Old Fashioned Fashion: Spats

Over the weekend, I scored myself a pair of vintage spats for $6. Now, one thing you should know about Captain Dapper is that I love me some old fashioned fashion! From pork pie hats to spats, I've always been fascinated by clothing and accessories that were once de rigeuer but are no longer prominent. So the second I saw the spats languishing on a shelf at the antique mall, I had to make them mine.

If you're not familiar with spats, let me educate you. Spats is actually short for spatterdashes. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, spats were a piece of practical footwear. Worn mainly by men, spats would be worn over the shoe to protect shoes and socks from rain, mud and (presumably) all the horseshit that littered the streets back then.

You probably know spats from 1920's gangster lore. Or maybe you've seen them on Scrooge McDuck or Rich Uncle Pennybags, the iconic, rich old man from the Monopoly game. Although spats were worn by most men back in the day, they have since become shorthand for wealth in popular culture.

The vintage spats I purchased over the weekend are light gray wool felt, which was the standard material used for the footwear accessory. They button up one side and buckle on the bottom of the shoe by the heel. The spats seem to be one size fits all - that is, they fit on my size 9 boots, as well as The Mister's size 8 shoes.

So what will I do with my new spats? I'll wear them of course! And I'm not talking about a costume for some roaring 20's theme party. (Side note: Can we all admit that the roaring 20's party has been a bit overdone? Please?) I'm planning to work the spats into my fashion rotation. I think they look pretty snazzy with my brown boots.

Images: Jason Loper


Captain Dapper Loves Lucius on NPR's Tiny Desk Concert

I picked up Lucius' album Wildewoman on a lark over the weekend. I had heard one of their songs on satellite radio the week prior and it got my toes a'tappin'. I've given the entire album a few spins since I bought it and I'm kinda digging it. (Of course, it's not an album and it doesn't spin. It's a digital download. So I guess it would be more accurate to say that I've given the download a few streams since I bought it but that just sounds stupid. So I'm going to stick with give it a spin.)

While I'm enjoying the album, I wish it captured more of the joie de vivre present in this NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert. Lead vocalists Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, guitarists Dan Molad and Peter Lalish and drummer Andrew Burri pack a lot of sound into this mini concert. The final song of the set (starting at 14:05) incorporates a can of almonds as an impromptu drum. And even though the song is all about telling some girl named Genevieve to shut her mouth, I defy you to not smile while watching the band crank out the infectious tune.

I only came upon this concert after already listening to the album for a few days. When I searched the band's name on YouTube last night, finally curious about the band's appearance, this Tiny Desk Concert was one of the first things to pop up. If I hadn't already bought Wildewoman, I definitely would have picked it up after watching the video.

Having first heard the band before seeing them, I was actually a little surprised by their charming instrumentation. Perhaps it's because the album comes across as so polished that I expected them to employ a drum machine and a iPad.

At any rate, watch the concert, buy the album and go see Lucius live if they're in your part of the world.

via: NPR


Beard Oil Tames Your Whiskers (And Makes You Smell Good Too!)

I've been growing my beard for a few months now and it has reached that awkward long stage that makes it looks unruly. Despite trying to keep my beard trimmed, I fear I'm looking more like a hobo than a hot lumberjack. Just as I was thinking of shaving off my beard and starting afresh, a friend mentioned beard oil.

As a fan of all things old fashioned, I was intrigued by beard oil. The name conjures images of men in union suits and top hats applying a potion to their facial hair. After a little research all I have to say is I can't believe I haven't used beard oil sooner! Like a conditioner for facial hair, beard oil promises not only to help smooth my whiskers, it'll leave a lean-in-and-smell-me scent on them too. Talk about a win-win!


  • BRO: Beard Rejuvenating Oil from Amazon ($14.00) I just ordered this beard oil and it should be arriving today. I'll report back on how my beard and face react to it. I was drawn in by the promise that one of the ingredients, apricot kernel oil, contains vitamins A, C and E. Oh, and it smells like Patchouli. I'm embracing my inner hippie. 
  • Burroughs Beard Oil from Prospector Co. ($28) This woodsy-scented concoction contains kukui, jojoba, argan and grapeseed oils. 
  • Red Hook Beard Oil from Brooklyn Grooming ($29) From Brooklyn, the land of hipsters with beards, and made with organic sesame and hempseed oils, this face tonic smells like "Bay Rum with hints of Cardamom and Citrus."





Images: credited above.


Naturally Healthy: I'm Going to Try Coconut Oil Pulling for a Week

I'm a big fan of natural health remedies. From toothpaste for treating acne to Preparation H on puffy eyes, I'll try anything if I think it will keep me healthy and looking good without using harsh chemicals. From the moment I saw a post about oil pulling, I knew I had to give it a try. That's just how Captain Dapper rolls.

There's this blog post on Fashion Lush about oil pulling that has gotten all kinds of buzz lately. I saw it on Facebook and was drawn in by the name: oil pulling. Is makes me think of taffy pulls. (And taffy pulls make me think of people in ye olde costumes playing tug of war with giant stretchy, sticky, red, tasty taffy. But that's beside the point.) Erica at Fashion Lush purports endless benefits of oil pulling, citing case after case of friends and loved ones who have healed health woes with this all natural remedy.

So what is oil pulling? Basically, you put a spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth, swish it around for twenty minutes and then spit it out. The oil purportedly pulls the toxins out of your mouth, thereby ridding your body of them when you expel it. The oil is said to whiten teeth, prevent cavities, cure hangovers, alleviate allergy suffering and more. As Erica says in her thorough blog post and follow-up comments, you can use other oils, such as a sesame or sunflower. I happened to have coconut oil on hand because I use it for popping popcorn.

So how is oil pulling? Despite the rather disgusted look on my face in the video above, it's not all that bad. The texture is a bit strange and I was reacting to that more than anything. The hard part about keeping the oil in your mouth for twenty minutes is not swallowing. it. But that's key, actually. Although ingesting coconut oil is not harmful (it's actually pretty good for you) if you're swishing it in your mouth to collect the toxins, you certainly don't want to send those toxins down to your tummy. Also, you don't want to spit the oil into your sink. Over time the oil will solidify and mix with hair and you'll have to call a plumber to fix your bummer sink. Spit the oil into a paper towel or directly into the garbage.

I've only tried the treatment once so far. I think I'll try it every day for a week and see what happens. Erica has made it part of her morning routine and swears by the benefits. I don't think morning will work for me so I'll try to introduce it to my bedtime ritual. Stay tuned!

Image and video: Jason Loper


Captain Dapper Loves Farmer's Fridge: A Fresh Take on Fast Food

Captain Dapper is a big fan of fresh, healthy foods. I try my damnedest to avoid fast foods and choose vegetarian options whenever possible. When I first learned about Farmer's Fridge, a new concept in fast healthy food, I was intrigued. Now that I've finally come across one of the company's kiosks, I'm sold!

I've been spending a fair amount of time travelling between Chicago and Iowa recently. The route I take to and from Iowa takes me on the I-94 tollway and the Lake Forest Oasis is always one of my first stops. Every time I've walked into the Oasis, I'm shake my head in disappointment over the food options. It's pretty dismal with a choice of McDonald's, KFC/Taco Bell, Panda Express and Subway. None of these options are anything I would remotely consider eating. On a recent trip back from Iowa, however, I was pleased to discover that the Lake Forest Oasis is one of two sites chosen for the launch of Farmer's Fridge.

I had first read about Farmer's Fridge on Huffington Post a few weeks ago and was immediately smitten with the concept. Luke Saunders, the man behind the fridge, is trying to introduce fresh, locally grown food via his vending machine concept. Each morning the cute little refrigerated machines, which are cleverly covered in reclaimed wood, are stocked with fresh salads, snacks and other all-natural goodies. The food is packaged in reusable plastic containers that are also recyclable. But, seriously, the jars are adorable and I can think of at least 100 ways I could reuse them.

There are currently only two Farmer's Fridge kiosks - one in downtown Chicago (201 N Clark Street) and the one that I encountered at the Lake Forest Oasis on I-94. Mr. Saunders has done a fantastic job of getting some early press for his launch, including pieces in Fast Company and Business Insider, so I expect the concept to take off quickly. In fact, rumor has it that more kiosks will be popping up around Chicago in the coming months. To lobby for one of the wood-sided fridges in your building, there's even a kiosk request form on the company's website.



Images: 1. Jason Loper, 2. Farmer's Fridge