Looking Practically Perfect in Everyway: Dapper Days at Disney Parks Gain Popularity

Dapper Days and Turkey Legs - Click to Enlarge

Editor’s Note: Today, guest writer Cari Keebaugh tells us about the über cool Dapper Days events that are held at Disneyland and Walt Disney World!

Shine up your saddle shoes and iron your best cravat – Dapper Days at the Disney parks encourage visitors to look their best, and any style, from vintage oldie-but-goodies to modern chic, is welcome.

What began as a fun, fashionable outing for a small group of friends has quickly blossomed into the annual event that Dapper Day is today. Begun three years ago by a snappy dresser known on the internet as Justin J., Dapper Days occur twice a year in Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Disneyland Paris. The idea was inspired by original concept sketches of the parks, in which men model sharp suits and and women sashay by the attractions in rich dresses, wraps, and gloves. Even children are depicted in suits. “On Dapper Day, you bring those illustrations to life when you become those well dressed guests the designers imagined (or hoped) would be filling the park,” according to the Dapper Days official homepage.

Getting the Evening Started - Click to Enlarge

The event is traditionally spread by social media – Facebook, Twitter, and email lists – and while it isn’t officially recognized by Disney, group-rate tickets can be purchased for each Dapper Day from the Dapper Days homepage. No extra cost beyond park admission is required. In addition, on most Dapper Days participants can meet-and-mingle at an in-park event, such as the popular “Mark Twain Mixer” held on the riverboat.

The event, while only two years old, has quickly gained steam: on this past Dapper Day, Sept 7 (Sept 8 in Florida), Disneyland alone saw an estimated 4,000 people in the parks decked out in their finest (that’s roughly 10% of visitors). “I think there’s a renewed interest in general in finer things and dressing well and adult sophisticated events,” pioneer dapper Justin J. said. And according to the growing number of participants, it seems that he’s right.

Dapper Days do not involve costumes – Disney always reserves the right to ask guests to change or leave the parks if their outfit could be construed as a costume – but rather emphasizes the “tradition of stepping out in style … Any elegant fashions from vintage-inspired to contemporary chic are encouraged. Active and retired military, consider wearing your dress uniforms, ” per the Dapper Day website. Original dapper Justin J. stresses that the style doesn’t have to be vintage: “One of the goals of Dapper Day is to be inclusive and encourage everyone to consider elevating their level of dress.”

Have a great dress or cummerbund you’re dying to wear to Disney? You can enjoy the next official Dapper Day at Walt Disney World or Disneyland on Sunday, Feb 24, 2013.

Dapper Days 2012 - Click to Enlarge

For more information or to view some great photos of Dapper Days gone by, you can go to the Dapper Days official website and click any of the “photos” links. The site also offers some pictures to help inspire you to create a dapper look. If you need more inspiration on what to wear, you can also visit the DisneyBound fashion blog, which often features couture character-inspired ensembles.

Special thanks to DapperDay.com for the use of their photos!




2 responses to “Looking Practically Perfect in Everyway: Dapper Days at Disney Parks Gain Popularity

  • Thanks for the post on Dapper Days! I would love to go to one of these. It sounds like a unique event and a great time to get some excellent photos with friends! I wonder what all the guests who aren’t ‘in the loop’ think when 10% of the park guests are in the finest! 🙂

  • I quite agree, Leah! I was so thrilled with Cari’s story – I hadn’t heard of them! I will definitely be circling the date on my calendar for the next round of Dapper Days in February 2013!

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