THERE have been vast miles of column inches devoted to the topic of fashionable mums and what they should and shouldn’t wear to look stylish. But what about dads?
It’s all very well getting dressed to impress for work, where a smart shirt and tie are the required attire. But when it comes to quality time outside the office, most dads, already tired from a hard day’s work, can’t see beyond throwing on their well-worn casual clothes before dealing with the latest squealed demands from their needy offspring.
But not any more. It’s Father’s Day tomorrow and stylish dads are back on the agenda. Crumpled shirts hallmarked with a tell-tale shoulder slobber from the seemingly endless winding of a newborn like my four-month-old son Conor, and trousers with frayed stitching around the pockets from the relentless grasping hands of a toddler are out. In come stylish shirts, slim jeans and trainers.
However, being given the lead is the easy bit – as any new father will tell you, the hard part is actually freeing yourself from the brood and heading out and getting some new gear. Bringing the partner along runs the risk of lost tempers and catty comments. But now there’s an alternative – get a new partner. No, not a divorce – a style consultant.
McArthurGlen’s Livingston Designer Outlet is offering complimentary one-on-one style consultations with style expert Linsey Wright. She offers sound advice on everything from how to dress for summer occasions and events to tricks and tips for restyling your entire wardrobe.
While she might not laugh and point if your choices are not quite up to her style demands, Linsey also won’t spare your feelings if you’re looking less Daddy Cool and more Daddy Fool.
No, impartial advice is Linsey’s code.
She said: “My main clients are, of course, female, but I’m also helping more and more men. They come for a hand picking new clothes as they feel stuck in a rut.
“A lot of them want to surprise their partner with a new look or just want advice on whether they look foolish or not. I’ve become very diplomatic with my advice.”
A diplomacy I witnessed myself as she steered me away from a “sports casual” tracksuit top and towards a more “stylish but casual” slim-fitting Ted Baker shirt (£50).
Linsey spends up to two hours with each client, first listening to their tales of woe before heading to the shops.
She also talked me into a pair of Ted Baker sardine fit jeans (£50), twinned with a logoed Levis T-shirt (£35).
Such jeans I would never have entertained before – for me in no way does “sardine fit” conjure an image of comfort – but comfortable they are, and snug too; like a sardine, I suppose. To complete the look she directed me to a pair of white Fred Perry trainers (£45) which have a far more classy appearance than my old running shoes.
• For more information on McArthurGlen’s Livingston Designer Outlet, or to book a free consultation with Linsey, visit Livingstondesigneroutlet.com or call 01506 423 600.