The Minivan Diaries

Day Three: Fashion Week For Suburban Dads



With two days of fast-paced Fashion Week action behind us, we’re schlepping into the midweek stretch with no signs of slowing down. No wonder dads in the hottest suburbs from Westchester to Winnetka will be dressed for the occasion in a basic black adjustable knee brace paired with Old Man Sneakers. First, the knee brace. I found mine–a Futuro one-size-fits-all in classic neoprene with itchy Velcro strap accents–in aisle 3,947 of Costco. A must-have for style-minded dads like me who are recovering from medial meniscus surgery, this is one brace that looks just as good on the greens as it does on the commuter train. Worn casually to the middle school soccer field with a roomy pair of cargo shorts (please refer to Day One, below), you’ll drive the mommies wild with desire as they gaze in lust at your naked kneecap. That’s right, fellow dads of suburbia, there’s a daring “peek-a-boo” hole cut straight into the center of this situation. Could the message from Milan be any more clear? When it comes to kneecaps this season, if you‘ve got it, flaunt it!

If you’re a man of modesty, simply drape a pair of sweat slacks over your brace, and no one will know what you’re wearing down there except you and the little lady. And anyone who notices the strange, swollen lump protruding above your shins.

And now it’s time to look at what’s hot below the shins in suburban dadwear. When night falls on this wild Fashion Week Wednesday, don’t be surprised to find me accessorizing my knee brace with a three-year-old pair of heavily cushioned, ultra-padded, thick-soled, triple E-width Old Man Sneakers. Available from Nike in sizzling white mesh, mine feature a dynamic orange lightning bolt, a fashion statement that says to the world: “I am too young for the Rockport Fitness Walkers my father wears with his pajamas, yet too old for the cool, flat-soled blue Pumas I bought for $300 at the hip sneaker store around the corner from where I used to live in Brooklyn when the kids were still babies and my feet didn’t hurt like this all the time.”

As we look toward Day Four of Fashion Week, I realize that most of you are asking, “Dan, how can I emulate you?  How can I, too, rock the cutting edge suburban dad styles you’ve been chronicling all week?” My expert advice: tie each look together with one consistent feature. Remember that peek-a-boo hole in my Futuro Knee Brace? Look closely at the left big toe region of my Old Man Sneaker, and you will find a peek-a-book hole there as well. Did I plan it that way? Of course not. It is the result of a toenail I didn’t trim for six straight weeks. But that is the essence of fashion for fathers like me. Spontaneity. Surprise. Suburbia.

Be sure to check this page tomorrow for Thursday’s edition of: Fashion Week for Suburban Dads.


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