Posted in I'm the Daddy

Man Bags and Dad Rags

Dad fashion. What’s that all about then? There seem to be plenty of blogs dedicated to style for Mums but no one wants to talk about what Dad is wearing. We seem destined to wander blindly around shops without guidance, ignored by the fashion industry and mocked by the media.

It gets worse. As this excellent post on ‘Diary of the Dad’ points out, we live with tiny little style icons that have the clothes and attitude to outshine us whatever we do. A friend of mine has his t-shirts selected by his 2 year old daughter before he is allowed to put them on; he is on a slippery slope. So what’s the answer?

If you were to believe a post I read on ‘The Simple Dad’ the answer is to try not to be embarrassing. I always thought that embarrassing your teenage offspring was one of the perks of being a Dad so I have no intentions following that rule. The author goes on to list a series of tips that I could never agree with.

Don’t Wear Clothes Out Of Your Age Group – What does this mean? As I am no longer a toddler I don’t have handy age ranges on the label of my clothes and I’ve never seen a ‘going on 40’ range in any shop.  Who wants to be pigeon holed like this?

Dress Neat and Slick – Why? I’m not at work. Don’t I get to chill out now and then? I don’t like dressing smart and I don’t think it really suits me anyway. My style is casual and it’s not going to change.

What to Wear

 To counter this I have feverishly worked on what I think Dads in their veeeerrry late thirties are wearing this season.  Obviously I mean me.

Rocking the self shot
Rocking the self shot

Hoodies – They’re comfy, they go with anything and they look vaguely sporty. And young people wear them, right? I do love my hoodies but I will be the first to admit I that I look a twat in this photo. I took it while I was bored on a work trip and I keep as a reminder to not take self-shots unless I have George with me.

Cargo Pants/combat trousers – Shortly before George was born I bought what I refer to as my ‘paternity trousers’ – a pair of green ‘combat’ trousers – and I have noticed several of my Dad friends wearing something similar. The attraction is obvious as they have loads pockets for random Dad stuff, they’re roomy and don’t show the puke stains too much. I do love mine but I’m coming round to the idea that they are not that stylish. Oh well!

Pub shoes maketh the man

Pub shoes – I’m talking about the sorts of trainers that have no athletic purpose and are only really any good for wearing down the pub.  We all have our favourites and as retro styles are still popular I see no reason to kick out your Adidas Samba or Nike hi-tops. A few weeks ago I wore my Converse All-stars to a wedding mainly because I had broken my toe and couldn’t get shoes on but ended up with strangers complimenting my style. In my head I looked like Dr Who.

T-shirts with words on – In my late teens and early twenties I loved t-shirts with the names of my favourite bands emblazoned on them and developed an addiction to low quality bootlegs. Now I am older, I appreciate finer quality garments but can still indulge in all manner of geekery thanks to the internet. I am particularly fond of Last Exit to Nowhere and the plethora of geeky design on sites like Red Bubble.

What Not to Wear

When it comes to ‘what not to wear’ there are a few things we can exclude.

Boat/deck shoes – Do you own a boat? No? Well jog on, landlubber.
Blazers – I haven’t won the Open Golf and it isn’t the 70s.
Twat hats – Any hat worn to make a statement. Watch audition rounds of The Voice or X Factor for guidance.
Crocs – We all know this one, right? Wrong! Recently I was forced to have a conversation with a man wearing leather fronted Crocs without screaming at him. So wrong.

I have no real conclusion to this post. Dads: wear what you like, don’t change your natural style because you have kids and don’t ever feel embarrassed. Let’s stick together and develop our own style. I’d like to thank Tom Briggs for giving me the title for this post and apologise to Han Smith for not making it a vlog where I sing Rod Stewart tunes while eating salt and vinegar crisps.

I need your comments more than ever.


11 thoughts on “Man Bags and Dad Rags

  1. Crocs + dad = wrong x wrong

    A fantastic post. The cargo pants are surely every father’s standard regalia when they have a young kid. I know I had a pair. Nowadays, I’m more of a jeans and t-shirt guy.

    I expect you will be adding an additions section (or a further post) in the not-too-distant future as George gets a bit older. This section is the “Wear What Your Child Says” section. Quynn loves it when he and I step out in our Batman t-shirts. He will also dictate that I should wear a super hero shirt like superman, or avengers, as he is some other super hero that day and we need to partner up. How can I complain about it when he does this. After all, I’m Batman!

  2. Ha! Great post. I love the idea of ages being added to the labels of our clothes and also once went for the suit/Converse combo at an otherwise smart occasion – and drew the Dr Who comments you mentioned. We must be on to something…

  3. Ha! Great post. I love the idea of ages being added to the labels of our clothes and also once went for the suit/Converse combo at an otherwise smart event – drawing the same Dr Who comments. Maybe we’re on to something…

  4. I’m not sure about labels with ages…I’ve always been small for my age so I’d end up getting lost in over-sized clothing…or is that the new fashion?! 🙂

    1. A very good question. I have always been a fan of the fleece so I don’t see why not. I think the only exception to this rule is if you go overboard and dress head to toe in fleece. No one wants that.

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