Dappertude: Where the city’s finest Gentlemen assemble

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Dappertude Founder, Johnny Li pictured with Best Dressed winner, Saint Luke

Dappertude was more than just a style seminar.  It was a gathering of the city’s finest gentlemen working toward a vision of ideals, a path and lifestyle that takes pride in career, personal grooming and fashion.    It’s a mindset both physical and spiritual that founder, Johnny Li established three years ago held annually in Sydney and Melbourne.

“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 said the seminars he curates are designed to inspire a validated sense of self that allow basic questions in fashion and styling to be answered. 

Dappertude could be the evolution to a once sidelined concept of metrosexuality which in new ways becomes a permanent fixture in the modern male’s mainstream consciousness.  First impressions in business and relationships are critical.  Therefore styling choices and its semiotic notions now characterise men as a whole reflecting personality and aspiration.  This is at the core of “the guided path” in 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 one’s 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 while keeping to his basic rules.  For men, there’s a specific formula to follow.

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DAPPERTUDE TIP:  Don’t ever mix more than three colors in one look

Norma Yap, Director of Truefitt & Hill introduced guests to the oldest barbershop in the world which turned 214 years old this week with its Mayfair location tending to generations of the royal family. 

Screen Shot 2019-10-30 at 12.18.16 AM.pngSydneysiders can now enjoy the same whisky room, straight razor shaves, skin and hair treatments available at the QVB.

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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, and there are 38 points of measurement 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 heritage.

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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!)

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”.

Screen Shot 2019-10-30 at 12.10.22 AM.pngThere’s more to shoes than meets the eye.   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 during first meeting encounters were dictated by the footwear they observed someone wearing.  

His 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.  Trimly was also on hand providing guests with complimentary shoe polishing giving guidance on proper technique.

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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.

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The same superior quality from those described above are carried through in the collection presented by Carl Fortu from Old Angler who are exclusive distributors of specially sourced Italian buffalo, calfskin and nappa leathered accessories among many others.

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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.

Sunglasses are another accent of definition like the ones showcased by Pacifico Optical.

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DAPPERTUDE TIP: Like the Pacifico Optical design mantra – keep it simple!  It’s the subtle “premium components styled in classic silhouettes” that add to your style – “frames are hand crafted using Japanese and Italian acetates, lenses from Carl Zeiss Vision and European engineered hinges. …elegant shapes, subtle slopes, earthy textures and natural tones. Sandstone, salt spray and timber grain have influenced the lens and acetate colours, and vintage eyewear, aviation and European classicism have informed the frame forms.”

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.

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DAPPERTUDE TIP: Self efficacy determines the course and success one sets themselves up for in all facets of their life.  Thanks to the generosity of someone paying forward 150 tickets, by using the code: COMMUNITY – readers can access FREE tickets to the Manifest Australia seminar a men’s health symposium of talks, sketch comedy and meditation.  Think Anthony Robbins meets Oprah meets Michael Jordan – November 16-17 from 9am to 5pm – tickets available here

In between sessions, the group of gentlemen were treated to a selection from Jackalberry’s menu which provided the stylish urban jungle setting for business card exchange and networking.  Great selection of canapes alongside the free flowing wine.

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. 

Images Courtesy of: Joe Cheng / Maven PR

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