10 Style Lessons to Learn from Your Dad

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Ah, fathers: little league coaches, handymen, math tutors, grill masters – style icons? You may not hesitate to dial up Dad when your car won't start, but you should steal a style tip or two from your fashion-forward father, too. Turns out, his dorky dependence on high-water jeans and socks with sandals were all spot-on, after all! Let's take a look at some of your dad's best fashion hits and see which ones will call your closet home this summer.

1. Don't be afraid to let your Tropical Goddess (specifically, the Margaritaville-bound one) shine.

Hawaiian shirt
Want that beach-ready look? Toss the high-maintenance maxi and button up your Hawaiian shirt. Aloha, Bahama Mama!

2. Never discount the importance of comfy footwear.

You never saw it coming - the day when your dad's colorful foam shower shoes would be a source of summer style inspo. But it's 95 degrees out, your tootsies are sweating, and those gel platform sandals are giving you blisters. Pass me the Crocs; isn't ugly footwear a trend anyway?

3. When it comes to classics, go big or go home.

Full House

Just as Mom Jeans had their day in the sun, Dad Jeans are taking a victory lab around the style stadium. What sets these classics apart from their feminine counterparts? They've got a straighter leg and won't accentuate under-butt. Va-va-voom!

4. Socks with loungewear shoes are actually kind of great.

snoop socks
Dad was onto something the day he slipped his sock-clad feet into slippers/sliders and/or casual-lounging footwear. Little did he know, he'd spark a sock-and-sandal style revolution, with everything from '70s-style heels to '90s sandals working the look.

5. Long socks are pretty fantastic, too.

Three pairs of legs with different socks.
Long socks deserve a separate category because of their ability to elevate an entire look - think of the bird's eye "coffee and laptop in bed with knee socks" Instas they've created. Did you think Cher from Clueless was their redeemer? Maybe Tom Cruise in Risky Business? Oh no, it was Dad. (Pairs well with cargo shorts.)

6. A well-placed joke always leaves 'em smiling.

joke shirt
Remember when dad was the king of the "I went to so-and-so, and all I got was this T-shirt" shirt? Now those slogan-bearing tops are practically gold, selling for $45 at hipster mecca stores (this one's from Urban Outfitters). Jokey shirts and dad humor (underneath a killer leather jacket) are just the thing to show you don't take fashion rules too seriously.

7. Visors mean versatility.

Style, as in life, is all about being flexible. A hat that protects your face, while still allowing you to get those sunkissed highlights, is seriously undervalued in today's accessories marketplace. Dad, once again, is ahead of the game.

8. Dorky hats are a great way to get people's attention in general.

bucket hat
If your super-fly outfit isn't getting the double-takes it deserves, grab another leaf from dad's style handbook. A bucket hat that shades while stylin' is just what your summer wardrobe calls for! While Dad is probably rocking the water-resistant, made-for-fishing version, you can feel free to add a little more funk. The '90s look might be dorky, but it's nerdy in the best way possible.

9. Recycled concert shirts are always a good idea.

rocker dad
Your dad probably has a drawer full of old Grateful Dead tees, right next to his souvenir stack of Rolling Stones '76 tour tanks. If you know what's good for your wardrobe, raid those shirts, ASAP.

10. When in doubt, add a leather accent.

Dad style modern family
Whether it's a letterman jacket, leather coat or even a throwback from your dad's days in the Air Force, his original leather look is way cooler than anything you'll pick up at the mall these days. He wore it well then, and he probably wears it like a wizened rock star now, so make sure you ask him for a few pointers.


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