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Q&A: What should I wear to a kids' birthday party?

Q&A: What should I wear to a kids' birthday party?

You'll probably have one of two reactions to this hyper-specific question: 1. An eye roll and snark about whether we've run out of material, or 2. "Yes! Oddly enough, I've wondered about this." 

If you're in the latter camp, you know that at a kids' birthday party, the aim is simultaneously to avoid embarrassing your child or ruining any nice piece of clothing, and maybe even to become a hit among parents and kids alike. All against a Crayola-hued backdrop of ball pits and backyard ropes courses. 

The answer's a balance between fun—at least one bright colour—and durable, practical textures, fits and tones. Below, Thread stylist Luke McDonald has pulled together some of the best "cool dad" looks that'll work for a kids' party—or for any weekend activity. 

Photographed: Hammond & Co navy check shirt (£42); Minimum indigo jeans (£70); Roamers and Seekers green jumper (£65); Rains navy backpack (£60)

1. Shirt that isn't officey. A check shirt's a weekend go-to because it looks and feels more relaxed than your usual formal shirts or Oxfords. Go for a dark colour and it'll withstand a brush with grass—or juice, or cake, or ice cream. Cotton's best because you can throw it in the wash.

2. Jeans that won't show wear. The knees of dark denim jeans won't stain or shred (as chinos' knees might) if you end up on the ground. Bonus points for a pair with 1 or 2 percent elastane, which makes it easier to crouch.

3. Comfortable jumper alternative. Sweatshirts are easier to move around in—and more durable—than knit sweaters or jackets. Again, darker tones are a practical choice.

4. Ideal dad backpack. You probably already know that, for child-centric purposes, backpacks are far preferable to totes because you can hold all your kids' accoutrements while keeping your hands free. This one's roomy but firmly adult, and waterproof inside and out—i.e., completely spillproof. (Shame the same can't be said for your laptop.)  

5. Fun and practical trainers. Seems wrong to wear only dark colours to such an inevitably polychromatic fete. Chances are you'll end up running after an errant child, so you'll need performance footwear—and trainers are one of our favourite places to introduce colour into your wardrobe