Running Into Andy Spade at the Supermarket – An Essay on Dad’s Style

Last night I experienced what was either an incredible twist a fate, a sign from the gods, or a mere coincidence that I’m reading far too much into.  You see, what you’re reading right now is my take two on Andy Spade, my first attempt at this post was scraped entirely after one of the surreal moments I’ve had in recent memory.  As yesterday was my final day at work, I was kindly granted an early exit, getting off three hours before close, which gave me an unexpectedly free afternoon.  After meandering through downtown, I decided to head home and fumble through the conclusion of my original post piecing together some evocative statement about Andy Spade and his literal dad jeans.

I had wanted to start this week off by writing about the first guy who always came to mind when I thought about dad’s style but with nothing coming to me I did what I normally do when I hit a wall, I went to eat.  So I walked a couple blocks down First Ave. to my local supermarket to grab a snack and next thing I know I’m face to face with the very man that I was writing about five minutes prior.  There’s Andy Spade in a seasonally appropriate green tweed sportcoat, chinos, and a pair of New Balances staring back at me wearing a vintage Ralph cardigan, torn up dad jeans, and Weejuns.  Suddenly we’re both doing the typical menswear head check, looking the other up and down trying to figure out what to do when face to face with another member of the tribe.  I’m not sure what went through his head, and it’s not my place to speculate on that, but as he walked past with the slightest hint of a nod, I was reminded what it was about Spade that made me want to write about him in the first place.

Spade is the embodiment of how I’d like to carry myself down the line.  His clothes are beat up from years of wear, he doesn’t try hard or wear things that look out of place, and so his clothes just look right.  As one of the design sphere’s most creative minds, Spade certainly has that eccentric side to him, but he doesn’t shove it down your throat a la goons like Matthew Lesko, instead he keeps things balanced.  He exemplifies how a pair of broken in jeans or a frayed button down or beat up Desert boots can tell a lot more about who a person is then some brand new trend happy ten thousand dollar suit.

Spade’s wardrobe doesn’t really seem to be all that extensive, instead he subs out specific pieces here and there without deviating too much from his general uniform.  Comfort and character, that’s what Spade does best, and to me that’s what “dad’s style,” or aging gracefully is all about.  Hey, maybe if I’m lucky down the line I’ll have some twenty-one year old kid run into me in the supermarket and entirely mess with his with his head for the night, who knows.  What I do know is life can be too strange sometimes.

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