Month: January 2014

Dapperness in the Movies and on TV

After seeing Wolf of Wall Street this last weekend, I was inspired to write this post on well-dressed men in movies (talking about the characters in movies, not the actors themselves). Well why don’t I start with the one that inspired me and that is the role of Jordan Belfort. Leo Di Caprio has really come on as a dapper man in his recent movies and in this movie he rocks the 1980s stockbroker look to a T. The double breasted power suits and ties, the casual polo shirt and sunglasses it was a beautiful job done by the costume designers on that movie.
Next up is another Di Caprio role and it is the one of Mr. Gatsby in “The Great Gatsby“. His portrayal of the mysterious Jay Gatsby is one to remember but the style and fashion in that movie is one for the ages for myself personally. The Roaring Twenties style of shawl collar cardigans, pinned collars braces (suspenders) sleek tuxedos and hats blew me away. The costume designers certainly did their research to nail the clothing of the time perfectly and I bet helped inspire a few men with their looks. Especially since Brooks Brothers released a line based on the movie which I can only dream of getting my hands on! 
Now onto one of my favorite TV characters ever, the man they call Don Draper from Mad Men. 1960s businessman look at its finest. The grey suit, the always crisp white shirt with french cuffs, skinny tie, hair perfectly parted and don’t forget the overcoat and fedora. The sharp look really resonated with a lot of people and through it we have seen a revival of Sixties style fashion. Banana Republic launched two lines in the past few years based on the series. I can say the look has definitely inspired me to begin dressing well in the first place and when I dress like that I feel ready to conquer the day ahead. 
Now ignoring the fact that these are fictional characters, what do men from those eras have in common? They cared about the way they dressed and looked. Whether casual or business or formal, they took pride in how they looked and put effort into their dress and grooming each day. I don’t know what happened to caring or why the world got lazy but it’s time to take a cue from these men and put some thought, effort and take pride in how you look. So for all of us here (me) at Don Dapper Headquarters, have a great evening and remember, stay dapper 😉
The Don 

Don’t Just Dress Dapper, Drink Dapper!

Gentlemen, by now you should have a good idea of how to dress, but you will still look ridiculous if you go out dressed dapper, sit at a bar and keep drinking like a frat boy (beer, jack and coke, gin and 7up, basically anything involving hard liquor and a soft drink). 

Step out of your drinking comfort zone and expand your palate to classic cocktails that have been around for generations, try new establishments that serve finely made cocktails (don’t expect to get a quality drink at a nightclub where bartenders will look puzzled if you ask for a manhattan or old fashioned). You want to know what makes a manly drink? Alcohol mixed with alcohol. Here are a few examples to get you started. 
1. The Martini 
Before you criticize saying “it’s a girly drink, blah, blah, blah” Spare me the bullshit and get educated. This is probably the king of all cocktails.The stuff you see women drinking all colourful and in a martini glass IS NOT a martini, just because it’s in the same type of glass doesn’t make it one! A martini consists of 3 things: gin, dry vermouth and either an olive or lemon peel garnish. It should be served ice cold in a chilled martini glass and STIRRED, not SHAKEN! Mr. Bond had it wrong all along. It should have a clear consistency if it looks clouded, send it back! It means the bartender shook the hell out of it. 
2.  Manhattan
Ah, the Manhattan, one of my favourites. Now a true Manhattan has 3 ingredients: Rye whiskey, Sweet vermouth and bitters. Like the Martini, it should be served ice cold in a chilled cocktail (martini) glass. Of course there can be some variations on the type of whiskey used depending on your personal choice. And it should be garnished with an orange zest or maraschino cherry.
Manhattan made at home by your’s truly

3. Old Fashioned

If you’ve ever seen “Mad Men” you’ve heard of this one. Not only is it Don Draper’s drink of choice it’s also Don Dapper’s! What’s in it? Bourbon, a sugar cube and bitters. Unlike the other 2 drinks mentioned above this one is served in an old-fashioned glass also unlike the others the ice cubes remain in the drink. It is garnished with a cherry and/or orange wedge. It has a slightly sweeter taste due to the sugar cube and bourbon.
4. Sazerac 
This New Orleans classic might not be on all bar’s menus, but if you are lucky to come across it, give it a go! It is quite the stiff drink, so don’t have too many of em. What’s in it you ask? Rye whiskey, sugar cube, Peychaud’s bitters and the secret ingredient, absinthe. It is served neat (meaning no ice) in an old fashioned glass and comes garnished with a lemon peel. 
5. Scotch/Cognac/Whiskey served neat.
Nothing feels more manly than savouring a glass of 15, 20, 25 or 30 year old scotch and enjoying the different flavours in them. Same goes for Cognac. 
Scotch, served in a proper Scotch glass on the left, and to the right, a glass of fine Cognac
Bonus: I have talked about a few different kinds of whiskeys in this post, here is a link to help you                     understand what makes each one what they are!
Enjoy the weekend everyone, try to come out of your usual drinking shell but don’t overdo it and please don’t drink and drive! As always though, stay dapper 😉
The Don 

New Year, New Tips, New Wardrobe!

A happy, prosperous, and healthy new year to all of you. For my first official post of the new year I will be focusing on how you can change your wardrobe with a few simple tips.
The first thing that you must do is a seek and destroy mission in your closet. If it doesn’t fit, hasn’t been worn in a year or just plain looks outdated, chuck it! (by chuck I mean donate them to the less fortunate). I will admit I had a hard time with this process a year ago when my lovely girlfriend went through my closet, but it’s worth it in the end trust me.
Now that you’ve established what you need and don’t need, divide your clothes up. In one section, put what you usually wear to work. Next is clothes you wear when you hit the town, then casual clothes, lazy around the house clothes and so on.
Looking at these piles, decide which ones look a little empty and need replenishing so you can go out and buy what is missing.
Now some tips for going out and replenishing those missing items. You don’t have to break the bank to look dapper. For stores/websites where you can get great deals, check out the links on the right side of this blog. Another tip is to go when there are seasonal sales, roll up your sleeves and go through those racks of items because chances are you will come out with something. Outlet stores (such as the Banana Republic Factory Store which has specials every week) and liquidation stores are where you will find steals. For example just this past weekend I picked up these two great quality items at a liquidation centre.
Total price paid with tax…$28.44!
And check out the quality of the turtleneck sweater
If you want to treat yourself to some high quality items, visit a high end store like Henri Vezina on Boxing Day/week. I was able to snag a pair of $250 blue suede loafers for $100!
A final useful piece of advice (for my Canadian readers) is take a little shopping weekend south of the border every few months as you will find much a much better selection at a lower cost! Good destinations include Burlington, New Hampshire, Woodbury.
That wraps it up for this one, take this advice and look your best for 2014 and remember, stay dapper!
The Don