she styles it amazingly as the 1940’s.  From the hair to the shoes, Fran’s got it down.  Even if you don’t have true vintage, you can always be a part of the fun!

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“I’d have to admit, this took quite a bit of planning. I went for a much deeper blue than Belle’s because I felt that it would give some elegant vibes to a very simple outfit. I went with a white button-up shirt with a blue midi a-line skirt.I thought it would be cute to add a black ribbon to my shirt to tone the white down just a bit. Also, for the hair, I thought it would be cute if I put a bow to my ponytail, just like the princess in the beginning of the movie! A sense of royalty to a casual and playful outfit just spells out ‘Belle’ to me. Another accessory I’d like to note is my brown satchel. It acted as my ‘basket’ for the day!”

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“If it was anything that really made this outfit stand out, it was the hair and makeup. In the 1940s, women tended to sport a red lip, long faux eyelashes, and rosy cheeks. Victory rolls were extremely popular to both the youth and the working women. I styled this victory roll with a neat ponytail to give even more of the Belle vibe.”

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“And of course, there is no Belle without a book! As much of a bookworm as I am, I don’t own any fairytales. However, I thought that the Da Vinci Code was the perfect thickness for a book Belle would like in a book. I bet if it existed in her time, she would read it as well!”

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“And lastly for the shoes, I wore my brown wingtip oxfords with black socks. I didn’t have my black flats with me, so I improvised with these. I think the brown makes the whole outfit a bit more tame, adding that ‘elegant yet casual’ vibe to the outfit.”

White-collared shirt from Forever 21
Skirt from Amazon
Thrifted Wingtip Oxfords

A Devil in the Details 

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If you can’t tell, I really love wearing brown and cream.   However instead of a slim fitting single breasted jacket, I went with the classic 1940’s piece:  the double breasted.  Nothing says power like a DB, either due to the awesome wide peak lapels or the symmetrical buttons.  A wide brimmed Borsalino fedora can also help.  Borsalino has been the premier  hatter for the past 100 years.  Today, they’re still making hats, from Panamas to fedoras, with the highest quality.  My hat has certainly lasted almost 90 years now and it’s still going strong.

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Now this might look like a typical vintage outfit.  Double breasted jacket, wide legged and cuffed pants, polkadot socks, spectator shoes, and fedora.  However, this outfit just gets better the closer you look at it.  Let’s delve in…

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Boom.  Pattern mixing at it’s finest. On the outside, we’ve got a flannel DB with orange stripes.  Got the idea that brown and orange go together yet? Next we have a swing tie.  In the 1940’s, they ditched the typical micropatterns and stripes and went to some crazy abstract designs that lasted until the 1950’s.  Even though this one  has three colors, it works well with the outfit, since its closed up by the jacket.  Lastly, we have a printed design true 1930’s shirt.  Yes, printed patterns on shirts aren’t a modern hipster invention!  We’ve had them for years.

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Here’s all the patterns and colors in action.  Doesn’t everything seem to flow?  The cream in the pants is in the tie, the white shirt and pocket square, and the natural partners of the cream and brown.  Whether its vintage or modern, you can definitely mesh your patterns together.  As long as you scale them by having variations in pattern size and you take color into consideration, you’ll set your outfit above the rest, even though you might be the only one who notices.

Also you might notice that Spencer and I are wearing the same pin.  It’s actually an official Mickey Mouse store pin from 1937! I don’t know much about Disney memorabilia, but these matching pieces were too tough for us to pass up!   It was a great finishing touch for our Dapper Day outfits.

Even though I dress up everyday, I firmly believe that I look my best when I wear vintage.  We were complimented many times in the park for keeping our outfits in the days of yesteryear.  One cast member even told us that we looked like “we should be animating with Walt in the studios”.  I can’t wait until we get to do this again next year!

Always a pleasure,

Ethan W.

Photography by Ethan W.   

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