Disneyland Dapper Day: when Disney fans dress up


Disneyland fans have created many of their own theme days, some of which I've been lucky enough to happen upon or attend -- Bats Day (goths); Gay Days, and more. But I didn't know about Dapper Day, where 10,000+ people descend on Disneyland and Walt Disney World in natty outfits and style their way through the fun park. Just looking at the official gallery makes me want to mark this in my calendar for next year.

"People are looking for an excuse to dress up," said Justin Jorgensen, who started Dapper Day in 2011 and has organized five of the events, all at Disneyland. The latest Dapper Day — the same Sunday as the Oscars, Hollywood’s own dress-up day — drew an estimated crowd of 10,000 to the Anaheim park and about 1,000 more at Florida's Disney World.

"Everything, including the workplace, pushes this idea of being casual," said Jorgensen, 38, of Burbank. "When do I get to wear my great stuff?"

Most of those in attendance that day were in their 20s and 30s. They had come of age in a time of shoulder-padded power suits, windbreakers in neon colors and frizzy hair — not exactly a time that will be remembered for its classic elegance.

"I think people like history, people love nostalgia," said Heather A. Vaughan, a historian studying 20th century fashions. "People love imagining a time they didn’t live in."

Dapper Day at Disneyland, the nattiest place on Earth [LA Times/Rick Rojas]

(Photo: Christina House)