What is the Definition of Dapper?

March 03, 2017

What is the Definition of Dapper?

When we think of Dapper, we think of someone sharply dressed, wearing clothing or accessories that are unique, like a pocket square or bow tie that let's them stand out from the crowd and takes their outfit up a level. Webster dictionary defines dapper, as neat and trim in appearance, and very spruce and stylish. 

People that exemplify dapper have historically been men, like Fred Astaire, James Bond and David Beckham. A search on Pinterest using the word 'Dapper" brings up images of men wearing wingtip shoes, tweed jackets with lapel pins, well groomed beards and hair, and lots of accessories, likes bow ties, ties, scarves and hats. 


However, more recently there has been a trend toward using the word dapper to describe women who are sharply dressed, wearing a suit, or button-up and bow tie. The Dapper Chicks of New York are a group of stylish women who showcase men's fashion and aim to bring awareness to a variety of causes such as women's equality. Furthermore, the blog DapperQ showcases queer style and aims to empower masculine presenting women and trans-identified individuals. 

Image sourced from Dapper Chicks of New York website

Interestingly the word dapper didn't always mean neat and trim when it came to dressing up. It actually stemmed from the Middle Low German language to mean 'stout' or 'strong' and later evolved to mean 'brave'. But in a way, the evolution of the word still holds true, because people, regardless of gender, who dress dapper are making a statement about their appearance - saying "I am brave, I want my appearance to come across as bold and strong, and I am not afraid to stand out and be an individual."

Images sourced from Pinterest


With that said, we want to know what dapper means to you. What style exemplifies dapper? What attitude goes along with it? Who are dapper style icons? How do you define dapper? 

We are holding a contest and giving away a free button-up shirt to the individual who best showcases and describes their dapper style. The best submissions will be featured on our website in an upcoming blog post and the top submission will win a Kirrin Finch button-up shirt of their choice. 


  • Submit a photo of yourself wearing what you consider to be a dapper outfit
  • Provide a short paragraph about what dapper means to you and why this outfit exemplifies your definition of dapper
    • Submissions can be by e-mail or Instagram:
    • Instagram: please tag @kirrinfinch
  • E-mail: send submission to yourfriends@kirrinfinch.com with subject line "What dapper means to me"
  • Contest will end March 20th at 11:59pm PST

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