Next up in our Blogger Style interview series is a conversation with Ben Rascoe, a.k.a. Dapper Professional. Ben has created a unique platform and strong following due to this daily outfit inspirations and accessories combinations geared towards men who wear a business suit every day. He has constructed his platforms to be 100% personal accounts focused on men’s fashion by inspiring men to dress bold enough to capture someone’s attention, yet subtle enough to wear in a work environment.
HFL: Who is Benjamin Rascoe?
@DapperProfessional: I’m the Director of Strategy at a national customer experience and brand planning firm. I live in Chicago with my GF…I would describe myself as hard working with a creative and entrepreneurial passion
HFL: Is that hard-working nature the Pittsburgh “Steel City” in you?
@DapperProfessional: I think it is the hard work, the dedication, and an entrepreneurial drive that I received from my dad. It’s not just what you’re doing that is going to get to where it needs to be, but what is going to get you to the next level.
HFL: How did you come up with the name Dapper Professional?
@DapperProfessional: The name came about when I was thinking of an idea about helping young professionals learn how to dress when they are entering the workforce. I was wearing suits every day, and to me that was dapper, and my job was in a professional setting so that is how I got “Dapper Professional.” Check out the website.
Honestly, I was surprised that the name, domain, and Instagram handle were still available. LOL
HFL: Was there a particular moment that happened which made you realize that people need your stylistic guidance?
@DapperProfessional: When I first started working I went out and bought my wardrobe. I was right out of college and spent a couple of grand on clothes, and then I got really heavy into the online forums, blogs, and fit. After reading more about the clothes and how they are supposed to fit I realized that the clothes I bought actually don’t fit me. The shoulders don’t fit right, and you can’t alter the shoulders in a suit.
I thought if I could prevent one person from spending money on clothes that don’t fit then I’ve succeeded in what my original idea was.
HFL: So Dapper Professional really is a platform to help men become the best version of themselves.
@DapperProfessional: Absolutely, one of the things you will find on my website is a style a guide and the style guide is a collection of the combinations that I’m wearing to help inspire somebody to wear something a little bit different. Not just a traditional blue suit or to go with a knit tie rather than a silk one.
HFL: Do you get messages or comments from fans and followers sharing their stories of how you have inspired or motivated them?
@DapperProfessional: I get messages a lot from people thanking me for posting outfits that they’ve tried to replicate. There are also people who reach out to you who just want help in picking something out. That is rewarding when people follow you and take the next step in seeking your advice. Saying “Hey I have this interview coming up, what do you think about this tie with this suit or this shirt and tie combo?
HFL: How do you balance your 9 to 5 career and building this platform?
@DapperProfessional: 9 to 5 is loose for me, it’s more like 8 to 8 most days. But honestly, the thing for me is you have to get started. I don’t like when people come to me with this grand idea, but they haven’t even done the necessary leg work to launch it. You have to get started, you have to take the first step and get things going.
HFL: How has your 9 to 5 job as Director of Strategy helped you to become successful with the Dapper Professional?
@DapperProfessional: I was in corporate banking and management consulting, and Dapper Professional was my creative outlet. Last year I made a massive change in my career by shifting, and I was only able to do that because of the experiences that I have outside of my managing consulting job.
Now when I’m at work and thinking about the brand strategy, I’m visualizing how will this work be relative to Dapper Professional.
HFL: What is your personal style aesthetic?
@DapperProfessional: Bold yet simple. I like to use the phrase “Upper Casual.” I am taking something simple and casual but elevating it up a notch.
HFL: Is there anything Pittsburgh about your style?
@DapperProfessional: My style is me. I’m wearing this stuff every day. I think that is what is different between my platform and someone who is just creating content. These are clothes that I’m actually wearing. I grew up shopping with my mom and fashion has always been a part of who I am.
@HFL: If you could go shopping with anyone in history who would it be?
@DapperProfessional: Karl Lagerfeld, he is a fashion icon and he knows how to bring visions to life. Ralph Lauren and maybe Giorgio Armani because they’re icons of this era that have been able to transcend fashion.
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS
HFL: Deep Dish Or Thin Crust
@DapperProfessional: Thin Crust – Italian Style
HFL: Double breasted or Single Breasted Suit
@DapperProfessional: Double Breasted
HFL: Favorite Pair Of Shoes All Time
@DapperProfessional: Allen Edmonds strands I’m wearing right now because I love the sophistication to them.
HFL: Weekdays or Weekends
@DapperProfessional: Weekends but I do a lot of work on the weekend
HFL: Rolling Stones or Beatles
@DapperProfessional: Rolling Stones
HFL: Polka Dots or Stripes
HFL: Finish this sentence style is…
@DapperProfessional: Your Personal Wardrobe Choices.
Written By: @Its_what_ev