Dapper Day Spring 2019

Edited by Christopher Edelen
Photos from Ariel Landrum


With a name like Ariel, I can’t help but be a Disney fan, and this Ariel is always trying to find new ways to enjoy Disney Parks. A few years ago I became a regular at the fan-created event Dapper Day. Held this past, Sunday, April 14, 2019, this event allows Disney-lovers to sport their dapper ware inspired by concept art and photos of Disneyland in the ‘50s.

Yes, this was the same day as the opening episode of the final Game of Thrones season, and yes I had to avoid social media for two whole days because I missed it. My love for Disney and patterned dresses surpasses my love of Westeros.

Now that I’ve become a veteran of this biannual park outing, I assumed I knew all there was to know about being Dapper at Disneyland. I have been going since 2017 with my best friend Stefanie, and last year, I even enjoyed the Dapper Day Expo for the first time. The “newness” of the experience was bound to wear off, right? Wrong!

For the first time, I was attending this fancy affair with a date. Though this may seem like no biggie, it was actually rather stressful leading up to the days of the event. Why? Because matching outfits. That’s right. In previous years, I’d only dressed me. Now, I chose to dress two.

Some of my favorite photos to take in the park are those of couples in themed outfits. Their creativity is endless! Some are inspired by Disney characters while others may be inspired by eras. It hadn’t occurred to me, however, that I would someday be on the other side of the camera.

Casual Dress

In February I decided I would wear a short lemon floral print dress (couldn’t find an exact match) that I had bought from Unique Vintage two years prior. This lovely piece sat in the darkness of my closet, unworn, and probably assumed it was forgotten. I knew that this whimsical affair would be the perfect day to don this piece. I casually wrote down the items missing from my ensemble, knowing I had plenty of time in March to gather my wishlist together.

Late March rolls around, and I get a call from the handsome gent I’m dating, who’s been working out of town since November of last year. We had just returned from a fun vacation together in Mexico, and knew I wouldn’t see him again until the end of April, possibly May. He calls me and says, “Hey hun, so I’m going to be around for Dapper Day! Be my date?”

Prepping Panic

Of course I was ecstatic! A date, to Disneyland, in coordinating outfits? What girl would say no! It wasn’t until after the end of the call that I realized, we have to coordinate! Now, as previously mentioned, I bought my dress two years ago. It certainly wasn’t “in season” anymore, and to my knowledge I’d never seen matching men’s attire! Was my poor dress going to have to spend another year in the closet? And wait, he won’t be back until two days before Dapper Day, so whatever outfit I put together, I have to coordinate from afar?

I messaged my bestie, Stef, asking for advice. She has been happily married for years, and has attended previous Dapper Days with her husband. She was also coordinating his outfit from afar, as he was stationed in Jordan.

After much debate, we decided if I can’t find a similar print, we could have him wear a red or a yellow shirt, which at least would match color-wise.

Amazon to the Rescue

For the next few days I Googled around, looking up inspirational photos of men’s wear. I knew Anaheim in April was going to be hot, so I wasn’t going to have him wear a three-piece suit. I decided on suspenders, a bow tie, and a newsboy hat. I saw many photos of men wearing these pieces with rolled up shirt sleeves and shorts, and they certainly looked dapper.

I also searched on Amazon for anything “lemon” themed. I found lemon enamel pins, a yellow cardigan, earrings, and the most adorable lemon purse by Betsey Johnson. As I continued to finalize my queries, I searched “lemon red pattern” and was blessed with these amazing flats from Chinese Laundry that looked exactly like my dress. I’d long since learned that flats are the key to foot happiness on Dapper Day.

As I typed in the same search sequence with the added “men”, the Dapper Day Gods decided to bless me with the most amazing button up shirt that had THE SAME PRINT as my dress! And to top if off, it was available via Prime.  I was more hyped for Dapper Day than ever before.

Full of Zest


The day arrived. James (the handsome gent I mentioned earlier) and I got dressed. He added some tall yellow socks to his outfit, and we were out the door. Though we missed the opening ceremony, we did get time to stroll around the park, finding a cute location by Starbucks on Main Street for me to pose him before meeting up with our friends. We also stopped by the Dapper Day Expo, talking to other guests as they readied their own looks. We received numerous compliments on our ensemble.

Throughout the day we found many places to take photos. We took inspiration from backdrops that matched our color scheme (red and yellow). We also took a bunch at the iconic Disney’s California Adventure ferris wheel. Per tradition, I made sure to take photos of Stefanie at the Enchanted Tiki Room. She and her husband Disneybounded as Moana and Maui, which made our go-to spot the perfect setting.

Unlike other years, I rode many rides; something I usually tend to avoid as I get motion sickness. The rides are James’ favorite part of Disney, so I had to pack some Dramamine and jump on. I mean, the man did wear a loud lemon print shirt for me!

Check out more photos from Spring Dapper Day and Dapper Day Expo!


Follow Ariel L. on Instagram: @AirYell3000