Style Advice I Learned from My Father

Dads. They get some pretty funny ideas about style. Like that wearing Hawaiian shirts is acceptable year-round. Or that socks with sandals is a totally cool look. But, though they may not be the most obvious style icons in our life, they've certainly passed down their own brand of sartorial wisdom--for better or worse. So, in honor of Father's Day, we asked our favorite fashion and celebrity friends--from Leandra Medine and Olivia Palermo to Wyclef Jean and Richard Chai--to share the most memorable style advice they ever got from their dad.
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Dads. They have some pretty funny ideas about style. Like that wearing Hawaiian shirts is acceptable year-round (OK, maybe that's just my dad). Or that socks with sandals is a totally cool look. Though they may not be the most obvious style icons in our life, they've certainly passed down their own brand of sartorial wisdom--for better or worse. So, in honor of Father's Day, we asked our favorite fashion and celebrity friends--from Leandra Medine and Olivia Palermo to Wyclef Jean and Richard Chai--to share the most memorable style advice they ever got from their dad.

Photos: Getty

Leandra Medine, Man Repeller: Best fashion advice from my dad on shopping: The cheap option is almost always the more expensive option--good quality clothes last forever. (Insert my dad opening up jacket lapel to reveal Yves Saint Laurent label here. "I've had it 12 years.")

Cameron Silver, Decades: My father said always wear expensive shoes, eye cream, and bronzer! I'm actually working on a new book which has a lot about my dad. My agent--he's pressuring me to get it done! It will be out next year.

Todd Snyder: Everything! My dad always told me looking good was a sign of respect, whether you're going to a wedding or a job interview, it's always about showing your counterpart respect wherever you're going.

Olivia Palermo: He kind of has an old school dress to him, and I love that. He's always been well-tailored.

Teresa Palmer: Oh golly, no, I think my dad's the most unfashionable man on the planet. He's very, very cute. He wears his big Australian hats and his very very high, dirty jeans. Not the best look but he's a farmer in Australia so it suits him well.

Wyclef Jean: Oh I mean really with my dad, he says everywhere you go, you always have to look sharp and you always have to look chic.

Zac & Jordan Stenmark, models: Zac: Our dad was classic and clean cut. Jordan: So that's why we are as well! We like wearing suits too, we're big suiting men in our family.

Joan Smalls: Oooh! Never wear very skimpy things.

Matthew Orley, co-designer, Orley: My dad taught me how to give a handshake and look a person in the eye. I'd say 90% of style is doing that right and most people don't.

Alex Orley, co-designer, Orley: The best style advise my dad ever gave me was, "Don't dress for the party you are going to. Dress for the party you wish you were going to." He told this to me when he was wearing a tuxedo at my middle school graduation.

Edward Chai, co-owner, Odin: Dressing for a specific occasion trumps your comfort level.

Paul Birardi, co-owner, Odin: My father always said it's better to be overdressed than underdressed.

Richard Chai When I was in high school my father told me I should stop dyeing my hair, because it doesn't suit me. I finally knew he was right when I had electric, neon, highlighter yellow hair.

Jake Sargent, Managing Partner, Simon Miller: “Keep it simple.” It’s been said many times, but I think it’s the most fitting style advice for a father to give his son.

Dan Corrigan, Managing Partner, Simon Miller: Develop exercise disciplines and stick to them! Buy well-made English shoes--they will last as long as you live.

Phil Oh, Streetpeeper: Well...Being an old-school Korean Dad who usually aren't known for giving advice on anything besides "get high SAT score or die," I kinda just gauge his opinions on my style by the angle of his frowns when he sees my outfits. Sometimes I like to wear kooky outfits onto the plane home to Chicago just so I can see the looks on my parents' faces when they pick me up from O'Hare.

Claire Distenfeld, founder of Fivestory My whole life he always said to me, "Quality über alles." For about 20 years I had no freakin' clue what he was saying or even what language it was but now...I take those three words everywhere I go.

Humberto Leon & Carol Lim from Opening Ceremony Carol's dad always wears socks with sandals, which we love.

John Jannuzzi, Digital Editor, Lucky Hmmm, I don't really have anything from my dad. He's not really into style. But--my grandfather once told me that black ties are never to be worn with suits, unless you're going to a funeral.

Hayley Phelan

My dad has a strict (if quirky) uniform: Every day he wears a Hawaiian shirt over an old sailing t-shirt; in the winter he pairs it with corduroy pants and New Balance sneakers, in the summer, with shorts and Birkenstocks (with camp socks). He's also carried the same wallet and address book (yes, a real book) for the past twenty years. While I won't be adopting that look anytime soon, he's definitely taught me to value and hold onto my possessions. He also believes you should dress up for the airport and to go to sporting events (he once made my brother wear a suit to a basketball game) and to never go out with ripped jeans.

Lauren Sherman My dad definitely had a "look" in the eighties: lots of Ralph Lauren polo shirts, SHORT shorts and boat shoes. But somehow, it never came off as preppy, because he's just not a preppy person. I think that's where I got my obsession with making preppy clothes un-preppy.

Nora Crotty

This is me and my original hipster dad when I was about three, dressed like twins for our weekly trip to the dump. Lesson learned? You can't go wrong with a plaid top and blue jeans--especially if you end up living in Williamsburg.

Tyler McCall This is what my dad said--"Men love women who have confidence--confidence is sexy! It's all about carrying yourself the right way, straightening up your shoulders, taking good care of yourself. That's important."

Also I feel obligated to note that my dad once spent three hours trying on hiking boots. Three. Hours. For hiking boots! And in the end he left without any. So that's probably where I got my pickiness about shoes.