Today’s Dapper Lad Dons Vintage Styles

8 Feb

{Today’s Dapper Lad Dons Vintage Styles} May I introduce you to the next Mr. GQ …

After much imploring by others and personal deliberation, I have decided to share some photos of my son here as we go about our vintage nouveau lives.

Thus, begins a new reoccurring feature of Thrifty Vintage Chic where vintage looks come alive for a modern boy.

Although finding vintage for children, especially in thrift stores, is nearly impossible, it is possible to recreate looks of bygone days through modern clothes with timeless lines. Regardless of our event schedule, dressing my son for everyday life occurs by sourcing items from an equal combination of thrift stores and mainstream retailers.

For this particular look, we dressed to the nines for attending to the 2009 Governor’s Island Jazz Age Lawn Party where all the flappers and dandies frolic for an afternoon in the Roaring ’20s to the hot jazz of Michael Arenella and His Dreamland Orchestra.

Because I am naturally drawn to classic looks, when an invite arrives, most of the time it’s a matter of using what we already have in the closet. However, this time, we did fill in the gaps with a couple items.

Take a look of this happy lad, the most dapper of all the day’s gents:

Eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich has never looked so good.

As he contemplates, I hold my breath because I know what is next ...

Given his daredeviling antics, the terrain & physics, I knew he'd be fine & am proud of his courage to jump from about six feet up.

Origins of this Dapper Darling Outfit

The Navy Corduroy Blazer is a classic staple for any young lad, and in this case, I found this one at a department store on clearance and in two separate sizes. So I bought them both knowing he would wear them both from ages 3 to 5.

The Pale Yellow Shirt is standard for menswear and was bought at a department store, but it is the shirt’s pale hue which sets the stage for a vintage tone.

Looking like a Jane Austin character ... Why, hello, Mr. Darcy!

The Tawny Knickers are a must-have for acquiring an early-century and even 18th century look for boys. These were gifted from Auntie Kat, who purchased them from H&M.

The Plaid Knee Socks complete the knickers ensemble, but finding knee-high socks for children let alone boys is quite a hard thing to muster. So during a last ditched effort to search the ends of the Earth, I went to my local TJ Maxx and as I perused the girls’ section for possible white gable-knit knee highs, and instead I found leg warmers. With the cream, brown and orange design, the palette matched nicely with the shirt and knickers.

The Waist Coat is another timeless staple of a dapper wardrobe and this one was found at a children’s clothing close-out retailer catering to a Latino community. Moreover, because it came without trousers or a matching blazer, it was on sale. The subtle blue-gray tone tied the knot between the navy corduroy blazer and the pastel yellows of shirt and knickers.

There's nothing like climbing trees.

The Art Deco Tie & Pocket Silk no handsome fellow would be without and were purchased new at the same store as the waist coat. These are the finishing details which really make this outfit over the-top and fairly spot-on for being a modern take on styles from 90 years ago.

The Black Fedora, is one of his favorites, and I snatched it on a clearance rack at H&M at the same time as picking up his HoundsTooth suspenders.

(Note: This was about 2 years before he would ever be able to wear them, so it was a joy to finally see him able to sport the accessories.)

The fedora’s lining and the suspenders’ clasps have a skull theme and were part of the retailer’s Goth-Punk collection.

The High-Top Chucks are a cheap knock-off but he loves how they make him run fast, and since this outfit was a modern take on the ’20s, the Chucks brought a nice edgy finish to the look.

{So} What’s the Take-Away

Just keep it simple.

At the end of the day, tie & vest off, a relaxed look for a sunset ferry ride back to Manhattan.

Although it’s the 21st century, boys (and mens) clothing hasn’t changed too much in the last 100 years. It’s pretty basic — shirt, tie, vest, slacks.

Adding suspenders, knee-highs, as well as a bow-tie or a hat will help take modern clothes back at least half a century.

These are simple little “tricks” which will help you take your handsome fellows and turn them into dapper lads.

Of course, the key here is to only do such a thing if your child is on board with the idea.

It is important for a child, as well as any person, to be comfortable in what they are wearing — not just for playing’s sake, but for the self confidence of who they are projecting themselves to be.

And, at least for now, my son absolutely loves to dress in “his handsome clothes.”

As you will see in an upcoming post, he has quite an eye for putting together his own ensembles. Naturally, much to my delight!


6 Responses to “Today’s Dapper Lad Dons Vintage Styles”

  1. Lilia February 9, 2011 at 7:41 PM #

    You both look adorable on the sepia photo 😀
    And your son acquiring taste for vintage clothing is totally cool!


    • Thrifty Vintage Chic February 14, 2011 at 8:22 PM #

      Lilia! He definitely has an eye for what he likes! I am excited to see (when the day comes) what his style will be as a young man and then as an adult — but no need to rush on to those days!


  2. Alicia Booker February 10, 2011 at 2:32 PM #

    Wow!! I love the outfit on him!!! He has to be the best dressed little man that I have ever seen!!! I hope that when I have a child, that I will dress mine like yours!! Your so cool Robin!!


    • Thrifty Vintage Chic February 14, 2011 at 8:21 PM #

      aw, thanks, Alicia!! The thing is that you can only dress them the way you want to up until a certain age, then it comes down to free will, and hopefully a healthy dose of good taste has sunk in by then, too!



  1. Coolest Kid on the Block « Thrifty Vintage Chic - February 28, 2011

    […] High-tops: Apparently, these are another favorite in our house as after we outgrew our old pair, seen here, we had to replace them with this Payless “Star Wars” version of Chuck Taylor’s. […]


  2. Go climb a tree | fritz - April 23, 2011

    […] photograph via thrifty vintage chic […]


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