If there was only one word to describe my dad, it would be goofy. Emphasis on goofy. He’s the kind of dad who wears clothes that are two sizes too big so he can layer “when winter comes.” The kind of dad who gets overly extroverted when meeting new people, especially cashiers and waitresses. The kind of dad who brought out a gigantic jar of pickles as “hors d’oeuvres” at his daughter’s Sweet 16 party and was serious about it. I mean, the man is a self-proclaimed “Vietnamese hillbilly,” not to mention an exclusive “Budweiser man” (“IT’S THE KING OF BEERS, KIMBERLY!”). So, naturally, I had to see what would happen if I let him choose my outfits for the week. Just, you know, for kicks.
Here’s a girl working at a fashion magazine where Manolos and the latest It bag are more abundant than working black ink pens, and then here’s a dad whose go-to outfit is a short-sleeve, cactus-print button down; forest-green, pleated pants; and leather velcro sandals. When I told him about this project, he excitedly texted that he will, verbatim, “have a list of clothes that you will wear. From sports to casual wear to party wear. Something like J Loper or Dolly Partons,” and I just knew I was in for a wild ride.
Day One started off innocently enough. He suggested I wear “tight knit sporty pants.” Leggings. The man is talking about leggings. Which—okay—compared to the multitude of other possible work-inappropriate items, is not so bad. But then it got weird. He wanted me to pair it with “leather high heels boots. But the boots shouldn’t like the Texas style.”
Courtesy of Kim Duong
I instantly went into freakout mode. “Why,” I texted him, “Ba, why? I’ll have to go to work in that.” But of course, my cries for help went unanswered for a good 45 minutes. The idea that he might actually be trolling tore away at me, so I followed up, “Can you explain to me why I should wear leather boots to work?” His response? “Not necessary boots but they go well with the outfit we talked about earlier.” So, clearly, he believed in this outfit. And so I gave in, knowing that this was only the beginning.
For Day Two, he wanted me to wear a floral dress “with the white skirt. White skirt will make that dress stand out perfectly.” I had lots of questions, one of them being why do you want me to wear a skirt if I’m already wearing a dress? But I had to take care of some other matters first—what white skirt was he talking about? We’ve never talked about a white skirt. I don’t even own one.
He proceeded to send me photos of random white skirts he found on Google Images. After borrowing one from my roommate, I asked to clarify (you know, just in case he changed his mind), “So you want me to wear a white skirt under my dress?”
Courtesy of Kim Duong
“Over your dress.” OH, my bad. Over. Okay. Suddenly, I had even more questions, but I suppressed them all to ask him about shoes, to which he replied, “White tennis shoes. Women look forever good with tennis shoes.” (You heard it here first, folks: Women look forever good with tennis shoes.) And then he sent me another Google Image of a necklace he thought I should wear. “A large size of copper necklace will be more impressive look,” the text reads in a jumble of mismatched clauses I overlooked with an overwhelming sense of endearment. The man was really trying, like really, really trying! Unfortunately, I didn’t own an oversized copper necklace, so I sent him photos of what I have, and he chose a gold link necklace from Mejuri. I mean, the man has taste—he just … needs help putting them together.
I let that conversation marinate for about an hour before texting him again. “Can you tell me why you want me to wear a skirt over a dress?” And he sent back a picture of himself winking at me. Like a meme. But of himself. LIKE HE REALLY DID THAT.
Courtesy of Kim Duong
So here I am wearing a skirt over a dress.
For Day Three, my dad liked the white skirt so much, he wanted me to wear it again. He chose a Western-inspired top and Western-inspired boots—I thought he had a theme in mind, but then he threw on a beret. The outfit wasn’t bad bad, but I definitely felt like I was back in high school, experimenting with fashun.
Day Four’s outfit was styled by my dad via FaceTime, and it became very clear that his MO is just piling on every item of clothing he likes. You can see his process in the video below.
A band t-shirt layered under a breezy dress, topped off with Nike Air Force 1’s and a mini crossbody bag. You should know I considered working from home in this outfit.
For Day Five, I made the mistake of telling him I was going on a date later after work. Back in high school, he would’ve suggested I wear a stop sign, an Easter Bunny suit, layers of bug repellant, or really just anything to cease and desist the start of a romantic relationship. These days, it’s the opposite. “I’m growing old, Kimberly,” he’s said a number of times now, “Your mom and I want grandchildren.” So he styled me in an off-the-shoulder dress and snakeskin lace-up heels. Oh, and one of his button down shirts, because—I don’t know, I didn’t have the energy to ask questions anymore.
If you’re wondering how the date went, I cancelled it. And if you’re wondering how to hire my dad for styling jobs, you can send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Still love him though.