Good Question: What Does It Mean To Be Dapper?

A few characteristics of the modern day dapper man

“Well, don’t you look dapper today?” If you regularly put a little time, effort and care into how you dress – which, I’m wagering you do since you are reading this site – that first sentence is likely a refrain you hear quite often. Among my non-menswear enthusiast friends and acquaintances, it is probably one of the most frequent clothing and style-related compliments I’m paid.

But what makes a dapper man?


To the everyday complimenter, a dapper guy is pretty much any guy who successfully makes the effort to present himself in a put-together manner. The word ‘successfully’ is stricken because in this scenario, to the uninitiated, success has nothing to do with it. Wearing a terrible, pre-tied bowtie? Totally dapper. An outfit that is overtly and nauseatingly “fashiony”? Dapper too.

However, the truly dapper gentleman displays some telltale characteristics that make him stand out. Here are a few.


| WEARING | Suitsupply blazer, Ted Baker turtleneck, Alan David Custom pants, Drake’s scarf and pocket square, Rolex watch, Carmina loafers | PHOTOGRAPHY | by Rob McIver Photo

A dapper man accessorizes elegantly. If there is one thing that separates the dapper guy from the average guy, it’s the accessories. Anybody can put on a jacket, shirt/sweater and pair of pants. Accessorizing takes some extra thought and time. Though it is always time well spent. A simple lightweight scarf transforms a good look into a great one.

A dapper man wears turtlenecks. A shirt and tie is certainly dapper, but a turtleneck takes casual sophistication to a new level. A dapper man also realizes that a turtleneck is not a relic of the 1970s, but rather a timeless piece of knitwear.


A dapper man wears seasonal fabrics. Wearing seasonal fabrics is the mark of a man who really understands the joys, pleasures and utility of menswear. While the average guy sees only a pair of grey pants, the connoisseur knows they’re flannel.

A dapper man wears loafers. Casual, comfortable and cool. A simple, but well-made pair of leather penny loafers says effortless style.


Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa
He Spoke Style


Chime In

  • Luis Martinez

    Hey Brian! I would like to chime in adding that a dapper man wears his clothing projecting confidence and feeling great about himself, which is very different from having an attitude. As a matter of fact, I think that is what people notice first together with a slight scent of your favorite cologne.

    • Brian Sacawa

      Definitely, Luis. And the right clothes help to project that confidence. If you feel good, you look good. And, of course, a great fragrance helps as well.

  • asian_dapper

    Great article!
    Although personally, I’d say “a dapper man wears seasonal shoes” as you can’t really wear loafers when it’s -25C and snowing outside :P

    Might be nitpicking but it’ll go hand-in-hand with your “a dapper man wears seasonal fabrics”.
    Keep ’em coming!

    • Brian Sacawa

      Thanks, man. Hey, if you’re wearing the right socks, loafers are definitely doable in the winter!

  • Brian Sacawa

    Many thanks, Lanier. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

  • Dan G

    Looks awesome!! Not sure about the loafers but overall good style!

  • dturtleneck

    Brian, I appreciate that you do the justice to the turtlenecks which they deserve. Thanks for that.