At the end of summer last year, a few weeks before my daughter was born (and with a particularly hubristic flourish) I wrote an article in the Guardian stating categorically that I wouldn’t trade in my life as an urban peacock to suddenly become ‘dadcore’, along with its comfortable and practical accoutrements like selvedge jeans, hoodies, trainers and (heaven forbid) baby harnesses. Well, six months down the line, and a week after being forced to throw away my favourite pair of Crockett and Jones loafers after getting green (yes it was racing green) baby shit on them, I have to hold my hands up and say I was wrong. I was SO wrong.


Richard James’ suit – alas this is not my reality

In a desperate, last-ditch attempt to remain sartorially relevant, I begged my stylist friend for a ticket to a Richard James menswear show at this year’s London Fashion Week – the louche vibes of his double breasted linen pastel coloured suits are right up my street. I put on my best Hermes tie, shined up my Tricker’s Gibson brogues and before leaving the front door, I gave myself a quick once-over (you never know when a street style blogger might be lurking). Looking down at the right hand sleeve of my favourite Gieves and Hawkes blazer, my blood ran cold; the worsted wool was clearly tainted. Upon further examination, I could make out a large, milky white stain – later identified as organic banana porridge from M&S’s Tiny Taste Buds range. Then, after a brief meltdown, as I was rifling frantically through my wardrobe for an alternative outfit, my wife popped her head around the door and said gravely:

“Martha has a really high temperature, we need to take her to the doctor.”

And thus my little pipe dream of an afternoon of foppery was over. I should have known really, the game was up a long time ago, ever since my white Brooks Brothers trousers didn’t survive Martha’s first BBQ of the year (the tiny peri peri handprint is still visible despite a full 24-hour immersion in the strongest Vanish solution possible). Unfortunately, there are way too many pitfalls to dressing like a dandy if you’re within a few feet of a shitting, puking, grabbing machine. Here are some points to consider:

• Ties will be grabbed and tugged by dirty hands so there’s a risk of (a) garroting you and (b) snagging the fabric
• Try to avoid wearing anything made of silk or your dry cleaning bills will rocket
• Sunglass will be pulled off your face repeatedly – try a panama hat to keep the sun out of your eyes
• Tweed is quite hardwearing and can cover a multitude of stains but is useless in summer
• It’s against my nature but you might as well invest in some Primark clothing as the watchwords here are cheap and disposable
• Suede shoes, pastels hues or white trousers – don’t even bother
• Any fancy facial hair will be grabbed by tiny hands, so avoid lumbersexual beards or moustaches for pain-free cuddles with your baby
• Black/dark blue polo shirts will hide a multitude of sins and still look stylish if tucked into chinos and accompanied by a plaited belt
• Buggies, although cumbersome if travelling on public transport, are still the best way to transport you child around without getting your clothes dirty

dadcore after all

Baby harness and Selvedge jeans – the time has come

So foppish fathers beware; you’ll need to rethink your wardrobe once a baby arrives on the scene. Perhaps it’s time to embrace the idea of selling rather than buying on eBay (I know, I know), and finally get some value out of that knitted silk dusky pink tie from Drake’s that you know deep down will never see the light of day again. And yes, I’ll admit it, I was made to wear a Chicco baby harness once in public – in Dalston of all places. Never again…