My dad has always been better groomed than I am. And that phenomenon continues to this day. I say phenomenon because one of the most distinct memories I have of my childhood, is the manner in which my dad maintained his impeccable style. He always wore his hair trendily long, had cool Elvis Presley kind of side-burns long before the look caught on, always dabbed his handkerchiefs with eau de cologne, always ironed even his socks personally, and always wore flamboyant, colourful shirts while I was perennially in my white-shirt-biscuit-coloured-shorts school uniform (which I was loathe to remove even after school, and finally got out of only when my mother threw me into the bathroom when playtime was reluctantly over).
And my dad’s penchant to be well-groomed continues to this day. In fact, it has only got sharper with the passage of time. Even today, he will not step out without his clothes being well-ironed (still does it himself), and his trademark rock-star dark glasses. He has ditched his colourful shirts for colourful Ts, has discarded his formal trousers for hip-hugging jeans, and has given up those high-heeled leather shoes for the latest sneakers (only Nike Air will do, Sir!).
Phew! I can never keep up! And I’m actually quite proud I can’t.
What I would like to stress here, is that kids always look up to their parents. (I know everybody knows it, but I’d still like to repeat it). More so in this emerging era of work from home, which from all indications is only going to get even homelier. In such a situation, it is easy to take casual dressing a tad too seriously, especially since our week now comprises only Fridays. However, that does not mean you are always in a sack masquerading as your T-shirt, and shorts that could easily be hung up as curtains.
What you conveniently describe as ‘comfort-dressing’ may years later inspire your kids to label you as the perfect example of an unkept lout. You don’t need to go fully down the road of dark-glasses and hip-hugging jeans, but you definitely can dress up, and in fact dress up smartly for each work-from-home day. Would also help, if your hair and beard (if you sport one) do not look like a mop your dog has been having fun with. Moreover, generous dabs of cologne or deo would help, especially if you don’t want to add to the notorious ‘smells of summer’ as you waddle around the house.
Your kids always look up to you. Not just today, but even twenty five years later. And though they may not say it, they are always proud to do so. Believe me. I know from a very special personal experience.
(The author has worked with Rediffusion, Dentsu and RK Swamy BBDO in the past and is currently running Rain 7.)
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