Body warmers, gilets, whatever you want to call them they are the dad essential autumn wear item. Men and indeed women around the northern hemisphere are noticing the cold, and the wet and looking into the closets to dig out the wet weather shoes and gilets to take on the school run, the grocery shop and the sprint to the gym. (whilst parking as close as possible to the entrance, really, you’re going to the gym so why the need to reduce your walking distance before going on a treadmill!?)
Now us dads are practical creatures and this time of year can mean anything from sunshine, wind, rain, cold, warm and yes in some places snow! With all of these possible weather combinations that can take place at anytime you need to dress to adapt. Or as we call it in unfashionable dad HQ, adaptowear. Yes, you heard it here first folks.
‘Adaptowear’ has never been fashionable of course, indeed it is fashion lands most hated word, ‘practicality’. Practicality suggests something which moves away from art, the sense of the sublime and that which is awesome. You will never hear the fashion houses of JPG, Chanel, Westwood stating “By eck, that new collection is so practical, you can wear it to garden centre or McDonalds”. But that’s the fundamental issue though, we need it to be practical but yet at the same time we don’t want to look like a farmer necessarily.
A quick scan of the gilets on offer nowadays are just plain boring. It’s blue black or grey people. That’s it. Now in order to instigate the sense of fashion and fun we need to apply the sense of awesome to what is still fundamentally adaptowear. For women there are a myriad of colours and fabrics to choose from including feather, cottons, wools etc but for us guys there’s a lot less. Now it’s nothing unusual for fashion trends to take something mundane and make it interesting. A well made, low key branding item made in vibrant colours or some funky fabrics and you’re a hit. This season’s must have one hit wonder pop band, Voice/X-Factor/Insert your country’s got talent consumer land essential that you’ll love this year and despise the next.
I wear a bright fluorescent green raincoat on wet school run days but it’s getting too cold for that and some days it’s too sunny to wear making me look like an insane asylum escapee. Or a road worker. Single bold coloured vests are easily available from Marmot or North Face for example but a multi bold coloured version or even better a men’s gilet in multiple fabrics? Ladies and gentleman I think that might just be the next clothing talent show winner. Adaptowear can be fashionable, it just needs someone inventive or perhaps brave enough to create it.