Yesterday morning, during a phone call with my mom, she regretfully remarked how she knew her vacation with my dad was over because he was “back in his uniform.” For as long as I can remember my dad has worn a black suit, starchy dress shirt, tie, and black shoes, without fail every single day of the work week. I’ve always been inspired by my dad’s commitment to his armor (I’ll save a full reflection on this uniform for tomorrow’s post,) but lately I’ve been thinking equally as much about my dad’s off-the-clock attire.
While it’s a bit more severe now (read black jeans and blood red sweaters) growing up, during those rare weekends that my dad was home, he’d throw together these mismatched outfits that consisted of decade old t-shirts, some paint stained jeans, and a pair of Blundstones. After spending his week trying to maintain some level of decorum at his office, the weekend was his one chance to relax a bit, and as a result his outfits were often the epitome of that laid-back suburban dad style that so many younger guys (myself included) have been pulling from lately, case in point dad jeans and New Balances.
Nothing captures my dad on those weekend mornings quite like his Blundstones. For a man that spends his mornings gardening and his afternoons running around town trying to cram in as much as possible before his next flight, the Blundstones, with a utilitarian rubber sole and more refined leather upper, perfectly reflect his not often seen side.
Founded by John and Eliza Blundstone, two English emigrants who departed England for Hobart, Tasmania in 1855, Blundstone’s boots designs were a direct product of that period of Australian history. Much like their evolving surroundings they were (and still are) refined in their aesthetic, but rugged by design. They’ve had countless models over the years but their classic Chelsea boot has always been the choice for most, including my dad, and Sid Mashburn who are drawn to Blundstone’s (or Blunnies) versatility. I’ll pass on the ratty tees from my dad’s weekend outfits, but Blundstones have always stuck with me. They’re that kick around, off-the-clock shoe regardless of whatever your weekend might bring you. Which is why, over the next couple months you could probably catch me walking through the city in some Blundstones, while simultaneously seeing my dad digging through the weed’s in his pair down in Maryland. As for who’ll look better in them, well I’ll have to give it to my dad on that one, he is the originator after all.