Dapper Day Fall 2017

Edited by Christopher Edelen
Photos from Ariel Landrum and Stefanie Bautista


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,  taking place in the fall and spring at Disney Parks around the world. 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 50’s, who attended Disneyland in their Sunday best. The very first Dapper Day took place in February 2011 at Disneyland in Anaheim. Since that day, the popularity of the event 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, as long as they dress in what they think looks good. Some guests even pull inspiration from Disney specific themes including characters, park attractions, and even 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. From seeing other looks I realized that I wanted to add a parasol, as well as 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 fit perfectly, and though it wasn’t era specific, it screamed to me: dapper.

I also bought matching heels on ModCloth , titled “Era Mary Jane.” 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 I survived in them from 10 am to 5 pm, but by nightfall I had to purchase some Little Mermaid socks to wear, as my feet were blistering.

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

Lesson three: always bring the good camera. I completely forget to bring my Canon DSLR, naively thinking that my iPhone would be enough to take photos with. Yes the iPhone took good photos, but with my Canon I could have taken higher resolution photos in raw. 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!

Please follow Ariel L. on Instagram: @AirYell3000