My dad and I have a similar perspective when it comes to fashion. We like to invest in simple items that promise extreme comfort without making us look homeless. We have even been known to match on occasion (yes, we are that obnoxious). Look, here's proof:
Yep, on Thanksgiving 2k14, we KILLED the game in our matching J. Crew men's pullovers.
As I have mentioned before, I'm not a big fashionista. I don't really give a sh*t about what I'm wearing as long as I'm comfortable and wearing a lot of black. Waking up in the morning and having to put together an entire outfit for myself is not fun; it's a chore. And you know what? I never liked chores.
So when my dad was here visiting last week, I thought it would be fun for us to do a little social experiment. And I also wanted to make my life easier, if we're being completely honest here.
I gave him the task privilege of choosing my outfits for the rest of the week. After dinner, I brought my dad over to my apartment and gave him a detailed run-down of my itinerary for the rest of the week. From there, he was given the responsibility of picking an outfit for each occasion.
Much like his awesome daughter (me), my dad doesn't consider himself to be much of a fashionista. Needless to say, he was not stoked about this project. But he's also a really fantastic dad and willing to do anything if it means supporting me, so he went along with it.
However, about five minutes into the wardrobe design, he was SO into it. I mean, legitimately making me try on outfits, double-checking that the outfits he was choosing were weather appropriate and even being picky about which of my three pairs of the exact same plain black Lululemon leggings I would be wearing.
Even after he left my apartment that night, I woke up to a panicked phone call from him at 2:40 am saying he couldn't decide if tan loafers with jeans were really a good idea.
I did basically end up wearing lots of loafers and flannel button-downs. Oh, and there was the day he made me wear jeans with running shoes.
Basically, he dressed me as a girl version of himself.
Day 1: Gym
I told my dad that I would be kicking things off with a trip to the gym on Wednesday morning. Of all of my very simple legging options, he decided to be ~bold~ and go with my camouflage leggings. But it was my neon pink "Educated Partier" tank top, which I got for free in my freshman year of college, that he was really gung-ho about me wearing.
"Great color and the shirt shows you're a good time," he said.
My trainer at the gym did not seem to agree with him. Neither did this ultra chic woman dressed head-to-toe in black designer work-out attire staring daggers at me while she did her squats. Whatever, f*ck the haters.
Day 1: Work
After the gym, I was going for a normal day of work at my very casual office. It was also going to be 73 degrees with a little bit of a wind chill.
He chose this T-shirt because we bought it together. But, honestly, I'd like to note that he HATED that shirt when we were shopping that day. So, I had the last laugh here.
But then what I found very interesting was his choice in outerwear. He INSISTED I wear a shawl. Not a sweater, not a light jacket. No, a cashmere shawl ... over my T-shirt. I even tried to gently change his mind: "You sure you don't want me to wear more of a cardigan?"
"No. This is way cooler than a sweater. Also, make sure you wear the leggings at the top of your drawer. I looked and the other two look more worn out. I don't want you looking homeless."
OK, so he was getting into it.
Honestly, I gotta say, T-shirt and shawl did make me think I looked a little silly. But logistically, it was a super practical outfit. Like way easier than a sweater that I had to physically take on and off.
Day 2: Work
Thursday was going to be a pretty low-key day for me. Nothing too exciting. Just going to work and going home. Although it was going to be a nice day, so maybe I would walk back home from work instead of hitting the gym like usual.
This is when my dad unfortunately discovered my purple flannel.
I don't know why I own this, considering I have legitimately never worn it, but my dad found it somewhere in the back of my drawer and he LOVED it. Just absolutely ate it up. He was so excited for me to wear it over my tank top with a pair of jeans ... that he decided to make me bust it out not once but TWICE.
We were left with one question: What shoes do I wear with this outfit he was so incredibly fond of? Oh, you know, running shoes.
This is where I wanted to draw the line.
"Dad. I am not wearing running shoes with jeans. You can literally pick out anything else from my closet," I said. (I'm a spoiled obnoxious brat, I admit it).
"Trust me," he said with a reassuring smile, "you look very casual and cool. Not to mention, you'll be walking home from work and you'll be so comfortable."
I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a part of me that thanked him when I was walking the 20 blocks back down to my place from the office that afternoon. So, he was right on the comfort side of things. I'll give him that.
But on the fashion end of things? I felt awkward. I'm all about dressing like a freak and giving zero f*cks about it. But this outfit was just at that level of believably off that made me feel strangely upset.
I walked into the office and was hyperaware of all of the weird looks I was getting from my co-workers. One of them even told me I was literally dressed like a dad. Even Kevin, who LOVES my dad, had to admit: "Tony missed the mark on this one."
But I did come out of the day with ONE compliment from Zara who said I look like a cast member of the "vintage '90210' series."
Day 3: Work
Friday was going to be a bit colder than the rest of the week, so my dad had to take that into consideration when planning my Friday work outfit. This was going to be different than the rest.
I think he was getting a little lazy, because he just chose the outfit I had worn to dinner but told me to swap the shoes for some loafers that he would soon be growing very fond of.
When I wore this outfit to dinner with him Tuesday night, I had paired it with a cute scarf, a light jacket and a nice pair of Vera Wang ballet flats. It was a simple outfit, but I spiced it up enough to make it at least look like I wasn't wearing my pajamas.
Something about the loafers paired with that ensemble really made me feel like I was just walking around in my pajamas all day.
I was TOO comfortable! I'm lazy as sh*t, but I'm here to tell you that there is such a thing as being too comfortable. I was so cozy in my leggings and my sweater and my overly comfortable loafers that I felt like I would fall asleep at my desk at any given second.
Day 3: Party
I explained to my dad that my roommates and I would be having a party at our apartment on Friday night and then probably going out to some nearby bars at the end of the night. He first picked out a long-sleeved gray dress (actually one of my favorites), but after much discussion, we decided that the long sleeves might not be ideal if I ended up going somewhere where there's dancing involved at the end of the night (don't want to get too hot).
So we decided on this black H&M dress that I literally never wear, a necklace my sister gave me in middle school and the heels I wore to my junior prom.
This outfit was definitely, absolutely not my typical going-out outfit. No, I'm more of a black jeans, cute top (usually also black), fur coat (if it's winter) and a pair of booties kind of gal. If it's warm out, I'll do a romper or a skirt and a top with some wedges.
This outfit felt a little too cutesy for me. It felt like something any dad would like his cute baby daughter to wear about town. And something about that weirdly made me feel like my dad was with me the whole time I was out. Which, honestly, wasn't the worst feeling in the world, considering the fact that my dad freaking rocks.
Despite the comfort of feeling like my dad was by my side, there were a few logistical problems with this outfit. First of all, even though it was 50 degrees outside and I have experienced a real New York winter at this point, I am still a California girl who finds 50 degrees WAY too cold to be outside without a jacket. And our party was outside.
Second, I remembered why I hadn't worn those shoes since prom. I can't walk in them. And this time I didn't even have my nice prom date, Jack, to help me.
Day 4: Sports Bar
I explained to my dad that on Saturday, the plan was to go to a bottomless brunch with a bunch of my friends and then head over to the sports bar across the street to watch basketball.
At this point, he was feeling VERY confident in his fashion sense and even more comfortable with my wardrobe. He decided to throw together an outfit featuring a few of his favorite staple pieces: my flannel, the white tank and the loafers.
But DON'T WORRY, GUYS. He spiced things up with a different pair of jeans. [Editor's note: I don't know why Candice is being weird about the flannel and loafers, 'cause I freaking love them. Maybe I'm secretly a dad.]
Honestly, this outfit wasn't my typical style at all, and I probably wouldn't have paired loafers with jeans myself (no offense, Dad) but I didn't mind this outfit. It was kind of perfect for what I was doing. I was comfortable and not at all over-dressed for the occasion.
Day 5: Hungover
I didn't even have to tell my dad my plans for Sunday. He immediately just goes: "You're going to be hungover ... so DEFINITELY big sunglasses and something comfortable." Honestly, the hungover outfit he picked is so incredibly me.
This was the first day I felt totally normal. Even if he hadn't picked this outfit for me, there is a very high chance hungover me would have chosen it anyways.
Would I let my dad dress me again?
Here's the thing. He didn't do that bad of a job. But what ended up happening was that my outfits were reflective of his personal style.
I know I say that I'm not a big fashion person, but giving up all the power I have in my own fashion choices made me realize that I do, in fact, have a signature style that is my own. And when I stray from it, even if it is just by letting someone else pick the items from my own wardrobe, I find myself feeling awkward and uncomfortable.
However, I'm going back home to California tonight and my dad DID ask me to pack my purple flannel. So it's safe to say he stands by all of his decisions.