Originally published at: MY FIRST DAPPER DAY! - People of Con

Dapper Day Fall 2017

Author: Ariel Landrum
Edited by Christopher Edelen

Last weekend I got to experience Disneyland in a fun, new way through a themed event called Dapper Day. This was my first time attending the event, and man-oh-man, was it fancy fun!

Dapper Day is semiannual, occurring at Disney Parks worldwide in the fall and spring. Though I’m unsure if anyone’s done it, each event takes place on a different weekend, so someone with the time and the means could participate in all four locations: Anaheim, Orlando, Tokyo, and Paris. It should be noted that this is a fan-made event and, thus, is not officially sanctioned by Disney. That being said, the parks do acknowledge its popularity by having characters dress in their Sunday best.

The mantra of this event is “Step Out in Style.” The day was founded by self-proclaimed “eccentric dresser” Justin Jorgensen, who, according to the website, was inspired by guests from the 50s, who attended Disneyland in their Sunday best. The first Dapper Day occurred in February 2011 at Disneyland in Anaheim. Since that day, the event’s popularity has grown year after year!

Though some participants dress in retro attire, Dapper Day isn’t era-specific. Attendees can use inspiration from all eras of fashion if they dress in what they think looks good. Some guests even pull inspiration from Disney-specific themes, including characters, park attractions, and theme park food!

For my first Dapper Day, I knew I wanted to wear some sort of teal or blue. I’m not sure why, but this felt like the right color. I’m not seasoned at Disneybounding (using color-blocking techniques to emulate a Disney character), so my goal was simply to look chic.

From August to September, I tirelessly Googled past Dapper Day outfits. Seeing other looks made me realize I wanted to add a parasol and a fascinator to my outfit. In October, I found the perfect dress on ModCloth. Titled “Fancy Flair Fit Dress,” this teal halter dress with a satiny frock illusion neckline, voluminous overlay skirt, and burgundy embroidered flowers was perfect! It was cute, it fits perfectly, and though it wasn’t era specific, it screamed to me: dapper.

I also bought matching “Era Mary Jane” matching heels on ModCloth. These have faux-leather blush pink counters, mauve uppers, and burgundy toes. A perfect set! I completed the look with a burgundy fascinator, burgundy clutch, and a cream parasol I found on Amazon.

I went all out.

Though I had lots of fun taking pictures around the park with my best friend, Stefanie, I learned a few lessons that day.

Lesson one: bring spare shoes or wear flats. Yes, I broke in the heels and survived in them from 10 am to 5 pm, but by nightfall, I had to purchase some Little Mermaid socks, as my feet were blistering.

Lesson two: though the parasol was beautiful in photos, it was cumbersome. Also, after the event, I realized I now have a random parasol I won’t use. Though the one I bought is beautiful, with lace patterns, it isn’t functional… because of the lace pattern.

Lesson three: always bring a good camera. I forgot to bring my Canon DSLR, naively thinking that my iPhone would be enough to take photos with. Yes, the iPhone took good photos, but I could have taken higher-resolution photos in raw with my Canon. You think I wouldn’t make such a rookie move as a photographer, but I did. I also felt too embarrassed to ask other Dapper Day attendees for photos, as they would just be on my iPhone. I didn’t feel as professional.

Aside from my growing pains, I had a ton of fun! Count me in as a regular at this biannual event.

Check out more photos from the event!