7 Stylish Dads And How They Get Their Look

What does it mean to be a stylish dad? These men walk the walk — and offer up tips, tricks, and philosophies that anyone can follow.

by Fatherly
Originally Published: 
A collage of Troy Brooks, Nicolas Bolognini, Kirk Brown, Philippe Cousteau, Brendan Fallis, Josh Pes...
Courtesy of Troy Brooks, Nicolas Bolognini, Kirk Brown, Philippe Cousteau, Brendan Fallis, Josh Peskowitz, Giovanni Vaccaro, Getty Images; Ariela Basson/Fatherly
The New Rules of Style

What makes a stylish dad? There’s no single way to answer this, obviously. But one thing is for sure: they’re motivated. A stylish dad puts the effort into clothes, dressing for himself but also for his kids and his family — showing the wider world that he cares. That’s one takeaway from talking to these seven stylish dads, men who are in the public eye as leaders, entrepreneurs, and, yes, style influencers equally skilled at communicating with words and their carefully curated looks. So how do they do it? How do they dress themselves so very well in the morning? One leg at a time, surely. But to go deeper, we asked them a series of questions about their style — where they get their inspiration and how their clothes have changed since they became dads. We also break down a few favorite outfits of theirs so that you too can dress the part.

Troy Brooks

Getty Images, Shutterstock, Courtesy of Troy Brooks; Ariela Basson/Fatherly

Troy Brooks lives by one extremely lofty style rule: “Identify who you are as a human and you’ll find your style.” So what kind of human is Brooks? A digital content creator during the day, his daily clothing choices (outlined nicely for us on Instagram) show us a curious and thoughtful, bold but also careful, adventurous and inspired man. Much of his style stems from his grandfather who raised him. Brooks describes him as a man who “was always suited and tailored” and is “the reason that I believe in ironing my clothes, going to a tailor, and having a cobbler.” Not bad rules to pass down. Here, Brooks shows why he's the MVP of thoughtful, curated, and intentional style.

Name: Troy Brooks

Occupation: Digital content creator, upcoming author

Age: 40 years young

Kids’ Ages: 3 ½ and 1

How would you describe your style?

I would say that my style is classic and traditional. I don’t do trends or fads. I believe in investing in quality things that will transcend time — heirloom pieces that I will be able to pass down to my children. The same way my grandfather did with me. I grew up watching my grandfather. The way he carried himself, his mannerisms. I believe style is much more than what you wear. It’s how you operate on a day-to-day basis.

How do you choose your morning outfit?

For me, it’s always started from the bottom up. I’ve always had an affinity for shoes. I would pick out my shoes and that would dictate the direction of where I’d go with my outfit. It depends on how spicy I’m feeling that day. If I’m feeling super casual I might throw on a pair of chinos, some Common Projects, and a T-shirt. I may want to go back to my New York roots. I’d put on some Japanese Salvage Denim, a pair of Jordan 3s, a camo jacket, and a Yankees fitted hat. It depends on the energy and how I’m feeling that day. I think the more dynamic you are as an individual the more dynamic the range of the garments you wear.

Where and how do you shop?

I gravitate towards being more of a millennial when it comes to shopping. I love to shop online, especially being a busy dad who doesn't have a lot of time. The only issue is not having the ability to try things on. I took my son to J. Crew for the first time the other day. I had him with me in the trying room. It was good for about 10 minutes before he wanted to get out of there. I go for brands that make lightweight garments, living here in Georgia. These days I’m shopping at J. Crew, Bonobos, Lululemon, and Todd Snyder is a must. I want to get into Italian high-end luxury cashmere. I’m looking to look like a cool European dad.

What did your dad or a father figure wear that influenced you?

My grandfather is the father figure that I have in my life. The way my 3-year-old plays in my closet is the same way I played in my grandfather's closet. It brought tears to my eyes and was such a nostalgic moment. He was sharp as a tack. He was always suited and tailored. He’s the reason that I believe in ironing my clothes, going to a tailor, and having a cobbler. I remember inheriting his shoe shining kit. He had a huge influence on the way I dressed, especially as I was growing up. He’s the reason I look at clothing the way I do. His style was very classic, while also transcending his time. When you talk about someone who made the clothes (and not the other way around), you’re talking about my grandfather. I think that is attributed to his style.

How did your style change when you became a dad?

I think when you’re a dad that you give so much to your family. You want to maintain your identity. I didn’t want to be the dad in front of the grill with a waist pouch and high socks. I wanted to maintain my identity and be cool. I had to find that fine line. You know your kids are going to throw food on your nice shirt. But I’m OK with that. The best representation for my children would be to continue to take pride in how I feel and how I look.

What’s one style rule you think more men should follow?

There are rules. I think for me the rule is to identify who you are as a human and you’ll find your style. A lot of people can monetize trends. But the trailblazers are the people who know who they are at their core. They let their styles find them. We need to prioritize being true to who we are. Specifically when it comes to clothes and garments. As I mentioned before, style is more than what you wear.

Get The Look

Hat - Hamilton And Adam’s (Get Troy’s Upstate NY-themed cap here)

Jacket - J. Crew (Get your own psychedelically cool tie-dye sweater here)

Joggers - Lululemon (For comfort, ease, and style, grab a pair of slim-fit joggers here)

Sneakers - New Balance (Grab a pair of bold New Balance 990 sneakers here)

Nicolas Bolognini

Getty Images, Shutterstock, Courtesy of Nicolas Bolognini; Ariela Basson/Fatherly

Like so many dads, Nicolas Bolognini’s outfit usually starts with his feet. A proper sneakerhead with more than 100 pairs at home, Bolognini balances out his footwear consumption with ample vintage and secondhand choices to “reduce my consumption of fast fashion,” he says. “Also, it leaves more room in life for shiny new kicks.” Bolognini embodies the cool dad energy effortlessly. His style is the strongest reflection of this fact.

Name: Nicolas Bolognini

Occupation: Purchasing and marketplace manager for a French e-retailer

Age: 34

Kids’ Ages: 3 in November

How would you describe your style?

Eclectic. I really love shoes; I have more than 100 pairs of [footwear]. Shoes are the most important piece of the outfit.

How do you choose your morning outfit?

According to the weather and I use a lot of Pinterest to find inspiration.

Where and how do you shop?

I try to reduce my consumption of fast fashion and buy more secondhand clothes. I buy a lot on Vinted, a European app for secondhand clothes.

What did your dad or a father figure wear that influenced you?

A lot of Levis or other denim brands.

How did your style change when you became a dad?

I did not change a lot. I just want to be a cool and stylish dad but I am not a teenager anymore so I cannot do whatever I want with my style. The good point is that now I earn money so I can buy more sneakers.

What’s one style rule you think more men should follow?

If you want to try something new, do it, be bold.

Get The Look

Shirt - Thrifted online at Vinted (Get Nico's workwear-inspired button-up shirt here)

Pants - CELIO (It's all about elevated joggers, get yours here)

Sneakers - Teddy Santis for New Balance (Get your own pair of Teddy Santis x New Balance sneakers here)

Watch - Rolex Datejust (Find an affordable timepiece that you can keep for years here)

Kirk Brown

Getty Images, Shutterstock, Courtesy of Kirk Brown; Ariela Basson/Fatherly

Style is a paternal tradition in the Brown family. Kirk is a man in 2022 who still dresses in ties, who plans his outfits, constructs them, and is always buttoned up — just like his dad, a man with “more suits and ties than any person I know.” His father’s strong sense for a clean and tapered look guides Brown’s day-to-day style choices. And while his two boys, ages 3 and 5 months, have yet to take part in the sense of style, the influence will be unavoidable from a dad who cares deeply about men’s fashion and looks the part every damn day. Kirk shows that style is a form of tradition meant to be shared with future generations.

Name: Kirk Brown

Occupation: Chief development and communications officer, Ron Clark Academy // Content creator

Age: 36

Kids’ Ages: 3 (Tatum), 5 months (Maxwell)

How would you describe your style?

I would describe my style as modern, professional, and elevated casual.

How do you choose your morning outfit?

My morning outfit is chosen for one of two things. I'll either start with a tie I'd like to wear and then I'll build the suit and shirt around it. Or I'll pick the suit of the day first followed by the complimenting pieces to match. On the weekends when I'm not working, I'll decide what's most comfortable. Right now in my life, I'm grabbing any pair of joggers and an oversized box tee.

Where and how do you shop?

For suits, I shop custom with my friend's line, Affluent, or I'll pick up pieces here and there from Suit Supply. For casual wear, it varies. I'm getting more into casual streetwear now, so I'm exploring more brands like Kith and Midland, but for the most part, I'm a Zara guy.

What did your dad or a father figure wear that influenced you?

My dad has more suits and ties than any person I know. He influenced me with his style of suiting and just always being clean and tapered. That influence shaped me in that every piece of clothing I ever wore was always pressed and creased, ha. By the time I got to college and it was time to wear suits, I was already ahead of the game because my dad had been grooming my suiting game since birth. Ha.

How did your style change when you became a dad?

When I became a dad, I definitely became more relaxed in my approach to style... outside of suits. When I'm not going to work in a full suit and I'm with the family and the kids, I want to be as comfortable as possible while also looking and feeling my best. So whether it's a pair of joggers with a premium graphic tee or a knit polo with shorts, those are going to be go-to items that will allow me to move around freely with the kids but also be ready for a quick content shoot if need be. Ha.

What’s one style rule you think more men should follow?

One style rule more men should follow is also to wear what they feel the best in. A lot of times, we'll get caught up in the hypebeast culture to purchase trendy pieces when they're not us nor do they compliment our frame or body type. More men should stick to style themes that they truly feel the best wearing and own that lane.

In terms of a specific style rule when it comes to suiting, more men should know that suits fresh off the rack are not the way you want to roll. If custom suits are not within the budget today, when purchasing a suit from retail stores, always take it to the tailor to ensure they fit tailored and are tapered to your body to give the custom look.

Get The Look

Shirt - Zara Man (Find a fun and statement-making shirt here)

Joggers - Patagonia (Look no further for your own pair of performance joggers)

Shoes - Suit Supply (Get Suit Supply's classic white sneakers here)

Shades - J. Crew (Get an icy pair of clear framed shades here)

Philippe Cousteau

Getty Images, Shutterstock, Courtesy of Philippe Cousteau; Ariela Basson/Fatherly

When you first hear the name Cousteau, you probably think of a red cap. It’s a look that will forever be tied with Jacques Cousteau — thanks to its ubiquity in his films and the immortalization of it by Wes Anderson in 2004’s A Life Aquatic. Cousteau’s red cap was an early form of adventure style, a pragmatic piece (early divers needed warm hats because the air coming to their helmets was frigid) that became a symbol. His great-grandson Philippe understands this. He says function, comfort, and sustainability are top of mind when he dresses — but so is the symbolism in what we wear. Take Philippe’s accessories — a ring from Peru, a necklace made from beads collected around the world, and, of course, a dive watch. He dresses to let us know that he is an adventurer, a world traveler proselytizing about conservation, climate change, and our global community. He also happens to look good doing it.

Name: Philippe Cousteau

Occupation: Ocean explorer, filmmaker, social entrepreneur

Age: 42

Kids’ Ages: 1 and 3

How would you describe your style?

For casual-relaxed California rock and roll chic, think boots, Henley’s, vests, leather jackets, and jeans, think Outerknown and John Varvatos. For formal, I go with tailored classic Italian three-piece suits, always with a pocket square, linen pants, open-neck shirt — Zegna is my favorite.

How do you choose your morning outfit?

Whatever is functional for the day. From sitting at home playing with the kids to going out to meetings, to heading off to Antarctica for an expedition, every day is different but one thing is always consistent… be comfortable and timeless. I always like to find small touches that are unique to me, a ring I got at a monastery in Peru, a necklace made from beads collected on various adventures around the world, but fundamentally I want something that is comfortable and functional.

Where and how do you shop?

Sustainability is always top of mind for me. The fashion industry is one of the largest polluters on Earth, so we always try to think about where our clothes come from and we never shop fast fashion. I would rather spend 100 bucks on a T-shirt from John Varvatos that will last me a decade (I have several that have) than 20 bucks on a T-shirt that falls apart in a year or so.

What did your dad or a father figure wear that influenced you?

My father and grandfather both wore lots of blue, collared shirts with epaulets and pockets, which were very much influenced by classic nautical style. To this day I tend to wear collared blue shirts with that same tailored style.

How did your style change when you became a dad?

If anything, I became even more aware of my choices and their impact on the planet. My whole life is dedicated to building a better world for all children, but when you have your own it becomes even more urgent and personal, and I always have an extra shirt ready to go because accidents happen!

What’s one style rule you think more men should follow?

Tailoring is not just for suits! A good tailor can take in the seat of that old pair of jeans, shape a shirt to fit you better, and for a few bucks, you can make almost any garment look custom and really fit you well. Also, find a good cobbler. I have some nice boots that cost a lot of money, but it was worth it. As the soles wear out, I just have them replaced instead of buying new ones. Most of my nice shoes are over a decade old and still look great. One more thing, I am a big believer in pocket squares. In a world where standing out is important to get noticed, a simple pocket square can transform a boring suit into something special and unique.

Get The Look

Three Piece Suit - Paul Smith (Every man needs a great three-piece suit, get yours here)

Shirt - Zegna (Get a crisp white button-down shirt here)

Jewelry - Various pieces handmade by Phillipe (Add accessories like these layered bracelets here)

Brendan Fallis

Getty Images, Shutterstock, Courtesy of Brendan Fallis; Ariela Basson/Fatherly

Brendan Fallis dresses for his future self. “When looking back years from now,” he says, he wants simply “to not be appalled by my choices.” He’s clearly making good headway toward this goal, with choices that include a lot of white — sneakers, shirts, pants — an affinity he gets from his dad, who always donned a crisp white shirt. Brendan is a master of elevated simplicity and this is undeniably expressed through his sense of personal style.

Name: Brendan Fallis

Occupation: Digital content creator

Age: 42

Kids’ Ages: Preston - 2

How would you describe your style?

I like to describe it as classic with a twist of modern. When I think of what my style is, I think of looking back years from now and not be appalled by my choices. Choosing things that will age well, but with a little design forwardness of today’s current trends.

How do you choose your morning outfit?

I usually start by picking a piece that I haven’t worn lately and working with that as a base. That could be a pair of shoes, pants, a shirt, or a jacket. But, I purge consistently, and, if I can’t make that piece work in an outfit for the day, then my closet has one less piece.

Where and how do you shop?

I honestly don’t shop too much. Luckily in my business, I work with many brands, so I tend to work with what I’m offered. But, my standard go-to’s for personal shopping, which allows me to pair some daily pieces with other brands, are COS and Uniqlo. I couldn’t be happier with some great items from those two places, and the best part is that they’re available all the time if you end up ruining something.

What did your dad or a father figure wear that influenced you?

My dad has always been into his clothing, more so with age. He always had a crisp dress shirt when I was growing up and cool sports coats. What influenced me most was his passion for clean shoes. He was constantly polishing his shoes and taught me how to polish them at a young age. Then white sneakers became a thing and he was always cleaning them. That has largely become a staple in my life (white sneakers) and I keep mine as clean as possible!

How did your style change when you became a dad?

It honestly hasn’t changed much. Everyone said I’d be giving up my white-shirt obsession when I became a parent, but I still find myself in a white shirt the majority of the time, and white shoes!

What’s one style rule you think more men should follow?

Less graphics, more classics.

Get The Look

Overshirt - Ralph Lauren (Get a neutral lightweight layering shirt here)

T-shirt - Abercrombie (A white T-shirt stays in style; get one here)

Denim - Purple Label Ralph Lauren (Stand out year-round in white denim, get it here)

Shoes - Rothy’s (Get the minimalists' favorite Stan Smith's here)

Josh Peskowitz

Getty Images, Shutterstock, Courtesy of Josh Peskowitz; Ariela Basson/Fatherly

Josh Peskowitz most emphatically does not think of himself as having dad style. For one, as of the time of this writing, he’s not yet technically a dad (he is expecting). But also, he doesn’t dress for others. Sure, “the clothes a man wears are his calling card to the world,” he tells us, but the most important thing is for a man to dress for himself. “Amuse yourself,” he says. And a confident, fun, and influential style will follow. Peskowitz epitomizes personal style, a man who is clearly comfortable in his own clothes.

Name: Josh Peskowitz

Occupation: Operating partner/writer/creative and brand director

Age: 43

Kids’ Ages: Expecting!

How would you describe your style?

My style is really about mixing colors, patterns, and textures. I love wearing old stuff with new stuff and generally not taking it too seriously.

How do you choose your morning outfit?

Usually, it’s based on what I have to do that day and who I’ll be interacting with. Obviously, the weather plays a part, but other than that I’m just trying to have fun with the clothes and wear something that I find interesting.

Where and how do you shop?

At this point in my life, I tend to wear clothes that I made or my friends make. It helps that I’ve been in the fashion business for a long time and have many talented friends. I do love going to stores though and love to shop and see what’s new. Especially in independent stores. Tokyo is still my number one shopping city, but I do tend to find a lot of things I love in LA. For tailored clothing, it’s either Milan or here in New York City.

What did your dad or a father figure wear that influenced you?

My dad used to come home with Polo sweaters that he would buy when he was out visiting his clients. This is the early ‘90s and we’re talking about Polo bear sweaters, snowflake ones, Fair Isles, and stuff like that. My brother and I would steal them the minute they came into the house. My dad started buying decoys and keeping the good stuff in the car till after we thought we’d looted everything.

How did your style change when you became a dad?

By the time you all are reading this, I will likely have welcomed my first child into the world. If not, then very soon. I’m not sure how my style will change with fatherhood, but it’s already changed a lot with Covid. I don’t treat my clothes as preciously as I once did, and I like things roomier. I think that will lend itself well to rolling around on the floor. I’ll probably err on the side of machine washable for the first few months, but you won’t catch me in four-way stretch or moisture-wick anything outside the gym.

What’s one style rule you think more men should follow?

Amuse yourself. There are many men out there — most I would say — who are very unsure of their personal style. This could be for many reasons, but the culprit is usually dressing for others, rather than yourself. Dressing to fit in, rather than stand out. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to fit in, but the clothes a man wears are his calling card to the world. So if you love the clothes you wear and find them interesting, then that confidence will shine through.

Get The Look

Hat - Vintage (Add a pop of color with a red beanie here)

Sunglasses - Second/Layer for Salt Optics (Get a pair of staple tortoise sunglasses here)

T-shirt - Online Ceramics (Get a cool and versatile graphic T-shirt here)

Overshirt - Madson (Top off the look with a bold caramel work jacket here)

Jeans - Visvim (A pair of slim-fit jeans are essential; get them here)

Slippers - Lusso Cloud (Get a pair of the latest Lusso Cloud slippers here)

Giovanni Vaccaro

Getty Images, Shutterstock, Courtesy of Giovanni Vaccaro; Ariela Basson/Fatherly

You won’t find Giovanni Vaccaro roaming the streets in sweats. Vaccaro is a put-together dresser, someone who swears by a tailored J. Lindenberg blazer, crisp button-down, chinos, and a clean white pair of Cole Haans. He’s a dad who feels the responsibility to “take great care of my health and appearance because it matters to me ... and I want to represent myself and my family in the best way possible.” That is to say nothing of his son’s clear flair for style — I mean, who else can pull off striped overalls like that? Vacarro strives for intentional sophistication and it's pretty clear that it runs in the family.

Name: Giovanni Vaccaro

Occupation: Co-founder/Chief Brand Officer of Glam Squad

Age: 38

Kids’ Ages: Delfina, almost 4; Sandro, 18 months

How would you describe your style?

Tailored, European, classic.

How do you choose your morning outfit?

I'm intentional with my morning time. I’m up at 4:45 a.m., so I get at least an hour to meditate, pray, and journal before the kids are up. My outfit usually reflects what my responsibilities are for the day. Big meetings mean a blazer and button-down with a pair of Cole Haan white sneakers. Office time or with clients, I go casual. Black fitted tee or button-down with fitted jeans. For tennis matches, I usually go with Nike tennis shorts with a black tank top and white Nike tennis sneakers.

Where and how do you shop?

I am super loyal. Once I find a brand and love their fit, I stick with it. I shop online 75% of the time.

Reiss for their amazing soft fabrics and great fit. Sandro is super Brit and I love their leather. I love the fir from The Kooples as well as their suits. Zara for their basics. J. Lindenberg’s blazers are a great bet and I love their jeans as well.

What did your dad or a father figure wear that influenced you?

My dad loves getting dressed up for events. He taught me every man needs to have the perfect classic black suit. When I was younger, I didn’t get it. Now, I have this one Kooples suit I’ve worn a million times and always get compliments on.

How did your style change when you became a dad?

It actually didn’t. It’s pretty cliche to think you care less about your appearance because you have other priorities, but it wasn’t the case with me. I still take great care of my health and appearance because it matters to me, specifically because I want to feel great. And I want to represent myself and my family in the best way possible.

What’s one style rule you think more men should follow?

I’m not a sweats-out-in-public kind of guy. I think loungewear, for me at least, should be worn inside your home. So when I see guys out in public in sweats, I just don’t get it.

Get The Look

Blazer - Zara (Add a neutral herringbone blazer to your closet here)

T-shirt- Reiss (Find a comfortably broken-in cotton T-shirt here)

Pants - J. Lindeberg (Find chic comfort in these Italian stretch chinos here)

Sneakers - Cole Haan (Get Cole Haan's Grand Pro Tennis sneakers here)

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