• SumoMe

One of my favorite websites on the entire internet is Dappered. Admittedly a huge reason why Electrogent exists, I’ve lurked around on Dappered for over a year now and the group of people over there always put out great content day after day. Interested in the process by which a guy says “I’m going to start a website” and turns it into his full-time job, I reached out to Joe to steal his secrets and share them with you in the hopes that his passion and excitement for his work will inspire you to get started on whatever it is you want to do.

Electrogent: To start, introduce yourself for the readers.

Joe: I’m honestly just a guy.  Lived in a couple different states and worked in an oddly wide variety of occupations.  Yeah, that’s vague, but that’s on purpose.  Because one thing I’d rather Dappered never become, is a website about me.

E: What inspired you to start Dappered?

J: Dappered was a bit of a “why not?” moment.  I was involved with a couple of other web projects at the time, doing some writing and that sort of thing, and I was actually looking around for a site that had to do with style, for men, and kept things reasonable when it comes to cost.  There wasn’t one out there.  So with some big time help from a really good friend (Paul, our tech correspondent) we made one.

E: When did you turn your website into a full-blown company (Dappered, LLC)?

J: The LLC was formed before it became my full time job, and it’s hard to say when it became sort of “real.”  I was putting a ton of hours into it even when I was still at my previous day-job.  Now that it is the day-job, those extra hours on the night and weekends still seem to be there.  Wouldn’t trade it though.

E: Where do you see Dappered in 5 years?

J: Oh hell, I don’t know.  I don’t even know what I’m doing on New Year’s Eve.  I landed my dream job, working in the media, right out of college and I would have sworn to you then that I’d be doing that in some capacity until I retired.  I didn’t make it much more than 5 years before being shown the door.

E: What would you tell someone who wants to do what you do?

J: Always bring headphones to the coffee shop.  That, and understand that you might have to grind at this for a good long while.  Don’t just up and quit your job.  Do what you do, and love what you do when you can after work and on the weekends.  Try and stay balanced, because if you’ve got a crappy life outside of work and your side project, you’ll be crappy at your work and your side project.

E: In regards to Dappered, what do you know now that you wish you knew when you started the website?

J: That there are a group of people still out there who are willing to be civil and smart on the internet.  I can’t get over how incredible the readers / guys in the comments are.  Reading comments sections on other websites sometimes makes me want to light myself on fire.  When I set out, I didn’t know how it was going to end up.

E: Was there ever a time where you woke up and said, “Am I spending my time in the right way? Will this website ever ‘work’?” If so, how did you overcome your doubt? If not, what is the source of your confidence?

J: I wonder if I’m spending my time the right way all the time.  As far as wondering if the site would ever work, I knew the idea was right.  It was just the execution.  And that’s a constant thing.  I don’t think I’ll ever really wipe my hands on my pants and say “yup, that’s done.”  And that’s good, because I’m always working towards making it better.  That’s also bad, because I guess I’m never truly happy with it.

"Fashion is temporary and expensive. Style is timeless and affordable. Dappered helps you work the retail system so that you can be comfortable, look sharp, and save money."

E: What is the best part of your job? What is the worst part?

J: The best part of my job is without a doubt, being my own boss and when I know something is right, then I get to do it.  Worst part is having too many “its” to do in too little time.  That gets to me real quick.  When there’s not enough hours in the day.

E: How long did it take before your website had the great and active community it has now?

J: That’s a good question.  We’ve always had great comments, but it seems like things have really picked up in the past year and a half as far as volume goes.  So… a year?  Maybe?

E: What developments are on the horizon with Dappered? With the menswear blogosphere in general?

J: We’ve got a couple new sites in the works for 2011.  One will be a women’s version of Dappered, and that’s pretty exciting.  It’ll be an awfully slow roll out though, so, be patient with us.  We’ll also be launching another site that doesn’t have so much to do with style, but more on whittling down what the internet throws at us every single day.  As far as developments in the menswear blogosphere, beats me.  That’s a tough question.

E: Do you ever have trouble finding inspiration? How do you overcome it?

J: It happens, but I’ve always got a list of 100 – 200 things I’ve been meaning to get to, but never seemingly end up doing.  It’s hard to walk away for a bit, but once you do, it’ll happen.  I usually do my best thinking when I’m on a run or in the shower.  So, there’s a built in excuse to go out and hit the pavement.

E: Outside of your love for Shannon Sharpe, which man/men in popular culture do you think has/have the best sense of style that Dappered embodies?

J: Ha!  See, I don’t know if I “love” Shannon Sharpe.  I mean, I love the fact that he seems to get a kick out of getting dressed for Sundays.  I couldn’t pull off half the stuff he wears.  I think it’s his attitude that I love the most.  He doesn’t seem to take it too seriously, but still loves his suits tailored.  As far as someone in pop culture?  I don’t think there necessarily is one.

E: In regards to your “Ask a Woman” segment, what is the most ridiculous question that Beth has not answered that was sent in?

J: Well, there was a marriage proposal she hasn’t gotten to yet.  But, she might…

E: What’s your opinion on utilikilts? Best worst idea ever, or worst best idea ever?

J: There’s a guy down the street who wears one every day.  He’s a contractor / carpenter and it fits his personality perfectly.  I wouldn’t want to ever get on his bad side.  The key is to stay true to yourself, and damn is he ever.

E: For me, the hardest I’ve ever laughed while reading your website was Edith on your “Facebook whiners” segment. Just thinking about it still makes me lose it sometimes. In your opinion, what’s the funniest thing you’ve ever written or featured on your website?

J: Beth was once challenged by a reader to include another Sex and the City reference in her column. Her finishing move was spectacular.

E: Any guilty pleasures?

J: Sweater vests, port, and the Ocean’s movies.


Thanks to Joe from Dappered for taking time to answer my questions. I encourage everyone interested in affordable, classic clothing to go check out his website. You’ll always find great advice and notice of upcoming sales.

Now it’s your turn: is there anything you want to know about Dappered? Ask away in the comments.