Dappertude is more than just a style seminar. It was a gathering of the city’s finest gentlemen working toward a vision of ideals, a path or lifestyle that takes pride in career, personal grooming and styling. Tradition and decades of experience were gathered this past weekend at Hyatt Regency’s, Jackalberry for the annual style seminar, Dappertude which since its debut three years ago has developed a growing cult following, redefining the bounds of masculinity, personal grooming, style and attitude.
“Men now want to invest in themselves more but without the right knowledge or education from brands they either give up or do it wrong.” says Founder of Dappertude, Johnny Li. He says the seminars he curates are designed to inspire a validated sense of self that allow for basic questions in fashion and styling to be answered.
Dappertude is the evolution to a once sidelined concept of metrosexuality and it’s evolved vastly into the modern male’s mainstream consciousness. First impressions in business and relationships are critical. Therefore styling choices and its semiotic notions now characterise the gender as a whole reflecting personality and aspiration. This is at the core of “the guided path” of the Dappertude philosophy.
Intrinsic to the Dappertude Style series is expertise and it opens with internationally renowned Stylist, Jeff Lack whose celebrity and editorial portfolio includes Guy Sebastian, Tim Robards, Robert Whitaker, Jamie Oliver, Axel Whitehead and more. Jeff gave an overview of the international trends he has seen on his travels. It’s an interactive demonstration as the models are used to surmise fundamental basics when assembling your look or outfit. Color, fabric and pattern choice are relayed with tips on how to get better mileage out of pieces through selective mixing and matching of key pieces. For men, there’s a specific formula to follow.
DAPPERTUDE TIP: Don’t ever mix more than three colors in one look
Norma Yap, Director of Truefitt & Hill introduces guests to the oldest barbershop in the world which turned 214 years old just this week with its Mayfair location tending to generations of the royal family. Sydneysiders can now enjoy the same whisky room, straight razor shaves, skin and hair treatments available at the QVB.
DAPPERTUDE TIP: Nothing beats pre-shave oil when it comes to shaving and don’t skip the conditioner - you need to lock that moisture into your hair follicles.
While there’s nothing wrong with buying off-the-rack, a tailored suit moulds itself to your actual body shape as Andrew Taylor from Mr. A. Taylor explained there are 38 points of measurements taken when creating his garments for clients. He offers both made to measure pre-designed suits but is much more popular for his bespoke service steeped in classic Italian styling. He’ll come to you to measure and deliver it on request. The design process doesn’t only involve sketching and consultation, but the creation of an outfit that reflects the personality of who he is suiting which he describes as a “visual representation of the man you really are” which will “unlock a part of yourself that you didn’t know existed”.
DAPPERTUDE TIP: You get what you pay for, and a custom made, bespoke suit is something every gentleman should experience at least once in their life. (No guys, wedding days don’t count!)
Shoes aren’t to be overlooked as James Seaford from the Thomas George Collection shared findings from a paper published in the Journal of Research in Personality which found the formation of perceptions and characteristics one formed on first meeting dictated by the footwear they observed someone wearing. This line was created for the online local shopper who is often forced to shop overseas, it’s construction strays away from glued soles and instead uses a shank which is often found in mountaineering boots but designed for everyday wear.
DAPPERTUDE TIPS: Unlike shoe polish, shoe cream adds a layer to the finish and rejuvenates the colour. Inserting a shoe tree into your shoes stops the depression of the leather when its not being worn so it retains its shape when you do. Horse hair brush is the best tool to use.
Wallets, passport holders, tablet cases, folios and the like should also be coordinated into outfits aesthetically as well as practically. The same superior quality from the elements above are carried through in the collection presented by Carl Fortu from Old Angler who are exclusive distributors of Italian buffalo, calfskin and nappa leathered accessories among many others.
DAPPERTUDE TIP: Men’s choice when it comes to accessorising is limited which is why it’s imperative all men enjoy the variation and embrace the cool factor of today’s man bag which today takes many forms and styles.
Mindset is fundamental to making all of the above work. We were reminded of some of those points and how men engage and relate to each other with some inspirational words from JuVan Langford, a Men’s Health & Wellness Educator and Founder of The MENtour which is hosting a symposium next weekend at Sydney Town Hall called Manifest.
DAPPERTUDE TIP: Self efficacy determines the course and success one sets themselves up for in all facets of their life.
In between sessions, the group of gentlemen were treated to a selection from Jackalberry’s menu which provided the setting for business card exchange and networking. Johnny Li says that the vision or idea of Dappertude isn’t about monetary status or club exclusivity and that if a man who’s taking pride in his appearance investing in ways to improve himself from the inside out, that man is already a part of the dapper lifestyle.