Dad Socks: A Fashion Statement

August 29, 2013 | By Brent Almond | DAD STUFF, DESIGN STUFF

Though many folks are now in total “Back to school” mode, Labor Day weekend brings the final warm breath of summer. So in honor of the season’s passing, I thought I’d share my summer-long Instagram project, #DADSOCKS. Yes, pictures of my socks. Let me explain…

Shortly after JJ was born, a friend complimented me on a new jacket. It was a spiffy argyle design that made me feel particularly dad-like, without being too boring or conservative. It’s still one of my favorite things to wear. I responded to their compliment, “Thanks! It’s part of my ‘Dad Drag.'” To which they replied, “It’s not drag anymore. You’re an actual dad, dude.”

I realized I’d been seeing myself as “playing dressup” to a degree — that I didn’t yet see myself as a full-on father. Or maybe I was still enjoying the newness of parenthood, like a new jacket. It fit me well, improved my appearance, but was still in the process of becoming a part of my regular wardrobe identity.

Fast-forward a couple of years; I’m deep in the trenches of toddlerdom. There’s no question in my mind I’m a dad, and that most people see me that way. Which suits me fine. I’ve fully embraced the role, which includes the wardrobe. Yet dressing like a dad can be an unattractive undertaking. Comfort is key, as is flexibility. And lots of pockets. The ability to carry several bags, push carts and strollers and sometimes carry a kid, all at the same time, is key — so no skintight, hipster, layering nonsense.

Men in general — and dads in particular — have fewer wardrobe choices with which to express themselves. Being not only a gay dad, but a designer dad… the whole black hoodie/gray sweats/white sneakers combo just ain’t gonna cut it. Which is where #DADSOCKS comes in.

When someone says “dad socks” you’re likely picturing a guy wearing dark socks with sneakers. Or perhaps dress shoes & socks with shorts. Maybe white tube socks with sandals. Whatever the scenario, it’s not pretty. So this summer I took that tired and true look and amped it up, pairing my loudest socks with sneakers, but doing it with confidence and style. I got quite a few compliments, and more than a few odd looks, particularly when I was photographing my feet. But it was fun! And on more than one occasion, I found myself getting impatient with JJ for one thing or another and I’d look down, see what I was wearing and think, “I can’t be that grumpy, scowling dad — look at what fun socks I have!”

Maybe you think I’m delusional. Or perhaps color blind. I don’t care. I’m a dad, dammit! I will wear what I want, be comfortable, and look good doing it!

Now please enjoy these photos of my socks.














click to biggefy

I was hesitant to show all 20, well because A) Hello, TWENTY PHOTOS OF SOCKS, and B) Some of my socks (and shoes) have seen better days, and I didn’t have time to Photoshop them clean and/or new-looking. But I included them all in the group shot because A) artistic integrity — I have to use the entire collection, and B) Maybe a hip clothing company will see my ragged kicks or frayed socks and give me some free stuff for next year’s #DADSOCKS adventure. Which was YOUR favorite?

Until then, enjoy the holiday weekend, have a good fall, and I promise not to complain if anyone buys me socks for Christmas this year.

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(PS: To follow me on Instagram, click HERE, or look me up @DESIGNERDADDY)

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10 responses to “Dad Socks: A Fashion Statement”

  1. Laurie says:

    With the exception of summer (because I’m in dresses and flip flops), I am usually sporting my mom uniform, jeans/long sleeve T/occasional cardigan. Since its otherwise quite dull, I always rock funky socks. Stripes, polka dots, argyle, you name it. Life is too short to wear plain socks.

  2. Jennifer says:

    How fun! Just stopping by to welcome you to the Social Fabric Community!

  3. Noah Moore-Goad says:

    I love the neon green and blue ones!!

  4. James Ward says:

    I think those all rock. I’m so going to take this and run with it. Usually I just do a holiday sock on holidays only, but it’s time to take it to the next level.

    • Brent Almond says:

      Thanks! I definitely need some new running sneakers tho. Those things are broke-down.
      And I’m looking forward to YOUR post. Do I smell a sock-off? 😉

  5. I love this post. I cannot say why. You have such a magnificent sense of design. I believe you could make just about anything interesting. I hate you… (winky guy)

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