Chunky white sneakers, a sweat-stained baseball cap, cargo shorts and a cotton T-shirt from college days — this is the Dad uniform, and it has been since almost the beginning of living memory. Dads aren’t typically known for their fashion; they focus their limited time and energy on bread winning, maintaining their homes and caring for their families. For most Dads, fashion simply isn’t a high priority. (Image Credit: Olya Adamovich/Pixabay_
However, as we move into a new and exciting decade, it might be time for dads everywhere to update their wardrobe. Both parents represent the family, so looking put-together is beneficial in garnering a good reputation around the neighborhood and in the greater community. Plus, kids tend to emulate their parents, and dressing well is critical for finding success.
Dads don’t have to compromise simplicity and functionality for the sake of style. Here are a few fashion tips to help Dads look great while they mow the lawn, take the kids to the zoo and otherwise engage actively in fatherhood.
Be Honest About Sizing
Dads tend to make one of two major mistakes in their clothing sizing.
Some dads, perhaps in an attempt to avoid the hassle of shopping, try to continue squeezing into their clothing from high school and college. Unfortunately, this rarely works. Dads tend to gain about four pounds during their partner’s pregnancy and five pounds over the course of their first year of fatherhood — and that baby weight is difficult to lose. As a result, clothing from before the kids will be uncomfortably tight, making unflattering lines around the body.
More dads recognize that they have gained this weight and ditch their old wardrobe, only to invest in clothing that is comically large. Oversized shirts and sagging pants aren’t cute on middle-aged men; over-large clothing makes men look even larger than they are, and it hides a man’s naturally attractive body shape.
Dads need to be honest about their body size and buy clothing that actually fits. Every clothing item has a specific set of fitting rules; T-shirts should hit just below the belt, and cargo shorts should fall between one and three inches above the knees. It might be beneficial to visit a tailor to receive accurate body measurements and to have beloved or expensive clothing (like suits) resized to better fit dad’s new body.
Stick to Masculine Neutrals
Men’s fashion is changing, opening up to be more exciting and inclusive. However, that doesn’t mean the average dad needs to invest in neon-pink blazers or polka-dot skirts if he doesn’t feel comfortable in them. More realistically, dads who struggle to confidently match T-shirts and jeans should avoid riskier fashion choices because funky pieces and bright colors only compound the difficulty of putting an outfit together.
Instead, Dads should start by filling their wardrobe with solid masculine neutrals, which include colors like blacks and dark grays as well as navy, olive green and camel or khaki. Color blocking with neutrals is an easy way to put together a sophisticated and flattering outfit, even with relatively casual pieces like T-shirts and shorts. Once dads start being comfortable with this style, they can add simple patterns in neutral tones, like Breton stripes, Prince of Wales checks, micro-dots and plaids.
Invest in Mature Brands
Many men and women with fashionable wardrobes have a big secret, which dads can use as a shopping hack: clothing brands. Brands work hard to produce cohesive clothing lines, so loyal shoppers know what to expect; when a shopper likes one piece from a brand, they should be able to return to that brand to find similar looks with similar quality.
When men are younger, they might take advantage of youthful brands — but Dads shouldn’t look like teenagers. There are plenty of mature brands that offer attractive clothing at reasonable prices. Dads should spend some time evaluating which brands fit their bodies and styles best, so they can return to those brands again and again. Consistency is one of the most important fashion tips for men to remember.
Don’t Be Afraid to Accessorize
Accessories add complexity to an outfit. On one hand, that makes the outfit more interesting and innovative; on the other hand, it means Dads have more to worry about in terms of styling and coordinating. However, accessories can be as functional as they are fun, so dads shouldn’t be afraid of accessorizing, especially on a basic level. Some basic accessories that dramatically improve a look include a wristwatch and attractive shoes, but items like sunglasses and rings add interest as well. As always, hesitant dads should start with more simple styles and slowly increase intricacy over time.
With these smart fashion tips for men, all Dad’s can be cool and look cool too. By investing in clothing that fits well and coordinates easily, any dad can look sharp, whether he is mowing the lawn, presenting at work or watching his kids in the park.