7 Fashion Lessons Our Dads Taught Us, Because Father Knows Best About Vintage Flannels
Without my dad, I would have never ran two half-marathons, learned how to wash a pig, or realized dressing for work at a corporate job could still incorporate my personal style. Even in 2015, it's still true that dads tend to get more credit for doing heavy lifting around the house, but fashion lessons from dad have proven time and time again to be equally as valuable.
My dad has worked an office job for over 21 years. Whether for his birthday, Christmas, or his and my mom's anniversary, he always asks for new dress shirts. My parents are in the process of moving, which has made everyone realize how many clothes my dad actually has. Turns out, his closet is far more impressive than mine. When I asked him why he has so many clothes (especially plaid business shirts), he explained that he's a class-A packrat and still learning about how to dress professionally with his own style at his conservative office.
I never thought of my dad as having a personal style that didn't involve leather gloves or steel-toed boots. I realize this is gender stereotyping of fathers at its finest, but that is really what my dad wears on the weekends. In lieu of this new discovery of my dad's fashion sense, I have asked fellow Bustlers what their dad taught them about style. For this Father's Day, they deserved to be remembered for all the impeccable outfits they put together.
1. Embrace staple pieces.
"My dad taught me to love two style staples by simply giving me hand-me-downs: vintage (though he'd hate that I call them that) band tees from his favorite concerts (The Who, Utopia, Bruce Springsteen) and sailor jeans from his actual days as a US Navy sailor, which led to me buying multiple pairs of jeans manufactured to copy that look (the navy ones are made with really heavy material that's cute, but not comfy).
Caveat: I only got to "borrow" the concert shirts when I was in high school as they are totally irreplaceable mementos in his eyes, but it definitely informed what I look for in a tee." — Kelsea Stahler, Bustle Entertainment Editor
2. Find your personal uniform.
"The main thing I’ve learned from my dad is that there is no shame in having a general uniform and sticking to what you know works. For him, that uniform is Levis 501s and black Calvin Klein crewneck tees plus some kind of over-shirt. In the ‘90s that mean plaid flannels or other weird textures, but now it’s usually just more black. He will only wear a suit and tie when ABSOLUTELY FORCED, but does everything in his power to make black jeans formal-acceptable. He also has a great stash of sweaters (shoutout to vintage J.Crew) and band tees with 30+ year wear that I raid every time I’m home." — Jenna Wexler, Bustle Associate Branded Content Editor
3. There is no single fashion rule.
"I learned three very important style lessons from my father: 1. Accessorizing is key. 2. Print mixing is awesome. 3. Flannel will ALWAYS be cool." —Hayley Saltzman, Bustle Senior Social Media Editor
4. Hair is an important part of your ensemble.
"Big hair, don't care!" — Allie Litwak, Bustle Account Executive, Sales
5. Glasses are incredibly cool.
"Even before nerdy specs were all the rage, my dad was rocking massive frames. I couldn't have been more stoked when the eye doctor told me I needed glasses in fifth grade." — Kara McGrath, Bustle Senior Fashion & Beauty Editor
6. Don't fear "risky" outfits.
"Ask anyone who knows Greg Tan and they’ll quickly tell you he’s the most stylish person they know. He’s got the best closet in the family — hell, the best closet this side of the Mississippi (take that, Kardashians). I can’t begin to describe all of the fashion lessons I’ve learned from my dad, but if I had to sum it up, it’d be to never be afraid to take a fashion risk and to always own it, because confidence is key to any good outfit. Oh, and there is no such thing as too much color, especially if that color is pink." — Sara Tan, Bustle West Coast Fashion & Beauty Editor
7. Take inspiration from everywhere.
"My dad often travels to Paris for work (he's a computer science professor at the University of Kentucky). My family lived there during his sabbatical, when he worked for Google — I was in college so I got to join them and live there for a summer. Growing up, I took several trips there with him also! Now, whenever he goes, he brings me back fashion magazines. My dad taught me that Paris is a great place for fashion inspiration." —Julia Seales, Bustle Books Writer
Images: Courtesy Participants