You Can Thank Dad For That
The cufflinks and ties have been purchased, the envelopes signed and sealed and Sunday booked off as the day to celebrate our fathers' returns; nationwide we join together to congratulate them for not dropping us on our heads and for monotonously ferrying us to and from school or friends' houses. At Rokit, in amongst sending a card, text message or some pungent cologne, we also remember the essential fatherly role often overlooked or forgotten: the influence our dear ol' dads have on our wardrobes.
Words by Sophie Soar
From our childhoods, memories of outfit choices, whether our own decisions or those of our parents, often garner mixed emotions. Whilst mine consists of an undying love for my Barbie heels, fighting with my best friend over a denim catsuit and endlessly struggling with my mum to wear my favourite orange velvet dress on a daily basis (I succeeded in this every day for a year), this intermingles with the inevitable horrors inflicted upon so many of us: matching sibling outfits, hand-me-down catastrophes and grandma's relentless, itchy Christmas jumpers. Worst of all, our shame and embarrassment is often strewn about our homes in photo frames, brandishing the beauties and beasts burned into our minds. In reality however these images are an eclectic mood board that follows the creation of our style and personality.
Evolution of Style
An individual's approach to dressing will begin to evolve even before the simplest motor skills develop, as we watch and imitate the role our parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters present. Reaching the toddler stage, we end up knee deep in our mother's shoe collection, make up box or jewellery stand. The "tween" years ease us into the pleasure and pain of gift buying, including that first birthday present for dad, which is almost inevitably one of innumerable pairs of cufflinks he will receive from us before we turn thirty. We learn to pick and choose to suit their taste and subsequently develop our own as we unknowingly adapt our likes and dislikes in accordance with theirs.
When called out on traits adopted from our parents, we mostly laugh or shrug off the observation hurriedly. When I am told by family and friends 'you are so much like your father', I generally assume it isn't my wardrobe to which they are referring but rather the looming height, blue eyes and recessive stubborn streak. Upon reflection, my wardrobe is perhaps alarmingly similar to my dad's. As far as I'm aware, he doesn't own a dress or a pair of heels, but his wardrobe is all about colour, his clothing perfectly turned out (this I predominantly aim for and admire rather than strictly adhere to) and we own almost identical pairs of flight, tweed and leather jackets. My favourite pair of jeans were once his and I've adopted dozens of his jumpers. During my lifetime, I have also never known the man to walk out the front door with mismatching belt and shoes; his main style rule that was mercilessly instilled by his mother.
The Father's Role
Aside from the fabulous highs and disastrous lows of our dads' own wardrobes (I'm still not entirely sure which category my dad's snake skin trousers would fall into - perhaps the former as they go unworn), the consistent support of a father resounds as we develop our own style. Practically a victim of his two daughters, my father would sit through endless fashion shows after shopping trips and calmly handle a tantrum or two when he would forbid me to leave the house in too short a skirt (an act I only accept as fair about six years later, perfectly in accordance with the familial stubborn quality). Whilst subjecting our fathers to many of these joyous moments of parenthood, they inevitably develop a range of reactions from subtle persuasiveness against a particular top to blatant recoiling at the first pair of six inch heels. The former falls quite neatly into the biological defence mechanism 'survival of the fittest' when living in a house of teenagers; the latter becomes excusable only when the scabs have disappeared after gravity and imbalance returned us to normal height.
Our dads see it all, kindly instructing with a patient, if slightly bemused, smile. At the age of thirteen, it was my dad who sat me down and carefully instructed me on how to remove my eye makeup; aged fifteen, it was a gentle suggestion that perhaps my revolutionary idea that making tops out of pillowcases wasn't my finest; only last week did dad collect me from uni sporting a tiara and feather boa. He didn't bat an eyelid.
At Rokit, we think these style pointers and guidance in wardrobe evolution should be celebrated in amongst the other roles our fathers have played within our lives. As demonstrated by our favourite parental icons, from David and Brooklyn Beckham to Matthew and Livingston Alves McConaughey, these father/son duos couldn't be more appropriate in revealing how stylish dads influence their children at all ages. Whilst we swoon and coo over such images, we are also inspired this Father's Day to celebrate the significance of our dads' wardrobes have had on our own.
An Outfit for Every Occasion
However you might be spending this Father's Day, at Rokit we have every activity covered, from a Hawaiian-themed BBQ, a walk through the woods or some DIY about the house, taking the Beckhams, McConaugheys and Blooms as our style icons for the perfect celebration of our dads. And for those of us unable to celebrate with our dads this weekend, the Rokit team has created a gorgeous compilation of our glamorous old geezers to remind one and all of their fabulousness.
As for myself, I may still be unable to catch a ball or swing a tennis racket, bleed a radiator or keep a houseplant alive for longer than a week, but my wardrobe commemorates the support and influence of my dad. Perhaps most importantly too, I never leave the house unless all my accessories match perfectly.