All across North America, it’s that time of year again. Pride season.
Pride parades and festivals are brimming with their annual energy of anticipation. Increasingly, same-sex families can be seen basking in the comfort of their peers and supporters. For many, celebration includes self-expression through some salty outfit choices (or lack thereof). Camping out by your stroller may be a stark contrast to your days gyrating in barely-there leathers atop that float, but dads shouldn’t feel left out of expressing their pride through their fashion choices.
I recently had the opportunity to ask Eric Jennings, Vice President and Fashion Director with Saks Fifth Avenue, for suggestions on Pride-wear for dads. I figured if his 20-years of experience with global trends in fashion keep his company on the cutting edge, he’d be able to provide gay dads with some great summer fashion tips!
GWK: What are some hot summer trends that dads could translate to Pride wear?
EJ: Aquatic blues and grassy greens are this summer’s colors. Worn together they look really fresh, not to mention that green and blue are also in the Pride flag!
GWK: For our fit dads, what are some kid-friendly options for showing off their figures?
EJ: Short shorts are a great way to show off muscular legs. On top, try wearing a soft-washed button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up high to show a hint of biceps while keeping it kid-friendly.
GWK: What about suggestions for dressing up a bit more for that fabulous parade watching party ?
EJ: Seasonal fabrics are the key to not looking too formal in the summer. If you have to wear a suit, try cotton, linen or a linen/wool blend for a cool and casual look. And don’t get hung up if the fabric wrinkles a bit, it’s OK.
GWK: All good Pride attendees are prepared for the rain. Any suggestions on this for men and kids?
EJ: Light weight packable jackets are a great solution. Also “dry-fit” fabrics that wick away moisture and dry quickly are good solutions and can be purchased at any sporting goods store.
GWK: Speaking of rain, there’s also the shine to consider. Any dos or don’ts when it comes to hats or sunglasses, again for dads and their kids?
EJ: Sunglasses are a must for adults and kids when playing outdoors in the summer. Try a pair with a mat finish on the nose piece to keep them from slipping down your face. And if you’re going to invest in a hat, make sure it has a wide brim to protect your face.
GWK: Many of our readers will have a baby-bag / kid-stuff-hauler in tow. Are there any alternatives that look particularly fashion forward or Pride appropriate?
EJ: Just make sure your bag has a sturdy shoulder strap so you can keep your hands free to help the kids.
GWK: Could you offer some trendy and comfortable footwear options for men and kids?
EJ: Slip-on sneakers (think Vans) are the must-have shoe of the summer. They are easy to get on and off, don’t require lacing, and the rubber soles keep you from slipping on wet surfaces. Great for kids and adults!
GWK: Any other general thoughts on expressing your pride through an outfit while keeping it kid friendly?
EJ: Color is key to expressing your pride. Try picking one or two colors from the Pride flag and pair them back to natural colors like white, beige or navy.
Hope these fantastic suggestions help you to bring your own personal style to Pride this summer. Remember to keep it cool and comfortable, pack water and sunscreen, and be sure to check out PFLAG and other family-friendly areas in your Pride celebrations!