Monday, March 10, 2008

The Insecurities Of A Cool Dad!

I know that a few people who read here are parents, I know that some of you are even as old as Java and many of us must go through similar trials on tribulations on a daily basis.

Now I am quite proud to consider myself as a chap with a certain sense of style about my persona. I'm no David Beckham, although I'm probably far more at ease in a sarong than he is, but I'm also not one of those square types, the sort who wears clothes because they're comfortable and buys their jeans from Marks and Spencer's superb range.

And, as the years and the pounds pile on a bit, I find myself increasingly conscious of my appearance, particularly the need to "do the right thing" for my daughters. You see I've never wanted to be one of those square types, the M+S jeans wearing, average Nike trainer toting and normal "comfortable" clothing adverts. In the days when I used to sometimes collect the girls from school I'd look at the other parents and feel that I never wanted to look like so many of them.

But then I'd spot one or two of the more outlandish parents and think to myself "What the fuck's going on there? She looks like she's just copied page 74 of one of those catalogues, without reading the title where it says that this is what all the teens are wearing in more extreme parts of Camden."

And, as a parent I believe I shoulder many responsibilities, one of the most important ones being not to embarass my daughters. So I have to find a balance between looking trendy and stylish enough for them yet not go over board and appearing like some kind of twat. Some of the other parental responsibilities involve things like counselling, guidance, education and what have you, but dressing appropriately has got to be at, or near, the top of the list.

I am blessed with a bit of a head start too. Being a drummer, in two bands no less, means I gain copious amounts of street cred points with my girls and their friends immediately. There are other Dads of their friends who are captains of industry, in charge of huge empires, there are probably some who are MPs and the like (of course being an MP actually means something over here!). But in the Dad street cred stakes there is little that beats an old man who is in a band or two. Granted, if I were famous or in Take That I'd be virtually untouchable, but I can't complain as things are.

There's nothing worse than a parent who refuses to grow old gracefully. Which is where my current insecurities lie. The covers band played a gig at a school disco / party thing the other day. It was the school of one of the kids of our lead singer, so there were plenty of adults and what seemed to be about half a million screaming fifteen year olds hanging around looking dangerous and disinterested.

I suppose I'm relatively used to girls of about that age, but boys are an alien concept. I sat there and, in between bouts of coughing, I looked at the "uniform" that these boys were wearing. It disconcerted me. For my considerable research led me to the conclusion that today's youth, at least in London, is wearing skinny jeans, Converse All Stars and a thinly striped shirt with a collar and a fitted look. You know, the exact stuff that I had on too.

Really, hand on heart, I wasn't pleased about this. I don't want to be one of those Dads who all the kids laugh at because I dress way too young. I don't want to be the cause of embarrasment to the girls because I've got a Bobby Charlton and refuse to accept that my hair is thinning. Now I'm wondering where to go with this fashion issue.

Should I start dressing a bit "older" and become one of them?

Should I stay as I am and risk the loss of face and embarrasment to the girls?

Should I just wear what I want and forget about other peoples' opinion? (ridiculous I know but I'm told some people do take this approach)

What to do?


Confab said...

well, if ur cool enough to be in a band, ur cool enough to wear what u want...these kids are dressing like u, not the other way around..they wanna be cool...ur already there...or so u say:D

Dili said...

err... ask the girls?

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T said...

you wear skinny jeans?!! *the horror!* has no one told you that only brandon boyd can pull those off??

Mia said...

If you let go of trying to please others you will find your groove in fashion.
Let’s just say one of your children like rock/heavy metal and will like her dad to be cool, other child is the classical sort and if you have a third and a fourth with their individual tastes, which one would you choose to embarrass or please?
I’d say just be yourself and wear the things that you are comfortable and look good in.

Java Jones said...

You’ll notice that I let the ‘age’ comment pass! Dress? Do yo thang maan, but just keep an eye on how ridiculous you could look if you go overboard with any particular mode.

Anonymous said...

I think Dili has a point....In one way you are not doing those poor guys any favour by dressing like that ....they are dressing exactly like someone's dad ..For crying out loud....on the other hand if a guy doesn't mind a girl who's dad is way coller than him....either he himself is way tolerent or heavily on pot (to notice it)...

Indyana said...

If you are feeling silly and in addition,the girls think so too....then you are probably looking silly! So check with the kids, since you seem to want do the right thing espy for them!I'm sure they will be brutally frank!

Horus said...

Hope this helps.

Santhoshi said...

I feel you should wear what you r comfortable in. You cant go wrong with jeans and a striped shirt..... I feel the girls always want their parents to look young.

Jack Point said...

Theres only one way for you man and that is to dress like Elvis..... go on I know you want to:)

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Confab - I think it's more that we're all dressing like Pete Doherty!

Dili - "Ask the girls" - good god, what a ridiculous suggestion!

T- yes, sorry about that!

Mia- that's the way I'm sure I actually behave.

Jack Point - The costume is on order as we speak. Pictures shall be posted.

Darwin said...

I was going to say "wear whatever you feel comfortable wearing" until I saw that you wear skinny jeans.

No no no no. That could easily be the worst "mutton dressed as lamb" choice that a bloke can make. Sorry for being blunt, but you did ask!

Anonymous said...

i think all 42 year old men should wear skinny jeans. it really will help you pull women. really.

Anonymous said...

Hi I would draw the line at 'skinny jeans'. As I too do the school run and attend my kids school functions, I find the cold weather in UK lends itself to wearing jeans but still managing the 'suave but smart parent look'.
So jeans, t-shirt, old jacket, funky scarf. What say you?

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

To Darwin, Anon and Dhammika

Honestly I don't go out parading in skinny jeans and looking exactly like Pete Doherty's brown grandfather. It's just that I have one or two pairs of said items, but on my little short arsed Sri Lankan legs they just look like slightly tighter than usual straight jeans.

On the other hand, if skinnies really will help me pull women I may change my approach, needing all the help I can get and all!