Dapper Dean is “a rotating closet of classic, proper, and fun vintage accessories.” Chock-full of style inspiration for men and women, Dapper Dean focuses on things related to the “ideal perception of oneself in dress, appearance, or bearing.”
11 Questions recently caught up with Dapper Dean’s creator, to discuss her fashion sense, her love of package design, and the beauty of simplicity.
11 QUESTIONS: How did you come up with the idea for Dapper Dean?
DAPPER DEAN: I’ve been into collect antiques/vintage items since I can remember. I’m not the most feminine girl so vintage dresses weren’t my thing. I saw a lack of men’s vintage apparel in the marketplace and thought that would be a fun hunt and great collection.
Being female, and having this ideal male perception that needed to be carried out within a shop, wasn’t going to be easy. I initialy started the dapperdean blog as inspiration. It now holds all my ideals…male, female, lifestyle, a bit of personal, whatever I’m feeling.
2: What kind of antique and vintage items do you collect?
DD: My two main collections are kitchen accessories, specifically hand mixers/egg beaters (I have one tattooed on me) and vintage packaging. I’m a sucker for great package design and they did it well back in the day.
‘Dapper Dean’ with her egg beater/hand mixer tattoo.
3: What are some of your favorite package designs?
DD: Food packaging used to be so much more fun… ice cream cartons, potato chip bags, even baking flour bags were more appealing in the past. Women’s hair accessories (bobby pins, hair nets, clips) use to come on cards with illustrations of beautiful woman in vibrant colors.
I also have a shaving razor blade collection, as strange as that sounds, solely for the logos/typography used on the packaging. I probably have about 50 boxes of blades. There were more but I started selling some in the shop.
Razors, from Dapper Dean’s etsy shop.
4: What’s your favorite period in fashion, e.g. Edwardian fashion, 1950s fashion, Regency? Do you have different favorites for men and for women?
DD: The 20s were great for both men and woman. Favorite personally would be the 50s: men were simple with clean lines, woman not too done up, just as it should be.
5: What are your favorite movies and tv shows, in terms of how the characters dressed? Are you a fan of Mad Men?
DD: Mad Men is a good one for fashion. I have plenty of unrelated fashion favorites: Dexter, Homeland, The Big C, Nurse Jackie, Duck Dynasty (pure entertainment, these guys are hilarious), and any sort of trash reality show will suck me in from time to time.
Movies that come to mind are Secretary, Hard Candy, most John Waters films and Grease. I like my movies a little dark, a little sexual, and a bit twisted.
6: What did you dress like in high school? College?
DD: In high school I had to wear a uniform. It was not very fashionable, white or navy polo and pleated khakis. I was pretty casual on the weekends. College was a bit easier and much more fun. I went to SCAD so most outfits were probably questionable. I remember there being a lot of black in my wardrobe.
7: How would you describe your personal sartorial style?
DD: Simple (not sure that’s a sartorial style but that’s me). I wear basics, jeans with a solid tank and cardigan or a button up shirt. I love a good tote or oxford shoes to switch up the usual backpack and vans. My co-workers say tomboy chic––whatever that means.
8: Who are your top style icons?
DD: I wouldn’t really say I have style icons. I love when someone can pull off simplicity without thinking about it too much…that’s iconic to me.
Photo from Dapper Dean.
9: Tell me a little about your etsy shop. How did you start with it?
DD: I always knew I’d wanted to have my own shop, whether it be online, etsy, in store, whatever. I was a buyer for Urban Outfitters for 3 plus years. Putting collections together always came easy to me. I enjoy the edit. It was started out of the blue really.
10: Why Tumblr?
DD: Really…it’s only the greatest blogging network there is to share creatively. It’s so easy to have this close community with people that share the same interests as you. For me, Tumblr was a no brainer, if you’re on it then you understand.
11: How has this blog influenced your own day-to-day life?
DD: It has given me inspiration for outfits of my own, made me want to care more about how i dress, and really just given me the opportunity to inspire others (as cheesy as that sounds). My coworkers and friends know about it, yes. All/most are on Tumblr as well. It hasn’t really made me look differently at the world. I’m still the same person.