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Nelly Wadia and her dad
Nelly Wadia and her father

My father is definitely a macho type of dad, the kind who think of everything before you have. For as long as I can remember he’s been madly territorial about me but he’s also been freedom-giving. The greatest gift my father ever gave me was the drive to be independent. It wasn’t so many words that pushed me to be this way but just him living by example. I’ve never been more proud because he worked from scratch to build this life for my mum and me. All that being said, if you’ve been raised in Mumbai then your father has told you to cover-up before leaving the house. If he hasn’t then he’s made sure you have a ride to your destination at the very least. Dad‘s are pretty much the best even with all their strict and strange ways.

Now I have to tell you that my father is not the regressive kind in any way. He’s never told me how to live my life nor has he ever tried to control me. He’s offered up guidance and given me a choice to adhere to it or to do as I please. He has, however, out of his protective ways tried to steer my style.

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Here are 5 comments my father has made about my style:

1) No skin-show, please

I was on my way to the beach one summer evening, I was wearing jeans and a knit, spaghetti top. I leaned over to answer my landline because back then we didn’t have mobile phones to call our friends and of course the back of my jeans came down a little. My father rolls up behind me and pulled them up almost lifting my body mid-air along with his hand too and then casually strolls away. I thought someone gave me a wedgie because it sure felt like one.

2) It’s my way or the highway!

My dad was a flight purser so he travelled a whole lot and of course, he had access to all the stores abroad. I had grand dreams of him buying me cute, feminine clothes. However, he would end up buying me Ralph Lauren shirts in different colours, Polo t-shirts, baggy jeans and boot like masculine shoes. I think I turned into a sneakerhead thanks to him. I didn’t mind the shirts and eventually grew into loving my androgynous style.

3) What kind of stylist are you? Please make better colour choices

We went on vacation to Thailand right before I went off to London to study further. I wanted to buy myself a trolley bag and fell in love with this fluorescent green one. He was completely and utterly distraught and responded by saying, of course, you had to go and pick the flashiest bag. Even the aliens would be able to spot you from outer space.

4) Dress the part and come, okay?!

Remember I mentioned he was a flight purser? So every time I had to take a flight with my father he insisted I wear sneakers and proper attire. He simply detested the idea of me in flip-flops and sweats. Thanks to him I can’t stand flip-flops and only wear them to the beach now.

5) Oh, Khodai!

(Ref: It’s a Parsee way of saying “Oh God”)

My father has always looked at me from the corner of his eye if I wanted to wear shorts or a short skirt. Not that he had a problem but I think he was secretly saying a prayer to not let anything bad happen to me. I can imagine it must be a struggle, we know fully that the world we live in is a dangerous one. He also knows I could be in a salwar-suit and the worst could happen. So I never blamed him for making sure I always had a ride coming back home late in the night. My father also insists I text him to tell him I’m on my way when I am.

I always thought the world of my daddy dearest and will always know he means the best for me. So the next time your father tells you how to dress I hope you respond with love and empathy because that man cares about your safety.

Happy father's day! By Yuganov Konstantin |
Happy father’s day! By Yuganov Konstantin |

Happy Father’s Day to all those amazing fathers out there who go above and beyond for their daughters and their happiness. Without ya’ll we wouldn’t be living fully and making these strong, independent choices. You men have set great examples for us so thank you for all the love.

What comments has your father made about your fashion sense? Let me know in the comments below.

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