Some guys truly don't care what they wear; some try to look like they don't care; and some spend an enormous amount of time and money caring and wearing.
While all three choices have their good and bad sides, it's possible an over-40 dad can fall into a few fashion "Faux Pa's" (you should excuse the pun). Here are nine trends you might want to help dear-old dad avoid.
1. Droopy Drawers
When it comes to fashion, men have all the luck. While women totter around on four-inch heels and stuff themselves into skinny jeans, men dress like they've just rolled out of bed. Here's the rule for dad's over 40: If it looks like you've borrowed your son's clothes, put it back.
2. Un-Suit Up
You can still get good deals on suits with Men's Wearhouse coupons, but business clothing began trending downhill with the institution of casual Fridays. Then came the dot.com bubble, which made Dockers and polo shirts standard office attire. Even this low standard has fallen in recent years, as the newest generation of entrepreneurs opt for shorts and sandals.
It was bad enough when granddaddy wore black socks with dress shoes, but men who pair socks with Birkenstocks, Tevas or even flip flops should know better.
Don't confuse mandals with flip-flops or any other kind of non-controversial sandal. Mandals, aka men's sandals, have to be so obnoxious they make you do a double take. Basically, a man's sandal shouldn't be prettier than his girlfriend's footwear.
3. Metrosexual Fashion
Your dad may be a metrosexual if he wears designer socks, uses more than one hair-product and regularly visits a spa. While there's nothing wrong with being well groomed, dad shouldn't spend more time getting pedicures than he spends with you.
Is your dad a "man of the wax?" Does his chest look like more like Matthew McConaughey's than Simon Cowell's? Then he may be a manscaping addict. This trend includes waxing, shaving, electrolysis, tweezing, trimming and laser hair removal. It remains a mystery, however, why these men will remove all signs of hair on the rest of their bodies, including their heads, but walk around with permanent stubble.
6. Padded Men's Briefs
Bubba got back, thanks to pricey, padded boxer briefs. These anatomically correct boxer briefs -- the male equivalent of push-up bras -- also come with a "contoured front pouch" known in the 16th century as a codpiece. Make dad's day with a pair of padded boxer briefs.
Did dad go from pot-bellied without hitting the gym? Maybe he's discovered Spanx for Men or one of the similar man-girdle brands. These cotton-compression undershirts are selling like iPads to men seeking firm chests and flat stomachs without all that bench pressing.
7. Offensive T-Shirts
T-shirts with rude messages may be an American tradition but so is planned obsolescence. Dads simply shouldn't leave the house wearing wear t-shirts displaying the "f-word," "s-word" or any other unpublishable word.
8. Stupid Hats
No matter what red-carpet gawkers say, not even Justin Timberlake can really pull off the throw-back fedoras and knit caps. Thankfully, the sexy-back man gave up his trucker-hat battle with Ashton Kutcher years ago.
These plastic shoes come in every color imaginable, yet look bad with every article of clothing ever created. The only thing that goes with Crocs is social ostracism. You want proof: An Amazon search for "Crocs" suggested I might also like packaged corn dogs, Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and the children's book "Everybody Poops."