June 10, 2014 at 12:16 PM ET
With Father’s Day just around the corner, it seems fitting that the current granddaddy of the fashion world is centered on, well, granddaddies.
Since launching her Instagram account, “Fashion Grandpas,” in March, public relations coordinator Christina Belchere’s collection of images of gentlemen of a certain age — with as much swagger as guys much, much younger — has gained a legion of followers.
“It is my love for menswear and my personal androgynous style,” Belchere, 23, tells TODAY.com, when asked why she started the project. “The cute and sassy grandpas in New York City made it too easy to compile a portfolio and create the account.”
That portfolio includes senior citizens in dapper sport coats, colorful slacks and fabulous accessories — think fedoras, casually tied scarves, bow ties, suspenders and pocket squares.
“One thing that I find consistent in a ‘Fashion Grandpa's’ style is to always look smart,” Belchere says. “It is a sign of respect for yourself and respect for the people that have to look at you.”
She points to opting for loafers over sneakers or a nice cardigan always worn with a button down rather than a T-shirt and hoodie as examples.
“You should always have one aspect of your outfit that shows you have class and one part that makes you look interesting,” Belchere adds. “It is hard for an older man dressed to the nines to not look interesting. If they are wearing a beret or cute bow tie — or if they have a grumpy or confused or sassy look on their face — these things add another dimension to their appeal — then, they go up on @fashiongrandpas.”
Belchere says that while family and friends predicted the account “could be huge” when she first started it, she’s been shocked by the positive response.
“I obviously thought that was because they loved me and they would support anything I did — whether it was really good or not,” she says. “It is a wonderful feeling to have thousands of people you do not know and major media influencers love something weird that you love.”
Are you paying attention GQ? There’s a whole new male fashion force in town — and you can call him Gramps.