The bi-annual weekend event has come again! In this article, I recount my Dapper Day Expo experience (like I did last time) by documenting some of my colleague’s great style and even give you a little sneak peak into the menswear presentation I did with Spencer.
For those of you who don’t know, Dapper Day is a non-Disney organization that celebrates style, whether it’s vintage, contemporary, or chic! Twice a year, they hold an unofficial event at Disneyland, where people can go out into the parks (this includes DisneyWorld) dressed up. Fairly recently, they instituted an Expo at the Disneyland Hotel that runs both the day before and the day of the actual Park outing. In addition to getting a tin-type picture, perusing the wares of vintage sellers, and dancing to live music, your $10 entrance fee also let you into a series of lectures given by some Disneyloving experts. Besame Cosmetics went into the history of make-up, Tony Medina did a vintage-inspired hair demonstration, and Spencer and I talked about vintage menswear!
Since we were going to present on something that not many people think about (Dapper Day is flush with well dressed women but usually not men), I was pretty excited. I invited as many people as I could! Thankfully a few followers of mine (both of the blog and my instagram) obliged and gave their support. Classic Menswear at Dapper Day was a welcome sight after seeing the “uniform” of clip on suspenders + bowtie + flatcap.
The presentation went much better than I expected, simply because I assumed that vintage menswear (or menswear in general) wouldn’t be that big of a topic. In reality, there was a good turn out who laughed at our dumb jokes and even asked questions Spencer and I didn’t think of! One example was how to do pick era-appropriate shoes; we simply answered that captoes and wingtips with a classic last will get you through almost any outfit. Spectators were worn into the 60’s, but they definitely fell out flavor with the general populace. Another one inquired about books to read in order to learn more. We simply said that we got a lot of our information from friends within the vintage community and from countless pictures online!
We made sure to record our talk, thanks to my corporate filmmaker friend Jon. I’ll have it up on YouTube, where I’ll intercut slides and images between the footage of Spencer and I talking. It’s basically a live (and clean) version of what you can expect from our podcast Style & Direction.
Side note: the first two episodes are up! You can listen to the pilot/intro and our first discussion on vintage wherever you get your podcasts.
After the presentation, Spencer and I answered more questions to curious listeners. One great one concerned vintage pieces for larger guys. We told the gentleman that Benny Reese of Reese’s Vintage Pieces has one of the largest collections of vintage and always makes sure to stock large ones. We also told him about reproduction suits and even going MTM to get a vintage-inspired suit. A reporter for the Coast Report even did a brief interview with me right after I talked with the curious gentleman, which was pretty cool. The Expo was still going on, so the squad and I went back to check it out.
Here’s all of our outfits! I’ve gotta say that I’m proud of us. As I’ve mentioned many times before, LA is dead when it comes to classic menswear. Sure you may say that people look nice when it comes to Dapper Day, but it doesn’t compare to the great stuff in NYC or London. I can’t tell how many times I look at pictures of The Armoury or Drake’s and wished I had a group of dudes like that.
Luckily, we brought our A game to the Dapper Day Expo.
Spencer makes it a point to buy a new suit every dapper day, perhaps to just to peacock. He got this suit from Benny Reese (no surprise there) and it’s certainly a beauty. It’s a 1940’s multi-stripe/windowpane DB suit, worn with a pink micro-stripe spearpoint shirt and a 30’s brocade abstract tie. Bonus points for finishing it off with black/white spectator derbies, which feature a canvas upper.
Even though it’s the fall Dapper Day event, Spencer’s outfit does give me some spring vibes. It’s most likely due to the pink/red in the shirt and tie, which is then picked up by the windowpane in the suit.
I talked about buttoning-point in our presentation, and so it’s great to note that Spencer’s suit is definitely early-mid 1940’s since the buttoning point is low. You can see how the last button goes beyond the pocket line, dropping the buttoning stance and creating a slightly bold look. If you look at illustrations and examples of later garments, you’ll see that the buttoning point is even lower than this!
The entire point of the presentation was to illustrate how to pull off vintage clothing and styling in today’s world. Obviously Spencer’s is way more vintage, but I would put my outfit up there as well, even if it is a bit more “conservative”. Actually, I’ll admit that this is more along the lines of an outfit that I’d wear on a daily basis as opposed to something special for an event.
I went with my trusty 1960’s Ivy Sack suit, which is just interesting enough thanks to it’s not-so-blue color and small herringbone weave. It’s not conservative but not too bold, which was perfect to hammer in my point that vintage style still applies today.
Keen readers will know that this suit is actually a three piece. However, I opted for a 1930’s sporting style by swapping the matching waistcoat for the SJC two-tone vest in brown/aubergine. With this subdued, burgundy-ish vest, I add the needed fall style into the “normal” outfit. To no one’s surprise, I went with a striped shirt, foulard tie, and collar bar for good measure. The outfit is basically 2017-does-1960’s-does-1930’s.
Blake basically dressed in all the details we talked about in our presentation, despite not hearing it before that same day. Perhaps it’s a testament to how easy vintage and vintage inspired style can be!
At first glance, you may see think that his outfit is something suited for spring or summer thanks to his cream trousers. Well, his trousers are actually an amazing piece cut from medium weight flannel, which is perfect for the mild fall/winter weather we normally have here in Southern California. Spencer talked about how cream trousers (in both summer and winter weights) are extremely versatile, so I’m glad that Blake was the poster child for that slide. You can see how well it works with his deep green jacket.
In the shot above, you can see the amazing weave of Blake’s jacket. It’s from the 1930’s and features a 3 button stance, shoulder padding (but not too much), and an oversized herringbone weave. They don’t make fabrics like this anymore, and if they do, it would cost way more to make it new than the price of this jacket.
The real beauty comes in the form of the bi-swing, belted back details. I know that there’s some moth damage, but it’s completely worth it. I’m sure Blake could save up some money and get it recreated if he wanted to!
Also, note the subtle red windowpane (and fleck) that showed up on this image instead of the others. It truly is an amazing fabric and I can assure you that no one else will have it.
Roy (the infamous Roycu on StyleForum) says hi yet again, after joining us from our initial meeting at The Bloke’s soft opening. What I love about Roy’s style is that he’s retained (and continued to wear) the same wardrobe that he had since the 1960’s. That means that he’s got some unique ivy pieces that are well worn and well taken care off. He can dress for pretty much any occasion!
I can see that Roy went for a real “Fall” outfit, considering how many shades of brown/orange that he’s got going on! It really provides a great case study on how to be monochromatic in shades other than black or blue (which is the easiest to do). Pay attention to his use of patterns and fabrics; he even does stripes + stripes for his shirt and tie!
Roy’s outfit also reminds me that I need some corduroy trousers. I really do.
Juliano is also another familiar face. Hailing from San Francisco, this Beckett & Robb MTM specialist always make sure to stunt on Dapper Day. He wears an amazing windowpane DB jacket with some dark brown flannel trousers. It’s a more contemporary outfit when compared to ours, but it’s something I could see myself wear. I especially love how the slight orange in the windowpane interacts with the brown of the trouser. Fall styling, am I right?
Oh yes, Juliano definitely knows to wear striped shirts + patterned ties. You don’t even need to be intentionally going for a vintage or vintage-inspired outfit to pull it off; works just as well with a classic modern outfit. Bonus points for those forward pleats. I seldom see those nowadays!
I’m really glad that Andy was able to hang out with us (even afterward as well!) since he lives so close! Rocking the “Ethan Pose” with his hands in his pockets, he dons a eBay-ed Aquascutum suit. I’m not all too familiar with this British brand, but it’s pretty great considering the classic cut and design of the suit. With wide peaks (by modern standards), a fairly wide-set buttoning point, and double pleated trousers, it’s something I’m incredibly jealous of.
While he doesn’t go for a striped shirt + patterned tie, he gives his suit a 20s-early 30’s vibe with a contrast club collar shirt and a red foulard tie. It’s a damn good look, if I do say so myself.
Hector is a Brooklyn transplant who is realizing how lame it is to like menswear in Southern California. Luckily, temps reached the upper 60’s (which is not comparable to fall in NYC) which allowed him to break out his dope bespoke commissions. The outfit follows the standard menswear non-suit uniform of a navy jacket and grey trousers, but it’s still great for being a tried-and-true combo. The jacket is unstructured with patch pockets and pairs wonderfully with the soft grey flannels. I may just have to steal this look.
EDIT: Apparently he’s wearing brown heather flannels which look grey. Either way it’s good. Plus I love brown trousers anyway!
As luck would have it, the tie was from Beckett & Robb, which gave Hector and Juliano a moment to bond. I love how he adds in a throwback with a tweed flat cap. You don’t have to vintage to look good!
I got to take this quick shot of Benny before running around to practice for my presentation. He’s got a penchant for crazy vintage clothing and his outfit is no exception. I mean just look at his jacket! The weave alone is bonkers; add in the fleck and blue undertones, and you’ve got a completely unique and amazing garment. I’m sure he sold a bit that day, especially since I mentioned him (among others) in my presentation.
Tyler, our animator friend from the vintage community, was in attendance. Last Dapper Day, he wore a rare 1930’s green suit to disney (or dapper?) bound as Robin Hood; he kept the fedora from that outfit to add the perfect fall accent to his suit. And man, what a suit it is.
This brown 1930’s 3PC plaid suit is a beauty and I’d kill to have it. I know I have plenty of brown suits and jackets already, but you can’t expect me not to like this! Tyler even said that he got it from a dealer for $100. Talk about luck.
Taking a picture with Linda is a new tradition of mine, especially since she’s one of the most stylish women I’ve ever come across. She asked to take a picture with my friends and I, wearing a gorgeous green dress with leopard accents. She assured me that her husband would be dressed better for the actual Dapper Day in the parks the next day, as he was watching the kids in a chambray shirt and chinos. That’s still a solid look in my book!
Sean was back again, last seen with his girlfriend at the Dapper Day x LACMA: Chagall event a few months ago. As a manager and a MTM specialist, he represented Brooks Brothers at the Expo, helping budding enthusiasts get some custom shirts and suits. As a surprise, Sean gifted me with old Brooks Brothers metal buttons that a client had swapped off of his old commission a number of years ago. I can’t wait to add them onto a jacket of my own!
While it is technically fall, temperatures didn’t really call for tweed. Instead of dying in the heat, Sean played it smart with a comfortably soft, half-lined green plaid jacket (with patch pockets). With grey trousers, a fun tie, and blue monkstraps, I’m sure he impressed a lot of clients!
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t initially disappointed with how my Dapper Day’s have gone (in retrospect). When I went for my first time back in 2013, I had a large group. Four years later, I thought that Dapper Day just entailed a “solo bolo” Disney trip consisting of just Spencer and me. Thankfully, I was wrong!
Through the power of the internet, I was able to amass a great group of guys who love classic clothing, appreciate vintage, and know how to have fun apart from the whiskey tasting and cigar smoking. I mean could you even see the guys from Pitti going to Disneyland? I think not!
An appreciation for a lowkey approach to classic/vintage menswear (and life even) is why I continue to write and feature people on my blog. I’m really glad that we were all able to meet up and swap stories. Hopefully it won’t take a Dapper Day Expo to bring us together!
Also I want to give my friend Jon a quick shout out for being a huge supporter since I started my blog. He’s a true entrepreneur who has made a living from what he enjoys and I highly respect that. Jon accompanied me on my first invited Dapper Day event and I’ve been waiting to bring him to another one ever since! He took time off of his busy schedule not only to come support but to work and record my presentation so I could share it with you guys; he even took all the group and candid shots!
Actual Dapper Day in Parks post coming soon!
Always a pleasure,
Street x Sprezza
Photography by Ethan W. and Jon H.