Dapper Day 2013

Me at Dapper DayI first heard about Dapper Day via Boing Boing, who described it as:

a day when masses of well-dressed, nattily turned out happy mutants converge on Disney parks to enjoy a day in fine style.

Obviously this attracted my attention. I was in Disneyland Paris last year, and enjoyed it a lot. And I am, you know, occasionally a fan of dressing up. Therefore: win. But, as ever, the problem was finding companions.

I’m generally happy to do things by myself, since the alternative is not doing them at all. But I couldn’t go alone to this. Walking around the park all dressed up, I could cope with. But standing in long queues on my own all dressed up, not so much. So I launched a mission to find co-adventurers, aware this was a bit of a long shot. I’d had a summer of difficulty finding people to do free London stuff with, let alone a not-cheap trip to France. Yet – amazingly – somebody volunteered immediately, and stuck with it as quite a few others faded in and out. Hooray! I’m very grateful.

Five weeks later I was on the Eurostar, and full of bounce. A nearby 2-year-old nearby explained to me very seriously that she was travelling to Disney Zoo to see Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck. Which, to be fair, is pretty unassailable logic. She wasn’t as excited as me, though. I’d spent a bunch of evenings trawling Oxford Street for dapperness, then going home and deciding this was insufficiently resplendent and I must do better. I’d worn stupid shoes to work for a while so that I could actually walk on the day itself. I’d bought a cummerbund just for the bow tie that came with it. SERIOUSLY. A CUMMERBUND. WHO BUYS CUMMERBUNDS. And I had my secret weapon: a gold pocket watch that I actually really like and am trying to think of a way to wear in general life without looking like a massive douche. I was ready.

And much fun it was. It was wet. Very wet. But we had a hat and a parasol, so who cares about wet. We got some properly excellent double-takes from adults and outright gawps from children, plus a family who asked to take our photos as we were ‘far too cute’ and ‘should never wear anything else ever’. There were also some ride operators who knew about the day, and when we walked past Captain Jack Sparrow he spotted my friend and very obviously looked her up and down. Although thinking about it that is probably his job. But still.

There was a dearth of dapper, though. We were briefly concerned it might just be us, until we spotted some finely attired visitors on Main Street and gave them an awkward wave. Then we got worried that they might be incidentally dapper, and we looked weird. There should be a hand signal or something. But upon heading to the planned rendezvous points we were indeed not alone. There were about 50 of us, and everyone else was French and didn’t speak much English, but nevertheless were able to say they thought I look like David Tennant so are very lovely people and friends for life. We took over one end of the paddle steamer, then had a mass ride on the carousel, which was of course excellent because everything is excellent on a carousel, posed for group photos in the castle, and generally walked around feeling quite happy. It was delightful. If wet.

I didn’t take many photos as there were a couple of official photographers, but their photos have yet to turn up. Grrr. Here’s an idea of how we all looked, stolen from Facebook:

1237211_629906017050061_1089626116_o

photo (3)

So, in summary, it was ace. Entirely worth it.

I do note that the US Dapper Days attract a lot more people, though. This year they filled the paddle steamer:

1264640_621402804567049_235312805_o

I am plotting a trip to LA.