For Father’s Day this year, I wanted to do something special as an ode to my dad, Mike Lentile. My dad taught me how to be strong in what I believe in, how to swing a bat, shoot a basket, make chocolate milk and peanut butter and jelly, the ultimate meal, and he taught me how to kick ass and take names, while also being a good sport. He took Logan in as his own and loves his grand-dogs more than anything, especially Bear. I owe him a lot, because his hard work has gotten me and my family to where we are today. Thanks, Pa. Oh, and we just happen to be the funniest two in the family.
So, how could I show my appreciation in my own way? I knew I had to talk about the denim shirt.
Some time while I was in college, my dad was going through his clothes. He intended on getting rid of a denim shirt that I knew was the denim shirt that he wore in the below ’90’s family portrait. I grabbed it and have had it ever since.
One time I ripped the seam and I got really upset. That was probably the best sewing job I have ever done. I was really scared of losing it.
It’s a men’s shirt, obviously, but it is worn in and soft. It’s my favorite thing in my closet and I wear it at any chance I get.
I decided to style my dad’s denim shirt three ways and a chambray shirt two ways to show you how you can wear a vintage denim shirt or a modern take on a denim shirt in a myriad of ways.
I also wanted to show you that a hand-me-down is nothing to be ashamed of. The hand-me-downs in my closet are some of my most treasured pieces and help make some really cool outfits that no one else will be able to replicate.
Outfit #1 – Denim on Denim
First up is my take on ’90’s western denim-on-denim. I feel like people fear wearing denim with denim, but done correctly, I think you can create something kind of cool. I chose to style this light-colored chambray shirt, with a star print, with the same color wide-leg jeans. I added brown boots for a more western feel.
The star print breaks up the light blue denim color just enough for me and also goes with the western theme. And yes, I was singing “All My Ex’s Live in Texas” while I was wearing this outfit. Typical, I know.
You could also do a light denim on top and a dark denim on the bottom. Or you could break up the denim with a graphic tee or button-up.
Needless to say, if my parents told me we were going to do an all-denim photoshoot today, this is what I would wear.
Outfit Details: Chambray shirt – Thrifted | Jeans – Target | Brown boots – JC Penney | Sunglasses – Thrifted
Outfit #2 – Athleisure
I wear this shirt a lot in more casual ways. It’s really comfortable, as I mentioned before, so I wear it when I run errands or on road trips.
Here I wore my dad’s denim shirt with a gray high-neck tank top and blue jogger-type athletic pants. I then slipped on my favorite Nomadic State of Mind sandals. The shirt being a mid-wash blue makes it pair well with my dark blue pants. I am also playing with texture here, which makes it look like I tried harder and makes it seem like this is not a workout look. It’s my version of athleisure. To go even further into the athleisure world, I could have thrown sneakers on with this outfit.
Outfit #3: On a Boat
It’s no coincidence that I love the beach and the sea. Both of my parents love the ocean. My dad will spend hours walking up and down the beach looking for shark’s teeth and shells. He also taught me how to boogie board back in the day.
As my friend, Jessica, said when I posted this outfit on Instagram, I should be on a boat. I’m not one for a preppy, nautical look most of the time, but I really liked this look. I think it is partly because this chambray shirt is the best fitting button-up shirt that I have ever had. I usually struggle with finding button-ups that fit me right. Now that I think about it, I struggle to find shorts that fit me right too. This outfit came together perfectly!
I think denim with vibrant colors is always a good choice. Of course, you can pair denim with any neutral color as well. Once again, the star print just adds a little extra interest.
Someone invite me to be on their sail boat! I’m ready.
Outfit #4: Boho
Many women, including myself, add cardigans, jackets and kimonos to their outfits to cover their arms or to keep warm. I like to add a denim shirt some times because they are usually a medium thickness and give that laid back feel that an open button-up has.
It is not uncommon for me to throw my dad’s denim shirt over a dress. I just feel cool, ya know? This denim shirt doesn’t have a print, so layering it over a printed dress is a winner.
Outfit Details: Denim shirt – Hand-me-down | Dress – Target | Sandals – Target
Outfit #5 – Cool Girl
This look is a little bit of my dad in the shirt and a little bit of me in the jumpsuit.
I would wear it tied up or open depending on what sort of vibe I was going for. I love a jumpsuit because it’s one piece of clothing and paired with a denim shirt or jacket, it just makes you look effortless.
Outfit Details: Denim shirt – Hand-me-down | Jumpsuit – Target | Sandals – Nomadic State of Mind
And on that note, happy father’s day to all of the dads out there, including the step-dads, the bonus dads, the men that stepped up and the women that did both jobs. For the people out there struggling today, I see you and I love you.
My Big Mike is one of a kind. I am lucky to have a dad like him.
This is your sign to not be afraid to take hand-me-downs and do something cool with them! Don’t be scared of denim or old clothes. You may just end up being the coolest one at the party…unless my dad is there.