Today is, or would have been, my Pap's 79th birthday. Whilst I'm not at all into the whole furore of Facebook RIPs, and I'm pretty sure he would have been equally as appalled by them, I thought I'd pay tribute with a post of style inspired by him. This isn't meant to be dreary in the slightest, so I'll apologise in advance if this serves as a miserable start to your Saturday.
My Pap was very particular with his dressing. He couldn't abide a hair out of place, spending a great portion of his time picking fluff from our shoulders, offering to shine our shoes and smoothing our hair. I remember appearing on my 18th birthday in a new cardigan, a multi-coloured oversized affair from Miss Selfridge, and him telling me, "I like that cardigan but I don't like that fluff" as it clung to every dark surface in the room.
I think it's fair to say that my Pap didn't beat around the bush to preserve your feelings. If you looked a mess, he'd tell you, and if you acted like a mess, he'd tell you even more. When you did something well though, or you looked 'smart' (his word of choice for aesthetic compliments) he would be the first to tell you, and I think praise like that is worth a thousand times more than when it's coming at you for no good reason.
For this outfit, I have embraced androgyny in its fullest and went for something my Pap would have actually worn. He always brought out a new pair of corduroys for special occasions and this pair I scouted out in Monki a few days ago sprung to mind straight away. He also would have really embraced the fact that the colours of both the jumper and the trousers are seen in the check detailing on the shoes, always being one for a bit of cohesion. I added the belt in because I rarely leave the house without a belt and neither did he, but it's just occurred to me what uproar the different shades of leather of the shoes and belt would have caused. Crikey. I generally really like the 'Grandad' feeling of this whole outfit and I think it'd be perfect for a crisp winter day, paired with a Mac and a home knitted scarf.
I chose here the kind of outfit my Pap would always have something nice to say about - prim, put together, smart. I'd turn up to a family meal in something like this, hair in a bun and shoes shined, and you know he'd say something nice. I specifically chose this dress not only because I've been lusting after it for a while now, but because it's by Love and I think his favourite thing I ever owned was a floral dress from Love. I've paired it with this coat because, well, warmth first and the hat because he always loved me in a hat. I've gained this reputation amongst my family as being the one who does hats, and that's not a label I'm going to shirk because I bloody love them. Whilst I do like this outfit anyway, for me the thing that made it particularly Pap-esque was the colour coordination between the floral design, hat and coat and the black dress background with the black boots. Of course, opaque black tights will also feature in this outfit, but I didn't think you need to see a picture of those.
I'm starting to wonder if maybe this post is a bit weird but I just woke up this morning with some inspiration for it. One of my favourite things about fashion is how we draw inspiration from everywhere, from the strangest of people and the unlikeliest of locations. All the things my lovely old Pap loved in terms of how we dressed, I steered clear of for so long, turning my nose up at any kind of colour coordination, at polished shoes, at neat hair. Yet now, I love it all. If only he had lived to see the day I stepped away from grunge for good. And if he knew I was finally growing out my natural hair colour? Well, the excitement would have been overwhelming.