Haute Papa. San Francisco.

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Post Street. San Francisco. April 2017. iPhone 6.

I purposely walked around San Francisco to take photos, but didn’t charge my battery. So excuse the iPhoto shots – especially because the lens always has left over coconut oil from my hands. He told me he’s from Pittsburgh – but he explained, Pittsburg in California. Who knew? I got a little American geography lesson.

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This dad was so kind to take this little girl out of her stroller, but then she started being a toddler and I felt bad for messing him up. Dealing with a toddler, is equivalent to dealing with a highly drunk, emotional friend  – you don’t know what you are going to get – and it’s kind of petrifying!!

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But look at that cute face.

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Ripped acid wash jeans, so nice.

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I love a little neck tattoo. Cute dad.

Man Bags can be so Haute…

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Ethan. Marin County, California. October 2016.

Fine, Ethan is an artist, a professor, drives an old school VW van, has a beard, grew up in Kenya and pulls off a man bag beautifully…but don’t feel bad guys – you can do it too – even if you grew up in suburban Ohio, I believe in all of you, I really do.

Ethan’s handmade woven basket bag was a gift from his family who live in Nairobi, Kenya, where Ethan spent part of his childhood. These bags can be purchased on line, try to find a website where the crafters live in Africa and are making the money directly.

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High top Vans will always remind me of cool skater kids… and they haven’t lost that nostalgia, or style.

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This is style – Van high tops paired with a handmade Kenyan basket bag.

Man Bun. Beard. Tank Top. Vans. Hot Papa.

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Eric. Aspen, Colorado. August 2016.

Eric and his son skateboarded to a local pizza place in Aspen, after the town’s summer event – The Ducky Derby – a fundraiser where about 30,000 rubber ducks “race” down Aspen’s Roaring Fork River, money raised goes to local youth organizations.

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Eric’s wife Sarah owns a store called http://www.grayaspen.com  – The store carries a collection of classic pieces with a bit of a bohemian tone – based on Eric’s style, I imagine they are a pretty cool looking couple.

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Tank Tops are really current for men right now – they are reminiscent of the late 1970’s California surf culture – — I guess it seems that most men are borrowing from that hippie/intellectual/surfer 1970’s look – I happen to LOVE it.

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Man Buns: I love them. They are cool and Eric knows how to pull it off. I know many of you poke fun of the good old man bun, but you know you love it! Let’s talk shorts on men, they can go very wrong, but this dad know how to make shorts look causal and cool – not dorky. The length is perfect, not too long, not too short – no pleats…

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Eating a quick slice…

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Father/son Van action… love it!!

Rome Parents = Sex Appeal.

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North Miami Beach, Florida. December 2015.

This was taken at Miami Beach’s famed Bal Harbour Shops, http://www.balharbourshops.com.  Bal Harbour Shops is home to luxury brands such as; Chanel, Gucci, Goyard, Intermix, Miu Miu, John Varvatos etc..

Growing up in Miami, we would come to Bal Harbour because Saks Fifth Avenue always had the best sales..it was also a bonding time with my mother (and usually brothers) to walk around, eat a big lunch and feel like a slob among Miami’s “well dressed”. I say that in quotes, because you will also see some amazing outfits, where every single designer is displayed on their bodies.

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If you ever want to get a semi-understanding of Miami, and its people – visit Bal Harbour shops. Yes, it’s not totally representative of this city, because most people can’t afford to walk into Chanel and spend $12,000 on two handbags. Oh and usually, that’s in actual cash.  Bal Harbour Shops is Miami’s version of Rodeo Drive (only in an outdoor mall form) and apparently is more successful.

Dressed in cut off’s, a plaid torn shirt, moccasins and a bikini peaking through – I looked like the official “Bal Harbour Slob”.  Oh, did I mention my hair was larger than Gloria Estefan’s in the late 80’s… (thank you ocean water). It’s an inside joke, between me and well, me – that I always look like a mess when I should look “stylish”. I think it’s the rebel in me, saying I don’t need to conform to your fashion standards – or maybe it’s bad time management. I walked into Chanel, and everyone looked gorgeous – like they all got their hair blown out for this expedition. I stood there, and waited to be helped – and observed the mind blowing idea that there is such a discrepancy of wealth in this Country – but quickly I realized most of the shoppers were tourists – with lots of cash.

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As I walked around, I met this fun, stylish Italian family – who moved from Rome to Miami. The Italian fashion sensibility is natural and always comes with a smile.

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The little boy wanted me to capture his remote control car. Italian men can even make sneakers look chic.

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This is how we shop – practical shoes.

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This mama, like me was super excited about her new Valentino mini-backpack. Remember, I told you these are huge again. Jump suit by Missoni (obviously).

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Happiness right there!! And I hear happiness makes your butt look better in photos!

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The thing I discovered, which differed from my younger self – I didn’t care about looking like a slob in a designer obsessed land. I’m pretty darn comfortable in my skin, even when it’s not dressed “cool”. Obviously, it’s because “cool” comes from within, and part of that is having fun, being spontaneous and living life without the worry of always having to look your best.

 

Mountain Man Style is HAUTE. Dickies at Drop-Off.

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Michael. Woodacre, California. May 2015.

Michael is the little league coach for his son’s baseball team. I love how tough this dad looks with his mountain man beard, tattoos and manly physique. And Michael is wearing Dickies, a brand that’s been around for a long time.

Michael works in construction and obviously is a very involved father – believe me, little league is no laughing matter.. it’s major time and communication with parents, parents like me..exactly, not easy.

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The town of Woodacre is located in West Marin County – it’s filled with beautiful sprawling landscapes, farms, wild animals and a pretty tight community of truly authentic hippies..You drive around these little towns, and nothing is creepy at all. Because it’s filled with a pretty progressive population of free thinkers- – most likely, no one will shoot you if you accidentally land on their property (unlike some other Southern American towns).

There are no chains, only mom and pop owned stores, where everyone knows everyone. I love the idea of a small town, but one that’s excepting and liberal..and not-judgemental. That’s my image of Woodacre.

Robin Williams spent his teenage years in the town of Woodacre.

 

 

 

Beards and Tretorns are Haute at Drop-Off.

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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!!!

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Dads are Haute In Brooklyn. Sweet Beards at Drop-Off.

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Brooklyn, New York. September 2014.

Fashion Notes: A little army fatigue, Black army boots, Beard, Tattoos, Large watch..and a pair of adorable kids.

In NYC, you find so much..and I happen to walk by a school as the bell was ringing, and here he walks out..Full on Mara Menachem attack..he obliged.

For tips on all things beards, my gentleman friends: http://www.beards.org

Haute Dads. Mara’s Style Tips for the Dudes.

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Ian. Dad. Chiropractor. Fairfax, California

I really like this photo – I realize Ian doesn’t look like a style icon (sorry Ian). But he has a cool look that I really appreciate. I’m a huge fan of low key male style – I like that Ian hasn’t “tried” too hard.

Like I’ve mentioned before, most dads in Marin County are in a band – were in a band or their the children of rock stars..so it tends to rub off on the overall fashion of this gorgeous part of the world.  And I dig it.

I think it doesn’t come easy to many men, especially ones thrust into fatherhood – to look cool.  I mean when you have to carry gear for toddlers, it’s tough.  But dads you have no excuse, you don’t need to leave your style in the past because you are a father – it just takes a tiny effort to look great.  Here are a few tips…

Summer Dude Tips:

Shoes:  Dudes you should have a great pair of kicks, like vans (no socks), a brown, vintage looking dressier shoe to wear with jeans – rummage through local vintage or consignment shops, you will score some amazing old school shoes – you can spray them “germ-a-phobes”.  Flip Flops: as simple as possible, I like brown leather thin strapped flip-flops.  And for the winter a cool pair of boots, I love a lace up, worn in black boot.

Jeans: This is a tough one. I say simple as possible, no labels or markings. And most importantly make sure it’s well fitted in the booty.  Bring a friend.

Shorts: Ian has it right..I also love cut off jean shorts, but this is risky territory if you are not a fashion maven…Just make sure they are obvious to the eye that they are cut off..this has to be messy – and not too short.

T-shirts:  Simple – please don’t wear athletic t-shirts outside of the gym.  If you are in shape, you can even get away with a tank top in darker colors only!! T-shirts could have names on it like bands etc… just stick to soft cotton.  And make sure the neck is not so high, don’t worry about your hairy chest peaking out- women like that – you are a man, we love to see that (as long as you are not wearing a huge gold chain)!!

Hats: Love them – baseball – school boy – that’s probably what you should choose from, the other options are a bit more complicated to pull off.

Haute Firefighter Papa. Fairfax Drop-Off.

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Giuliano. Dad. Firefighter. Fairfax, California. May 2014.

Giuliano grew up in San Francisco, and you can easily assess that – he surfs, mountain bikes, loves food and gave me a suggestion for a great local beer garden – where people take kids, usually on the backs of their very expensive bikes.

Fashion Notes: Giuliano has a look – it’s cool – the beard, ripped jeans rolled up, the chunky distressed leather belt and of course the amazing mountain bike shoes.  He’s Italian -American, and seems to reflect the European lifestyle well.