Drummer Gig Worthy Shorts, Finally.

Mill Valley, CA. May 2017. Drummer. Dad.

I try not to be judgmental about clothing. But I do like to see a little attempt at style when checking out bands..like I made a slight, low key effort. I realize for drummers, it’s hot and sweaty and they need the stamina of a long distance runner and street fighter. They should be comfortable, right? maybe I should design a line of stylin’drummer stage wear made with hidden lycra? I digress.. so I DO understand the desire for drummers to wear shorts on stage – which is hard to pull off. Here’s an example of a drummer who pulls off shorts, he’s at a carnival with his kid – not on stage, but it works for both situations.

This dad and drummer likes to wear all black. He keeps it simple in black denim. Vintage Levi vests are flying off the shelves at high end stores and Goodwill’s across the country.

When someone has leg tattoos, they are all “in” – this is the real deal.

he could totally wear this look while performing – it’s cool, low key – but still has the level of “I care about style”.

Matching hats!

Handsome Dad in Stan Smith’s.


Marcus. Larkspur, California. February 2016.

Marcus works for Google, I’m never really sure how to follow that answer – it seems so huge and beyond my scope. I do hear they have an amazing cafeteria.


Marcus and his daughter are pretty cute.


His style is not anything that’s outlandish or out of the box, but it’s simple & casual. Marcus made an effort on a Sunday.


Stan Smith Adidas Classics…always make any pair of jeans stand out.


A little side profile – no need to tuck those shirts in guys! Just make sure your button down is a little fitted.


Men, Fitted Clothing is Haute. French Dudes know.

french couple

Noe Valley Farmers Market. San Francisco. February 2015. iPhone shot.

Fashion Notes:  I knew this couple had to be French, and I was right, at least about the dad. He explained how he mostly wears one brand of clothing, J.Crew, www.jcrew.com. The reason he wears mostly J.Crew is because the clothing fits like French brands – slim and narrow.  I tell guys all the time, the narrower the better. Sunglasses, Ray Ban Wayfarers, www.rayban.com

french couple 2

Men’s Tailoring: I can’t emphasize enough the importance of well fitted clothing for men. It doesn’t matter your size – it’s always better for clothing to fit narrower. Ralph Lauren gave his daughter Dylan advice a long time ago – when you feel like you’ve gained weight – wear your clothing even narrower, don’t bury yourself in baggy clothing, because it will make you look heavier. My own father wore his suits extremely narrow, and I spent a lot of my childhood sitting on the floor of his seamstresses’s floor playing with knitting needles. When it comes to casual clothing, it’s the same idea – jeans should fit VERY narrow, show off those strong legs guys!


Haute Filmmaker Papa. Creative California.



Adam. Fairfax, California. 2014.

Fashion Notes: Pants: RVCA, Top: Obey, Boots: Red Wing, Hat: Goorin Brothers

Adam directs commercials and documentaries, his latest was for Ralph Lauren in Madrid.  I love hearing tidbits of people’s lives – well, let’s face it, I love hearing it all. Adam is British, and has that polished look, even in casual clothing. Simple style with a cool accessory – the cap! Try it 🙂


String Cheese in Your Flannel Pocket. Haute Prepared Dad.


Mike. San Rafael, California. November 2014.

I love that Mike has a loose string cheese in the front pocket of his flannel.  How symbolic a metamorphosis for parents, I bet it wasn’t string cheese in that pocket 10 years ago, when Mike purchased the flannel at Old Navy.

Fashion Notes: Flannel: Old Navy, Jeans: Gap Raw Selvedge (Mike wears these often to break them in), Sunglasses: Gant (love these), School Boy Cap: From Mike’s late Father-in-Law, who was British, the hat is probably 50 years old! The company is called Lockhatters, and you can find them on line.  Shoes: Clark Wallabees, Mike has been wearing Clark’s since he was 5.

Mara’s Input: Personally, if I see anyone in Clark’s – I chase them.  What is it about these amazing shoes? They are intellectual – they are kind – they are nostalgic  – they are stylish.  When I see a man in Clark’s, I immediately assume a membership in Mensa (by the way, I had to look up the spelling, no need to let you people mock me).  And then I start asking them a lot of questions, to prove my ridiculous theory.  I wish all Professors and teachers had a uniform which included Clark’s, school boy caps and a loose fitted wool scarf.

About Mike:  Mike works for Mozilla, a non-profit that supports an open internet and is known for making the Firefox web browser. Additionally, he plays guitar and sings in the Indie rock band, The Wild Kindness, http://thewildkindness.bandcamp.com/

I think it’s awesome that so many people have passion in life – music is incredible.  Ted-ED  just put out a video detailing how playing music impacts your entire body – it actually makes you smarter, retain more information and physically works you out.  Mike and his crew recently moved out of San Francisco and into Marin County.




Urban Cool in Marin County. Sexy Socks. High Bun.


Carla and Jon. San Anselmo, California. November 2014.

Fashion Notes: Carla: Leather Jacket: Obey, Sweater: Madewell, Tank (worn as dress): Michael Stars, Boots: Betsy Johnson. Jon: Jacket: Levi’s, Pants and Top: J.Crew, Boots: Ariat

I was minding my own business shopping at the local consignment store Sax, when this family walked by – I dropped my newly purchased ankle boots, and lunged at them.  It was a rare sighting for a Sunday in this Marin County town….. Carla is a photographer and artist. They live in Marin County with their offspring, who was on her way to ballet.

I love Carla’s bun – it’s so high and chic, but you can tell she has wavy hair – so it’s also wild and free…she happens to be beautiful and pulls it off amazingly well. What can I say, this was an exciting day for me. The combination of Jon’s red pants and black boots, all work so well.  It’s nice to see a family in “fashion partnership”.

Check out Carla’s work at, www.carlaherzenberg.com


Beards and Tretorns are Haute at Drop-Off.



Ethan. Artist. Dad. Marin County, Californian. October 2014.

Fashion Notes: An old preppy favorite, Ethan’s sporting yellow Tretorns, Beard: one of my favorites, still even with the beard popularity. Ethan’s beard is not perfectly manicured, but not totally wild..it’s a little bohemian, a little urban. Belt: amazing belt buckle, an anniversary gift from Ethan’s wife, Simple Jeans and T-Shirt.

The Artist: Ethan is an educated artist, with impressive credentials and numerous awards for his work. His pieces range from video installations to sculpture to large public works..and since i’m not an expert, i’m pretty sure my description is quite limited. His art to me, is something you want to talk about, stare and dig deeper regarding what it all means to you…..like this instillation of (T)Here1, which I added below. For more of Ethan’s work, visit his site. His pieces are on exhibition in several cities in the States and overseas, http://www.ethanworden.com

I spotted Ethan, and wanted to capture the look of a low key stylish dad in the Bay Area.  I love the slight style components of certain men, who don’t necessarily follow fashion, but care about style in a cool way.  A manner that’s not in your face, but when you get close – you see all the thought and sometimes “designer” labels!!!



Punk Guitarist Papa. Sausalito Drop-Off.


John. Dad. Musician. Record Lover. Sausalito, California. October 2014.

RECORDS: John adores records. Currently, he’s digging (I’m trying to be really cool here) his early King Crimson and Cheap Trick records. John continues to buy new music on Vinyl, because he loves the sound coming from a good ole’ record player. Now, John is not a hipster.  He’s been a musician since middle school, and a life long record lover.

CALI RAISED: I’ve witnessed his collection, and the man loves hardcore and punk.  I wasn’t surprised that John was raised in the Southern California surfing town of Dana Point – only because I picture that area being filled with punk tunes, skateboarding and surfing..and serious style influenced by the aforementioned.

SHREDDER: John became a guitar player in 6th grade. It was then, this blonde, Cali kid decided to buy a guitar in leu of a surf board. John continued to save his money and spend it all on records – of the hard rock and metal variety.  Soon after, John heard his first punk record and transformed into a punk and post-punk loving musician.

CAREER: After attending the prestigious Berklee School of Music, John formed a Boston based 90’s band called Pie, signed a recording deal and toured.  But and I quote John “Being averse to elective poverty, I wouldn’t tour regularly and pretty much squandered my opportunity in the music business.” Currently, John woks in advertising and technology, has a gorgeous family and plays in his band, Verst, www.facebook.com/verstmusic

FASHION NOTES: T-Shirt: Fender, Boots: Blundstones (John’s 4th pair), Sunglasses: Vintage 1980’s Ray Ban Wayfarers, Pants: Rhythm Clothing,

Haute “Mom” Tattoos. Gold Cross. Cali Drop-Off.


Juan. Dad. Chef. San Rafael Farmers Market. Marin County. August 2014.

Something about Juan’s look, made me want to photograph him.  His large gold cross and tattoo adorned arms, make him seem so tough – but Juan shared with me that his tattoos represent people he loves.  His arms are filled with names – so beautiful, including the name of his mother and grandmother.

After seeing this, I demanded Neal and Liam take a good look at Juan’s arm, while repeating, this is how you show your mama love!!! They both promised by age 12, they will ink “Mara” on their triceps. (come on, I’m kind of humorous, no?)

I realize this is not my typical fashion shot, but Juan has a great look – one that needed to be documented.  In addition to being a dad, Juan is a chef at Left Bank in Larkspur, California.  Left Bank is a great place to connect with locals, especially sitting at the bar.

Larkspur is a quaint town in Marin County, California.  The town has a really cool “old school” movie theater-  it’s a special spot to see a great film.  It also has a delicious Italian bakery and a “late” night bar (late for Marin County) called the Silver Peso.  Larkspur is home to famed restaurant Picco, a happening spot in Marin County.  The food is delicious and it has a vibrant scene, most nights.

Marin County has a reputation for being “wealthy bohemian”, (I just came up with that term) and the fashion is representative. People love to shop at consignment shops and big name thrift shops, like Goodwill.

Environmentalism is part of the culture, and the population is one that recycles and works hard to eliminate waste. But I love spotting serious designers in Larkspur, this upscale town has a Northeastern feel – and lots of Chanel and Celine are roaming around these streets – Which for collectors like me, is exciting – because I know what will be in the local consignment shops next season.

Haute Dad. Cali Farmers Market Drop-Off.


David. Dad. Photographer. San Rafael Farmers Market. August 2014.

This dad of three boys was minding his own business buying tacos from a food truck for his kids, when I accosted him to take a shot for Haute Drop-Off.  San Rafael has an enormous farmer’s market on Thursdays and Sundays – it’s pretty fun to eat samples and chat with the venders.  I never know what to buy for future use, so I pretty much eat my way through the market.  It’s a great people watching spot and I can bribe my kids to let me photograph people, and I will reward them with a Nutella crepe, or raspberries for Neal – I think Neal witnessing Liam (my youngest) and me engulfing a crepe, has turned him off from crepes in general.

David mentioned that he is a photographer . . this always makes me nervous, only because we all know I am working on my photography skills. I’m great with the talking and spotting, but my photo capturing needs some work..and I am pretty sure I need a new camera, or at least i’ll blame it on that.

Fashion Notes: Glasses: Ray Ban Aviators, Jeans: Levi’s, Shirt: Fred Perry and Kicks: I’m guessing Vans.  I didn’t want to push this dad, it’s awkward enough when a stranger approaches you asking to take a photo of you and your kids, and even more uncomfortable when they have to peak inside their garments to see “what they are wearing” to appease me…

I love capturing male style, especially dads..because they are usually totally willing to let me photograph them, and too polite to ask questions. And then when I run into them again, I usually get to hear about their little moment of fashion recognition by their friends and family.