As a relatively new dad, I feel freedom in my ‘fashion.’ Since we’ve had Auggie, I’ve been able to find and channel my own real adult style, which has always naturally gravitated to ‘dad’. From a youngster wearing totally ’90s Andre Agassi-inspired sweat suits to a solid ten-year period where I almost exclusively wore Champion crewneck sweatshirts, stonewashed jeans, and Nike cross-trainers. It’s always hilarious looking through photo albums with my wife, it’s a laugh a minute. In my mind, becoming a dad gave me the right to own the style that had always existed within me– so here are a few items that I either own or have ordered for the season, which will be useful when we awake from the doldrums of winter and awaken into spring/summer, all the while, carrying or chasing around our little kiddos.
- Han Kjobenhavn Tapered Fit Heavy Stone Jeans – These are the anchor of any serious dad. Moms have their famous jeans, why can’t dads? I’m on my second pair of these and while I had initial pause, they’re incredibly comfortable, nice and roomy up top and tapered at the bottom, you know, to show off your footwear, which I’ll get to down the list. $180 – Need Supply.
- Huckberry Shorts – What more is there to say – a pair of shorts that have ‘everyday’ in their name? SOLD. Lightweight enough for workouts, durable enough for the outdoors, stylish enough to wear with a button down, which yes, I’ve done multiple times. $58 – Huckberry
- adidas Stan Smith Shoes – Currently en route to my home, these are made of a single piece nubuck upper, which means they’re supple, and should be as comfortable now as they were when they were launched in the ’70s. They’re a great simple, understated sneaker that will show the world that while you might be a closeted sneakerhead, you’re in your mid-thirties and have some self-respect for yourself and your family. $130 – adidas.
- Homage T-shirts – I discovered Homage last summer when I realized my favorite ‘Barack Obama for State Senate’ t-shirt I had religiously worn for the better part of eight years was in fact from the fine folks at Columbus, Ohio-based Homage. The beauty of these t-shirts are their fit, they’re longer than the traditional J. Crew t-shirt which I’ve found to shrink after a few washes – and as a new dad, I’m washing my t-shirts at a record setting pace with my little guy producing just about every bodily function onto my shoulders daily. They’ve got great vintage designs for those of you who like to pay homage (see what I did there?) to your ’90s roots, in addition to fantastic basic pocket t’s. $25-$35 – Homage
- Reigning Champ Crewneck Sweatshirt – A staple that can transform from season to season. Coupled with a pair of shorts and sneakers can be the perfect weekender option, while coupled with a pair of plain front chinos and boots, can be completely appropriate for any season. I’ve searched for a great crewneck for quite some time and was largely unsuccessful until I found Reigning Champ – a Canadian based company that does a great job with athletic based basics, which I’m a massive fan of. Watch for them to release some splashy collaborations from a number of adjacent brands in the menswear space in the next twelve months. $140 – Reigning Champ
- Birkenstock Arizona Sandal – Wool Socks or not, my wardrobe was incomplete until acquiring the sandals that my own father has worn for decades – the Birkenstock is an iconic piece of footwear history that has added a few modern pieces I find to be just right. The Arizona in EVA is a perfect summer option for dads as it is a washable counterpart to its more traditional cousin, the Arizona that is made of cork and leather. At $35, I felt guilty buying into this legacy brand at such a low price point, but as I’m told children can get quite expensive, so I’m not complaining. $35 – Need Supply Co.
- Arc’teryx Vest – Working within the outdoor industry, I was lost as a child of J Crew, and until I found the Arc’teryx vest, I looked like a former frat member that was lost and looking for the nearest capital investment firm. As a dad carrying my child everywhere, I’ve found this vest is the best layering piece on the planet because it’s indestructible and arguably most importantly, washable. It’s a must when traveling as it goes easily in the bin through security and the pockets can hold my phone, keys, wallet, and child’s teething rings, pacifiers, and whatever you’re wiping his face with. $175 – Arc’teryx
- Chubbies – The Big Bowskis Shorts – I know what you’re thinking, you said you wanted to avoid looking like a frat boy, and then you tell me to wear Chubbies? Well, yes… that’s exactly what I’m telling you – while these have an impressive following on spring break beaches, they’re also great for dads. Why? Well, you’re in your thirties, and you shouldn’t be wearing fourteen-inch board shorts that come with surfboard combs unless you surf, BRAH. The boat print is brilliant and reminds me of something my grandpa would wear which is always and automatic purchase. $59.50 – Chubbies
- 47 Brand Hat – The ‘dad hat’ has become uber-popular thanks to K. West, Big Sean, and many others, but c’mon, you’re a dad, right? The fact of the matter is that while snapback hats are cool, they too tend to make you look like you’re in the midst of an early ’20s crisis, so bite the bullet, and wear a hat that fits your head. The smaller logo on these hats from 47 brand are perfect to go ½ way on a more relaxed profile without going FULL DAD, without a logo to speak of on the crown. $25 – ’47
- Vuarnet Sunglasses – Sunglasses will hide the bags under your eyes as your child elects that traditional sleeping patterns might no longer be for him. Vuarnet is a brand that has an unrivaled legacy and with it’s New District Collection, delivers a pair of shades that can be worn with your Saturday uniform or dress up with a wedding suit. Anything from the District Collection will work, but I’m partial to the Round Medium in Amber. $250 – Vuarnet
1. Han Kjobenhavn Tapered Fit Heavy Stone Jeans
2. Huckberry Shorts
3. adidas Stan Smith Shoes
4. Homage T-shirts
5. Reigning Champ Crewneck Sweatshirt
6. Birkenstock Arizona Sandal
7. Arc’teryx Vest
8. Chubbies – The Big Bowskis Shorts
9. 47 Brand Hat
10. Vuarnet Sunglasses
Joe Peters lives in Saint Paul, MN with his wife Kate, son August, and trusted Labrador, Winnie. In his spare time, he’s the head of marketing for Vasque Footwear.
Joe Peters lives in Saint Paul, MN with his wife, Kate, son, August, and trusted Labrador, Winnie. In his spare time, he’s the head of marketing for Vasque Footwear.