Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What Type Of Dad Do You Have?

Doing it "Daddy Style"

I thought the above pun will get us off to a great start in building into our own wardrobe our father's style. There is a laundry list of accoutrements that goes into the making of a true gentleman and father. But we must first discover what it is we are looking for when we enter the forbidden forest of Dad's closet. Let's be honest, it's tough to look past the track suits and power ties to get to the nitty gritty of your father's not-so-90's clothing. But it's in there. Trust me. Let's discover what some of the major types of "Daddy Style" are out there...

The "Corporate Ladder" Dad

You'll know instantly if this is your guy. He's got seven or more suits, twenty-two pairs of slacks, and close to sixty ties. And that about sums him up. Nope. You may have to do some sifting around, but there is surely a lot more to him. Almost every man has some sort of jewelry box with an assortment of cufflinks and tie clips. This sort of stuff was and is still a big deal. Cufflinks and tie tacks were often given as gifts and sometimes have some cool initials engraving on them. That's great stuff. It's cool to pay homage to your father by sporting some of his vintage gear. Cufflinks are exclusively for french cuffed (double cuffed) shirts. Which you may or may not have. If not, go pick one up and give it a try. They add a nice ornamentation to a seemingly plain white shirt, and the links will have a cool story to share if someone asks. Also, check out your dad's belts for size. Sometimes they can still fit even if you and your dad are different sizes. Dad's pre-broken-in belts may also offer some extra comfort and cool patina. Keep in mind casual button-downs as well as watches and shoes. My dad was one of these guys and I scored tons of loafers, lace-ups, and vintage watches. See, your dad's got more wearable fashion sense than you thought. 

The "Works With His Hands" Dad

I knew this George Straight, Wrangler Collection stock photography would get your attention! Now this photo may not look anything like your dad but you know he's got some gems in there. Folks, there are hats galore in this closet. Whether it be a taco-styled cowboy hat of just some old memorabilia trucker hat, these can work great with your personal style as well. Skip out on the generic stuff and go for the unique items. He may also have the perfect footwear for you, pending size. A lot of "works with his hands" dad's have some cool boots, with no need for a break-in period. These could be cowboy, hiking, CAT, or maybe if you're lucky some old FRYE boots. These will look awesome and worn with some cuffed jeans. This closet is home of some of the coolest casual button downs around. Even if they are big on you, they may very well look awesome untucked for just putzing around town. You know this closet is full of basics that you should have. So take some notes of what seemed practical for your dad, because for the most part, they're still practical basics. 

The "Comfort Zone" Dad

Look familiar? I know you know this guy. A casual guy at heart with corporate flavor. His time off is HIS time off! Be weary, there's a lot of polos and old t-shirts in there, so don't waste your time grabbing the ones that aren't unique to your dad's style. If you two have the same girth, check the shorts. I'm sure he's got some pairs he has been hanging onto for a while. Go for a shorter inseam short than you normally wear to show off your pasty thighs. This dad has some pretty conservative clothing for work but the second he steps into his {insert fiscally responsible vehicle here} the dress shoes come off and the boat shoes come on. There are plenty of older penny loafers and tanned boat shoes underneath the slacks or hanging behind the closet door. 
Besides the immense amount of comfort clothing, there may be some other cool accessories. Expect to find some other cool things like binoculars or old sunglasses. This dad takes care of the nice things he has so look for those, but make sure he's got more than one or doesn't use them.

The"Living the Good Ole' Days" Dad

You've seen the paddle, whether hanging or hidden. The stories are old by now but he lives and breathes by them. Everything he has held onto for the past 30 years has a story, and that's truly something you want in repurposing old clothing. Old fraternity sweaters and college memorabilia were once his staple. Don't mind the beer stains, it'll add some zest and natural flavoring. Most likely there are some pretty short short's in the drawer. Also, check out the t-shirts, he may very well have an old frat tank that would fit into the most casual of situations. Pictured to the left are some pretty sweet blazer's and sport coats. Double breasted's were commonplace and can still work casually as well as formally. Work them in with some fitted slacks of a coordinating color. If you're not sure, look it up. It's as simple as that to insure you're not the office doofus. Checked and tweed sport coats surely still have a place in today's styling but keep it relatively irregular. Size wise, I'd much rather have larger to oversized pieces on top than on the bottom. Rock his old sport coats with some lace-up low top dress shoes. Well-kept shoes are key in the workplace, so shine 'em up folks. Just make sure the shoes and belt are reasonably similar in color. I can't believe I said the word "doofus" earlier....

The "Ex-Military" Dad

If you ever had to bounce a quarter off your bed sheets in the morning this may very well be your dad. This dad is as conservative as gets style wise but there are a lot of themes and trends we can pull from his old military photos. My favorite is the plain white crew neck t-shirt with rolled sleeves. It's versatile enough to go with literally anything. Now, I'm not a huge fan of the new "camo everything" trend but if there just so happens to be one of your father's old jackets I'd snag it. Even if it never surfaces from the depths of your closet, it's just so fascinating to have. Another tip you can take from Dad is the "spit shine". A brilliant way to shine shoes to a perfect finish. Also, your Dad probably sports a belt with just about everything. You should too. Any old military patches could be a cool embellishment for whatever military style jacket or backpack you may have. The duffel bag also may be a hidden gem. It can be used as an overnighter or adventure bag. They aren't built for comfort so it'll be tough carrying long distance but it's awesome all the same. 

In short, your Dad's got more style than you think. You just have to weed through the 90's to find it. These are some serious generalizations of what I believe to be the pinnacle of the "father" archetype style. Your father may be nothing like any of these generalizations but the point still remains, whether you know it or not, your Dad's a badass. 

- from the inside of My Father's Closet