Living: Daddy cool

Don't hide your dad bod in dowdy clothes. Dads it's time you up your style quotient

If someone’s ever hinted that you dress like a dad, brace yourself. It is not a compliment. Fathers and fashion don’t seem to go hand in hand. Picture a typical father and the first thought that comes to mind, apart from the pot belly and such, is someone in a faded T-shirt, worn-out shoes and jeans that look like they were bought in a haste. Although that’s not necessarily bad, considering many of us pay a lot of money for brand new jeans that have been treated to look like they were purchased at the turn of the century!

Fathers often cease caring about their appearance a few years after their marriage, once they become, well, fathers. After all, between work, perhaps some time out for exercise or walks, spending time with the children and wife, and social events, who can take out time to shop? And anyway, after budgeting for the expenses of the rest of the family, often fathers are happy to take the hit. In addition, well, they’ve already got the girl, they married her! She ain’t goin’ nowhere. So, why bother?

Dressing fashionably is not rocket science. It’s easy, and worth the time and investment. Your wife will be happier, your kids will shine with pride. Who doesn’t like having the coolest dad on the block? The best part? You can now look stylish without deviating too much from your comfort zone, for gone are the days of the super tight T-shirt and skinny jeans. Dad fashion, which is cool, casual and comfy clothing, is all the rage now. You don’t have to change your wardrobe by 180 degrees to look like the most happening dad of the decade. All you need are a few tweaks to your look:

Get your fit wrong!
T-shirts that sit easily are preferable to the too-tight variety once favoured by everyone who had a six-pack, and sadly, by those who thought they could pull it off. Today, even if you have toned abs, (you hot dad, you!) skip the tight jeans and tee. Anti-fit is the new skinny. Great style has always been about getting the perfect fit, so anti-fit seems counter-intuitive, except, it’s suddenly all the rage. It’s perfectly fine to wear clothes that sit largely on your frame, but there’s an art to getting it right. Go through a few (or many) pics before trying on the baggy clothes. It’s worth it though because nothing has ever been this comfortable.

Pull up your pants
No, really. Pull ‘em up. “Trousers should be tapered and raised above the ankle for an instant style upgrade,” says designer Dhruv Kapoor, who counts among his clients Ranveer Singh and Virat Kohli. “Pair these trousers with a plain shirt, or even a floral one if you’re feeling adventurous, for a look that is cutting edge, in addition to being comfy and sporty.” Remember that cropped trousers draw attention to your footwear, so if you’re going for this look, select your shoes with care.

Nail the shoe game 
Dads, we get that it’s easy for you to run behind the children in your favourite trainers, and although there was a time jeans with sneakers signalled the death of fashion, times have changed. A very current way to wear sneakers is to pair them with your favourite pair of jeans, folded up to expose the ankle or cropped pants.
If you find funky footwear a bit too over the top and would rather tone down your look but still be stylish, we’ve got you covered. Mouli Venkataraman of Ruosh feels you can’t go wrong with driving shoes. “Drivers are not only easy to slip on, but are extremely comfortable, stylish, and can be paired with denim, pants or shorts. It’s the perfect go-to option.”

Accessories are for you, too
Nothing sharpens a look like great accessories. We know you can see the time just as well on your phone, but seriously, if you don’t have a watch, get one. A chunky, sporty watch always looks cool. Steer clear of flashy gold straps or anything too blingy, unless you’re a rap artiste. Or a politician. Or Bappi Lahri. (In which case, we’re so sorry.)

Another accessory that has re-emerged is the bum bag aka fanny pack aka belt bag. You see it everywhere (if you’re in New York or London that is!), and not just on tourists but on uber-stylish locals too, as they rush about their day. Men, take a cue from this most convenient of trends. Now you no longer need to weigh down your pockets with your wallet, car keys, house keys and phone. Sure, you have your messenger bag or briefcase when you’re heading to work, but on days you don’t require a laptop, or on days you’re taking the kids out, simply snap on your fanny pack.

Layer it smart
“Update your look instantly with a trendy, cool jacket. You can pull it over anything and you’ll instantly look stylish, so pay attention to jacket trends,” advises designer Manoviraj Khosla, who is a trendy, fit father himself, and who just showcased his latest collection at the London Fashion Week. “Blazers are OUT!” he declares emphatically.
Sharing this point of view is Dhruv. “Do away with the boring blazer!” he pleads and suggests opting for a linen bomber jacket on cooler, spring days, and a leather bomber for the winter.

Beard game on point
The beard has long lost its messy, unkempt association. Today’s razor cuts are all about keeping it sharp and clean. There are a million ways you can style a beard. Experiment until you find something that suits you. From making your facial features sharper and giving you a wider jaw to defining your chin and framing your eyes, a beard can change and elevate your look like nothing else can.

This Father’s Day, treat yourself by incorporating some of this advice into your lifestyle and get started on the road to fashion fabulousness.

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