While dapper may be new for me and new for my wardrobe, I was pleased to discover that dapper fashion has a rich history with documented photos from the 1890s with women wearing top hats and bowties. As more women have started wearing dapper clothing, the style has transgressed and taken on new patterns.
What makes the dapper look so fresh is that each outfit is pieced together with many articles of clothing and accessories in a variety of colors and patterns. Each outfit is made unique with personality and flare. This Fashionista exemplifies a modern Wellesley take on the dapper look with a clean-cut work shirt and complimentary pinstriped vest. A chambray or gingham patterned shirt can dress up or down an outfit and add a pop of pattern under a solid vest. This look is all about the layers and mixing colors. Accent accessories like this Fashionista’s bright yellow tie create a focal point for the outfit. One could easily build a collection of ties and bowties for any occasion. Although bowties can sometimes be tricky to assemble, tweed and plaid ties are fitting for a classy affair and a silk bow can create a softer look.
As I see the vibrant and eclectic variations on the dapper style on Wellesley’s campus, my appreciation for fashion as a means of self-expression grows. Sometimes we wonder what people are trying to express, but maybe we are weighing too heavily on the interpretation. What truly matters is that we have all found our own unique styles. High fashion female “male model” Casey Legler could not have said it better: “There are very specific ways in which we identify as man or women, and I think sometimes those can be limiting. It would be a lovely place if we did not judge or jump to conclusions because someone wants to wear a dress or someone wants to wear pants.”