Even though we don’t go into the parks anymore, we can always spare sometime to get dressed up for the original Dapper Day (at the expo, that is).
Yes, you heard me correctly: we don’t go into the Disneyland parks for Dapper Day anymore! This is mainly because tickets are expensive and most of our friends don’t have the time/money to spend a whole day at Disneyland/California Adventure to make it “worth it to them”. We all decided that if we do go int the parks, we might as well wear casual clothing so we can go on rides like Splash Mountain without having to worry about damaging our suits!
That being said, Dapper Day is still an amazing event. Created by Justin Jorgensen a few years ago, it’s an event that celebrates style across genders and decades. People tend to think that it requires vintage style, but it’s about simply stepping out in your best clothes, whether that’s vintage or modern! Our favorite outings to go to tend to be the museum ones (though the LA Phil one was bomb), but Justin originally started it at the Disney parks, as a way to make the old concept art of families in dresses/suits come to life. It’s really erupted into a huge cultural event that draws the well dressed crowds. As such, we go not just to have fun, but to represent classic menswear.
Even though we don’t get to strut our sartorial duds in the parks, we always have the Dapper Day Expo! It’s an exhibit hall filled with everything from reproduction brands and vintage vendors to photobooths and a dance floor (again featuring excellent music by Dandy Wellington and his band). It’s mainly an easier opportunity for us to hang out with some friends while still being apart of the Disney spirit.
This time, they brought back the seminars (Spencer and I did one two years ago) which included a discussion on “Style as Empowerment” featuring not just Justin Jorgensen, but writer Natty Adams, designer Thrash, and a few others! Unfortunately, I got to the expo right when it ended at 4PM, due to heavy traffic from North Hollywood. My excuse is that I was clearing out a film costuming warehouse that was closing down; I had to pick up as much as my tiny wallet would let me! Apparently they recorded the talk, so I’ll link it back here as soon as I can! Perhaps it might be a more positive theme than the Permanent Style Symposium on a “dressed-down world”…
Since we were only there for a few hours, we spent most of our time catching up with old friends. I arrived with my friend Felicia and got to see the whole Disney/Disneybound style aspect of the event, which is something I’m not used to! Spencer and Andy soon joined us and we all walked around takin in the expo. After his short cameo at the recent Drake’s Trunk Show at the Bloke, Justin got to break down his Edward Sexton bespoke suit. We even got to see our friend Matt Deckard, one of the few vintage headwear experts.
The main highlight of the evening was getting to catch up with Natty Adams, the prolific writer behind the “I am Dandy” series. Over the years, we’ve become friends which is a huge moment for me, since his book is one of the things that started me on this menswear journey. I last saw him when he was visiting LA last fall where I commissioned a suit from his MTM business! At the Expo, we mainly caught up, shooting the shit about the menswear community, and perhaps most interestingly, he gave us a few anecdotes about the process of writing his three books (two on Dandys around the world and one as a guide on menswear brands). The stories about the well dressed gentlemen he’s profiled were amazing!
Overall, it was a fun afternoon, despite how brief it is. Perhaps in the future, we can do a proper meet up and group, provided there isn’t vintage clothing calling me from another source!
Nguyen (or Andy as we call him) wears one of my favorite combos: a brown summer jacket and grey pleated trousers. It’s a sharp outfit without being too crazy, which fits in with his preferred mode of dress. With the use of a green repp tie, the stylings lean a bit ivy, though it’s not totally in that camp. I really like his take (especially echoing the green tie in his socks) as it’s something I’d definitely wear to work!
I want to point out here that Andy has finally made the jump into wearing spearpoint collars! After an arduous order process (one of the reasons I don’t like using Natty Shirts), he finally received his MTM. So far he doesn’t have any complaints (despite the seemingly slow communication and shipping), as he’s extremely happy that he gets to join me in this odd collar gang. The one Andy is wearing is a lightweight chambray-ish shirt that has a 3.5″ unlined collar (a bit shorter than mine). Maybe with enough time, he’ll have a full grown collection like me!
Again, I can’t fully support Natty Shirts, but at nearly $30-40 a shirt, it could be worth a try.
Hector always kills it with his bespoke commissions. He’s a recent transplant from NYC, so I know that he’s always aching for a menswear event to wear his fantastic suits! Hector took the chance to go full sartorial summer and wore his linen sport suit, named as such for the pleated patch pockets and the bi-swing back. It’s the incredibly similar to the Palm Beach sport suits of the 1930s and 40s which often featured similar details.
Blue is the definite go-to for white, thanks to it’s cool color and contrast. Hector doesn’t go for spearpoint collars, but he does have an affinity for the tab collar, which still provides some old school allure. A polka dot raw silk Drake’s tie gives it that “striped shirt + patterned tie” vintage vibe that shows his appreciation for Golden Era Style.
Spencer is literally just getting deeper into his Ethan Newton cosplay. But that’s fine with me, because its so damn good! He hasn’t felt as into full tailoring lately but that doesn’t mean he has to cast out his pieces; think more sportshirts and less ties.
The navy DB jacket (the top half of his Dapper Day suit) and grey trousers are a no brainer, but it’s the polka dot Groovin High shirt that take this firmly into Ethan Newton territory. We’ve always loved abstract sportshirts, but this particular print is right up Newton’s alley, though in a blue instead of a burgundy.
Spencer finishes this off with a vintage Stetson Stratoliner, sold by our friend Benny Reese (one of the largest non-warehouse sellers of vintage menswear). I’ve talked about the tan/silverbelly color in the fedora article and how it’s one of the more versatile colors, especially when it’s with a more casual fedora with an upturned brim. Spendy’s going full Brycelands now!
I’ll be honest with you guys; it was a bit of a struggle figuring out my own outfit for Dapper Day. It wasn’t just the fact that I would’t be there for long due to a previous engagement, but mainly because I was a bit tired of wearing a tie. Don’t get me wrong, I love ties, but since I wear them everyday (I have a lot of freedom at work), I wanted to do something different!
I ultimately landed on wearing my prized 1930’s rayon polo shirt, complete with the runway collar for extra louche-ness. It’s one of the rarest things I own and its absolutely perfect for hot weather! I paired it with my custom Natty Adams suit in a show of support (but also because the suit is super cool). It’s a super wool suit, so it’s a bit more delicate than I’m used to, but again, it was plenty breezy for the weather. I absolutely adore the charcoal brown hue, as it makes it easy to wear with black accoutrements like penny loafers and my trusty beret.
It’s a more minimal outfit that I’m used to (as you guys know me for striped shirts and patterned ties) but I think it still looks like an “EthanMWong” outfit. Like I stated before, we’ve gotten a bit more reserved in our Dapper Day attire! It may mean less photographs from passerbys, but I think we’re all coming into our own regarding our personal style.
Can’t be an event post without pictures. Not as much as some others, but still fun!
I hope you enjoyed this little recap of the latest Dapper Day event. The next one is in November which leaves us a bit free for the summer time. Maybe we’ll have to do our own thing..?
Always a pleasure,
Street x Sprezza
Photography by me, duh
Ethan, I enjoyed your photos and writing. It certainly looks as if you and your friends had a great time.