Theme Park Chic: Dapper Day at Disneyland - NBC Southern California

Theme Park Chic: Dapper Day at Disneyland

Gussied-up revelers head for Anaheim for a day of rollercoasters and socializing.



    Theme Park Chic: Dapper Day at Disneyland
    Gabe Ayala
    If you're at Disneyland on Friday, Sept. 6, you'll definitely notice the Dapper Day revelers. They'll be gussied-up, in hats, suits, and frocks, and having the grand time. (photo: Gabe Ayala)

    Do you have a standard theme park outfit you turn to, visit after visit after year after year?

    We all probably do. Something that's a bit stretchy, to allow for treat consumption. Something that's rubber-soled, to allow for lots of zigzagging around crowds. And something breathable, to let the air in when the noonday sun is high.

    And while casual wear reigns, it isn't completely the rule of the rollercoaster.

    Dressier sorts do theme-park-it-up nowadays, but not like they did in the early days of, say, Disneyland, where every candy-hued home movie seemed to catch a woman in pearls and a corsage in the background.

    But the past's penchant for gussying-up at the theme park has met its match in a modern-era contender: Dapper Day, which sashays into Disneyland on Friday, Sept. 6.

    The founded-in-2011, twice-yearly event is relaxed at heart and trimmed-and-topped in style. The upshot? People don something really swank -- a well-cut suit, a smart fedora, a frock with flair, seamed stockings, tasseled gloves, or their best-of-the-best glad togs -- and head to Disneyland to meet up with other dress-to-impress aficionados looking for a day out at the park.

    Lots of photos are taken, and a few events, like a carousel gathering, are on the schedule. But otherwise Dapper Dayists roam, ride rides, enjoy cocktails and sweets, and probably, on occasion, get mistaken as someone who was an inspiration for a mid-century Disney film character.

    Maybe Roger the songsmith from "101 Dalmatians"? He was dreamy and dressy.

    Three points to make before dashing for your armoire. One? The clothing of Dapper Day leans fairly vintage, but anything elegant from any year will do, says an event rep. The suggestion on the Dapper Day site is "neat and trim in appearance; stylish and spruce" and that can apply to outfits made in the 1990s as well as the 1940s.

    Two? Dapper Day is not about wearing clothing that's an homage to your favorite Disney character, although that does happen in many clever and whimsical ways. Us? We'd don a froofy pink tulle stole in honor of Hyacinth Hippo from "Fantasia."

    And three? Even if you don't make Dapper Day, you might browse the site's swanky-sharp snapshots. Some of the filtered photographs look very much like someone's parents circa 1961. But nope, they were shot last year or last spring, and those are (probably) not your parents. (If they are, you've got really cool relations.)

    Perhaps Dapper Day, though only twice a year, will make us all pause and reconsider our go-to theme park wear. Yep, we want easy comfort and non-ouchy shoes that'll take us the distance, but a red flower in the hair or colorful pinafore fits the nostalgic and natty feel of Disneyland. 

    Fits it, in fact, like a bespoke button slides into a bound buttonhole.

    Dapper Day alights at Disneyland on Sept. 6, Disneyland Paris on Sept. 14, and Walt Disney World on Sept. 21.

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