This blog is a collection of my thoughts and experiences from ten years as a skate dad. For those of you sitting with your jackets in the bleachers, first I salute you, but second I want to give you an honest sense of what you are in for and what to expect. Ice skating is both a trying and a glorious sport, but it doesn't happen without the special group of folks who cheer, support, and console the participants. This is dedicated to you.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

- casual

Parents' dress at a competition is always a dicey and mixed affair.

I've always felt a parent (or even a visitor) should dress "business casual:" no holey jeans please, no grunge, no T shirts or ratty sweats.

But it's not black tie either. Guys, you don't have to wear a button down dress shirt with a tie (although blazers are okay).

Ladies don't overdo the jewelry and makeup please.

The skaters are the ones who are supposed to be fashionably flashy; don't compete with, upstage, or even try to match their presentation. Be pertly smart, supportive, and respectful, but after all this is the skaters' show, not yours.



  1. I see where you are coming from on this one - you have a parent's perspective.

    As a skater I must say, I truly never once noticed a parent outshining any skater - I was just far too focused on the task at hand to be looking.

    Another adjacent topic is of course that of how *coaches* present themselves at events. I've seen some pretty ratty, and conversely, pretty garishly designer coaches over the years.

    Ultimately I think it's nice if anyone who is in the skater's environment wants to look good for an event - it shows they care enough to make an effort. Granted though, personal perceptions of what "looks good" can be very variable... ;-)

  2. I had to really think about this one because I do own a pair or two of holey jeans and have been known to wear them on my particularly lazy days. But then I thought back to all the competitions I've gone to and I guess I do have a certain style for such an occasion. I want to fall into the shadows and creep through the stands. And even though I'm practically hyperventilating waiting for my daughter to take her place on the ice I want to give off the vibe of "cool man, reeeeal cool" I suppose you could say I dress like a beatnik.

  3. fashion aside, warmth is my number one priority. Do people still wear holey jeans? If they rocked it in the cold rink, more power to them, i'd respect that. Bring back the Flash Dance sweats, I'm all for it. most local comps are just that, local comps. It's not the nationals,etc. Get over the unwritten dress codes.

  4. Well, primarily I feel that your "dressiness" should mostly reflect a respect for the skaters; it's not so much that you are trying to be fashionable for the venue. I don't know about your kids, by my daughter only got to skate in competition a handful of times a year, so I liked to make it an important occasion. After all it's sort of a reward for all of the hard work they've put into practice.

    And yes, dress warmly (smile); my best kept secret is to bring along a wool scarf -- it's the most flexibly warming clothing equipment that I own.