Fashion. Where to begin with fashion these days. If its not models walking down the catwalk wearing a bread bin on their head, its Lady Gaga wearing a meat dress. How does an average, run-of-the-mill dad compete with these stylish motherfuckers? Simple, he doesn’t. I mean, whats the point? Its only going to end up covered in some form of bodily fluid, or a food based product which seems to cling to fabric, like Spiderman to the side of a building.
I used to be that guy who never wore anything without a brand. I had all those fancy designer jeans and chinos, not to mention to amount of shirts I paid £50 each, naively believing this was ‘cheap’. I did pay stupid amounts of money for clothes, because I could. You would if you could, right? Instead of saving money for a mortgage (boring) or investing it (more boring), I wanted the brand new shoes that some random celebrity wore to the Oscars, because nothing screams style more than vanity and denial.
However, when you become a father, you soon realise that a pair of jeans are good to wear for four days straight. And surviving a day without getting last nights bolognese sauce on your T-shirt, is a bigger accomplishment than Einstein’s theory or relativity.
I put together a list of what I did wear, and what I now wear:
I had at least 20-30 of these body boys, and boy, did I look suave! I used to strut about town feeling like Tom Hardy, but probably looking like John Candy. The problem with wearing these tops around children, is that they have the tendency to pul them down, exposing my pale chest and the little bit of acne between my man-tits. I never was a gym freak and I’ve always had ‘moobs’, but back then I was an A cup – now I’m easily a D cup.
Now: Thanks to my saviours such as Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s, I have replaced my trendy designer V-Neck’s for cheap and cheerful T-shirts, with novelty prints on the front. In short, my tops used to have a designers name stitched into them, now they have a picture of Papa Smurf and the occasional food stain on them.
I am very much a wearer of jeans. They go with anything, they are super comfortable and they hardly never need ironing – perfect! Levi’s were once my denim of choice. I wouldn’t think twice of paying £70+ a pair, and they never lose shape or colour fade. I was had a 32″ waist and those beauties clung to me in all the right places.
Now: I have no desire to step foot in another Levi’s shop ever again. For some reason, my waist has ballooned two sizes up and I haven’t the slightest clue as to why. Those once perfectly snug jeans now fold over at the top whenever I sit down, my belly acting as a fat, flabby trouser press. Again, my trusty supermarket of choice gives me my £20 pair of jeans now. No shame here!
Shoes and Trainers:
I used to have an array of footwear. I tried to wear a different pair every week and I normally succeeded. Most pairs of trainers were white and immaculate. I had a couple of pairs of shoes also, both the pointy type.
Now: I have had the same pair of pumps for about 2 years, if not longer and they have so many stains on them its unreal. They were once black in colour – now they have bean juice, ketchup, brown sauce and gravy stains on them (thanks to my kids).
Shirts and Jumpers:
I had soooooo many checked shirts and designer jumpers, I don’t think I wore half of them. They are the jeans of the torso and go with pretty much any bottoms you wear.
Now: I actually have a couple of designer shirts in my wardrobe, but I’m terrified of wearing them around my monsters. On the plus side, checked shirts seem to hide stains pretty well because of the patterns. Not to say that I actually want remnants of Noah’s chicken tikka dinner on my collar.
I have stuck to my original, crazy-priced look but on a budget. I still wear jeans and chinos (no pair over £20) and I wear checked shirts (no shirt over £15). They are covered in food and bodily fluid trophies, of which I am weirdly proud of. They remind me of my monsters and if it means standing in queues with the naive teenagers behind me, giggling at the sight of dried broccoli on a my shoulder, then so be it.
To summarise, all new dads or soon-to-be-dads – I would recommend that when it comes to your fashion sense, don’t bother with expensive mankini’s or posh boxer shorts(oh… just me?). Expensive trousers and shirts are a no go, and don’t bother with accessories. Buy the cheap stuff. You’ll be surprised how long it actually lasts. One last bit of advice: baked bean juice will NOT come out, even on a 60 degrees deep wash with the strongest cleaning products on the planet.