Shop like a man. That’s the motto of Dapper, an app that “brings the brands to you” and focuses on letting you browse and buy quickly and easily—all without ever having to set foot in an actual, physical, store.
I have to admit I was immediately taken in by the idea. I, like many guys, like having new clothes but very much dislike actually having to get into a car, drive to a store, pick stuff out and possibly try stuff on, pay for that stuff (assuming I found anything good), get back in the car and drive back home. Ya, us guys can be pretty lazy like that.
Also read: 20 Sites With Awesome Gear For Men
Over the last couple of years I’ve written a decent amount of mens-fashion related articles. In the most recent, I listed the 60 Best Men’s Fashion Startups, Apps And Blogs. I HAD to include Dapper because it sounded completely awesome.
Recently I had the chance to actually try Dapper out. I wanted to see if it could actually help me find and buy clothes I like right from my phone in one ultra-sleek and convenient package.
In order for Dapper to live up to it’s own hype, the service needed to 1.) have a great selection of clothes, 2.) have decent prices, 3.) have an app whose design is incredibly intuitive and easy-to-use, 4.) not make any billing mistakes, 5.) think of all the small problems a customer could foreseeably run into and preemptively fix them.
What I found out was that Dapper in it’s current stage of life has A LOT of potential, but still needs to iron out some fairly major kinks.
Dapper has a good selection of clothes from retailers like Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Patagonia, Urban Outfitters and Macy’s among others. I say good rather than great because there simply needs to be a larger selection and greater brand variety. I assume this is something the team is working on expanding.
As it is, I was able to find about a little more than a dozen items I wouldn’t mind buying. There wasn’t anything I HAD to have, but if, like me, you were looking for something specific, you’ll have some nice options to sift through.
And sift is just about the right word for how you interact with the app. Just like another app I wrote about just today—Audvisor—this app features an interface reminiscent of Tinder where you swipe left and right on items you like or don’t. On the one hand, this interface is starting to feel a bit old a crusty and overused; on the other hand, it’s efficient and does seem unbeatable in certain use cases.
I think it works very well for Dapper, but perhaps the matching/personalization algorithms could be more fine tuned as I found myself discarding far more items than I saved or bought. Again, I have a feeling this will improve over time when there is a bit larger of a selection to choose from.
The pricing on Dapper seems to vary between average (what you might find something listed for elsewhere) to a good deal. In fact, more than a couple of items I was interested in were sold out—probably because they seemed like such incredible bargains.
It’s definitely worth checking out the Dapper Deals section of the app where you can find a $40 shirt for $20, $55 shoes for $34.99 or $128 jeans for $66.
It’s very helpful/quick to navigate through the app’s clothing categories, which include:
- Dapper Deals
Actually, I really had a good time (wasting more time than I thought, actually) going through the “Everything” category and weeding out the clothes I disliked and saving those I fancied. There were times when I found myself doing this just for fun. I think that fact alone speaks to the user experience design of Dapper—you can get lost in the app in a good way (rather than not being able to find your way around).
If you’re a guy who never knows what to pick, either because you don’t trust your sense of style or because you’re not sure what’s in style in the first place, you’ll appreciate the ability to ask one of Dapper’s stylists what you should pick out. Simply click on the chat icon in the top left of the screen, describe the occasion and items you are looking for an wait for a response. a
And now I get to the one sorta big problem that I ran into while using Dapper. While browsing through the app I ran across some Ray-Bans for under $100. Not paying enough attention, I decided to buy them as I had just seen another pair of Ray-Bans on Dapper that were over $300. I assumed this was a great deal and placed the order.
When the glasses arrived it turned out they were kid-sized shades. What a giant bummer! When I contacted Dapper about this I was told that those glasses never should have appeared in the app as Dapper only sells adult clothes and accessories (and that the troublesome item would be removed).
Dapper told me that I could either send the glasses back or take them into Macy’s—the vendor who had fulfilled the order. Since I had a Macy’s nearby I decided that would be the quicker option. I was wrong.
Macy’s manager said that they didn’t know what Dapper was and even though there was a Macy’s order number on my paperwork, I was sent away empty handed. So, after I got the wrong product and took a wasted trip to the store, I ended up having to send the product back to Dapper after all. And even that was a bit of a pain as there was no return label included (am I too used to Amazon?).
In the end I did end up with a hat and shirt I really like from Dapper.
One final little gripe: there have been a few times when a section of the app won’t load for one reason or another and hangs on the whirling dapper logo/icons. That can drive you nuts after awhile, but is usually gone by the next time the app is opened.
Would I recommend Dapper at this point? Yes—for certain items. I don’t think it’s at the point where you could pick out your entire wardrobe using Dapper, but you can certainly supplement or compliment one.
As the kinks get ironed, as the selection grows and as the personalization gets smarter I think Dapper will be a compelling app most men would love to use.