Daddy cool: A guide to turn the father figure of the house into the godfather of style
SO YOU’RE A DAD. You’ve landed yourself the most important job in the world, and for that we wholly salute you—no really! Slap on the back and our sincerest congratulations all round, pops. Whether you’re a dazed and confused newcomer to this disorientating post, or a weathered veteran who is now more familiar with pints of formula milk than that cold, frothy drink your local-pub serves, fatherhood can be challenging.
Waking up having had less than four hours sleep, fully dressed, with the left side of your face spangled in permanent marker is now the harbinger of a terrorsing-toddler, as opposed to a raucous night-out with your pals—but what toll has parenting taken on your wardrobe? While we have no doubt your priorities have understandably changed, your shift in day-today routine needn’t directly correlate with having a wardrobe that is as bland as the fish fingers than you feed your kids twice a week. No, a white-out big fit may no longer be practical amid the daily battle of horrific pasta-sauce artworks that your child creates, and we’ll admit that an aggressively on-trend micro-bag probably won’t house the plethora of ‘stuff’ that are apparently no-doubt routine essentials now, but that doesn’t mean your style must be thrown out of the proverbial pram in kinship with your offspring’s Tyco toys.
You are now the fatherfigure of the house, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be a godfather of style. You’ve managed to read this far, which means through the background noise of Paw Patrol, we’ve got your attention. So: the first question you need to ask yourself, ‘is where did it all go wrong?’ Hint: your ironic slogan-tee is anything but. Nothing screams ‘dad-defeat’ louder than the fading Star Wars catchphrase on your Amazon-bought, Fruit of the Loom t-shirt. Your trusty, go-to cargo shorts? Not to be trusted. And unless your Dad trainers are a deliberate, chunky style-statement influenced by the Balenciaga fash-pack? They’ve got to go. Just because function must now take precedent over form, doesn’t mean you can’t still push along a pram with a little stroller-swag. You’re going to be doing this for (at least) 18 rewarding (but oh-so long) years, so the very least you can do for yourself is invest in your wardrobe that reflects the man that exists beyond just fatherhood.
While the desert boots we’ll recommend you wear for a family BBQ won’t be cream, they also won’t be made out neon-punctuated technical fabric. The swim short’s we’ll steer you towards will be tailored, modern and fashionable in fabric… but they’ll also have pockets! While fashion may be pretty far down on your list of priorities right now, feeling like your fine-self never should be—and who knows, that swanky new satchel may make you feel just an iota better about swapping that nail-biting Test Match for yet another pirate-party (even if its main purpose will be to transport Daisy, the dolly, from one play-date to another).
Read on for your ultimate-guide on effortless dad-swag and fatherhood flexes for any scenario. We know the stress you’re under, so we’re going to let you pass off these ensembles as if they were your own. Go on, we won’t tell… Dad’s the word.
THE LOCAL BBQ
The seemingly innocuous Saturday-social is an outright dichotomy of being surrounded by actual, real-life adult company and a surplus of under-12s. While the former comes with the tangible possibility of a compliment, directed to your limited-edition Burberry jacket, the latter come with possibility of having your next-door neighbour Jackie’s organic beetroot-hummus also directed towards your limited-edition Burberry jacket. It’s a conundrum, but let us help you shift the focus back to the potato salad with a few fail-safe pointers. These things tend more often than not to draw on into the coolness of evening, but it’s a guarantee you’ll be running after a child reminding them the importance of sharing (again) for the majority of the day, so layering is key. Make the base of your fit a short-sleeve shirt that can hold its own, on its own— a loud print or seersucker fabric are both good starting points—then layer on-up with a shirt/jacket hybrid in darker, textural compositions. Finish by dialing up your look with some brushed-gold goodness and a rounded update on the wayfarer. The Métier leather and linen wine holder is optional, but encouraged… Happy shrimp throwing.
THE BEACH DAY
Between sunscreen applications for the masses and pacifying the youth’s wide, wailing mouth when they send yet another Cornetto to its sand-coated grave, beach days can me a minefi eld—but your out fit needn’t be. A good, solid pair of trunks is the obvious foundation here, and ditching the drawstring toggle of traditional boardshorts will award you with both style-points and one less thing for your child to use as a plaything. Keeping your beach-day wardrobe in harmonious shades of the colour-spectrum, such as our classic, nautical suggestions here, will leave you spending less time fretting about your fit and more time getting that sweet dose of shore-situated family time. For feet? Those Valentino Birkenstocks are something we strongly advocate you wear both when exploring water and land. Cowabunga, baby.
THE PARK DAY
When it comes to haring after artlessly-thrown frisbees and going to battle with an under-5 to secure your kin some patiently anticipated slide-time, athleisure-luxe is your friend. Ditch the denim for (tailored) tracksuits and shirts for (sweat) shirts—brands such as Off-White and Heron Preston are going to serve you well, here. And to the matter of accessorising? ‘Dad caps’ are the cooler, lesser known older-brother of the ‘dad sneaker’. The fashion industry has taken what is on paper a lame, limp accessory, and heightened it to quite the crowning-glory. Stick with the well-known streetwear experts, such as Balenciaga or Vetements, and leave your ’02 work golf tournament memorabilia firmly where it belongs— in the back of the shoe cupboard, coated in dust.
THE DAY OFF
Cream blazer? Creaseprone linen? SUEDE in ANY form? Step forward and have a little bask in this citrus-tinged limelight. Whether you’ve managed to palm them of with the in-laws or are taking full advantage of the kid’s weekend football-club, this is your opportunity to serve the outlandish, not the practical. Be it you’re painting the town any shade (so long as it’s not with play sized Crayola’s) or opting for a more refined evening eating solid food, from a menu that doesn’t come with a word search on the reverse, now is the time for deep-cuts of your own unfiltered style, so save a few of own recommendations on the waviest-fits and sartorial big-swerves of the moment, we won’t meddle too much. Enjoy your time off good sir—you most undoubtedly deserve it.