Getting Nifty And Thrifty With Her Dapper Style
Doreen Pierre is a New Jersey born fashion blogger, freelance photographer and Student Employment Specialist at NYU. She started the blog, Dapperpenniless, in 2015 and has already gained the attention of Buzzfeed and DapperQ. We love her ability to style a piece in multiple different ways and pull together a dapper outfit with a budget in mind.
Tell us a little bit about you
I grew up in Elizabeth, NJ, the youngest of two, to very religious Haitian immigrants. My mother and father split when I was young and my mother showed me what it meant to work hard. I moved to NYC in 2015 after an eye-opening experience at college, really learning about myself and my sexuality. I wanted to live an open and authentic life and I couldn’t do that at home. I moved to Harlem with my partner and I’m currently a Student Employment Specialist at NYU. I started my blog, www.dapperpenniless.com, shortly after moving to NYC to share my journey of finding my style and budget shopping with others like me. It was really a way for me to find community and try making a difference at the same time!
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about fashion especially as it relates to being a queer woman! I’d love to see the industry deconstructed and rebuilt with everyone, regardless of gender or size, in mind. I was recently featured in a Buzzfeed video discussing non-binary fashion and those were my major points. How cool would it be if stores were less men's and women's section and sorted more based on different styles and sizes? That would be great. I also love photography and I’m really passionate about documenting the lives of queer people of color because you rarely see that and we have so much fun!
How would you describe your style?
I definitely describe my style as dapper AF, haha! I love a great button-down, some well-fitting slacks and a fresh pair of brogues! People constantly ask me why I am always so dressed up, but that’s just how I am! Actually, I bought my first pair of blue jeans this summer and it was a huge change for me but I love them now! I’ve found a way to comfortably dapper out my casual look too so all is well there, haha.
Why did you decide to start Instagram blogging? What do you like about it?
I started blogging when I first moved to NYC in 2015. I was a recent college grad, just cut off my hair, and moved to the city to find community. Honestly, I couldn’t figure out how to wear menswear for interviews because I’d never done it before. The resources online were really outdated or focused more on expensive items so I decided to document my journey and help get some content out there. I really enjoy getting to communicate with people and hear about the similarities and differences of the journey. I never could have guessed how many dapper women there are out there just waiting to connect, it’s amazing!
What has been your experience finding clothes that fit your personal style?
The majority of my wardrobe is menswear. I love the cut (sometimes), the fabrics and patterns used to make menswear items. With that said, I run into a lot of fit issues because that clothing isn’t usually made for a body like mine. I always say, these hips don’t lie! Since clothes right off the rack are created with a male body type in mind, I have to search many different brands. It’s a great feeling to finally find something close to my fit in the men’s section and alter it to fit me perfectly. I use little tricks like a bit of fashion tape for shirts or heading to my local tailor.
What DO YOU THINK Of the Kirrin Finch button-up shirt? Favorite elements?
It's a pretty amazing shirt! I love that it's menswear inspired but made just right for my curves. It doesn't necessarily accentuate my curves, which I like, but fits me better in the shoulders. Men's cut button downs are usually way too broad! The Kirrin Finch shirt also doesn't bunch up around the hip area which is usually a huge issue for me also. The style is really fun, especially with the button and pocket details. Oh and that extra button to combat the bust area gaping issue is a time saver! This is a really great go-to shirt for me, especially because it didn't wrinkle easily. I definitely need more!
What clothing do you wish you could find more of?
This is a great question! I would love to find suits with the menswear shapes/cuts for women! I mean let’s be real, not everyone can afford a bespoke suit and so it would be great to just have them in stores. LIke if someone wants to wear suits to an interview and are now limited to ruffles and darts or an ill-fitting blazer from the men’s section! It would be great if someone could meet that need, off the rack.
What resources do you use to get fashion inspiration?
I’ve really grown to love Pinterest, there’s always something new on there and the inspiration is endless! #PinterestBinge! I enjoy browsing Instagram every now and again but realize that the variety for women in menswear can be really limited. I really like subscribing to brands that I love so Uniqlo, for example. I tend to look at a lot of catalogs to see how outfits are being worn and Bonobos is a great catalog for that. It really depends, I can see ideas in anything!
Do you have a fancy outfit to wear for holiday parties/new years' eve etc? Can you describe it?
Ha… I do and you’ll have to catch one of my upcoming Youtube videos for that reveal. It won’t disappoint, DapperPenniless loves the holidays!
Photos courtesy of Jelan Coley, @umbra_et_lux