1. His sweater game is untouchable. The faintest whisper of chilly weather comes around and he has every kind of stylish-yet-masculine sweater he could ever need. (Special note goes to the shawl collar sweater and the half-zip cardigan, two classic Upscale Dad looks.)
2. He has an innate talent when it comes to both little kids and small animals. He just has this calming, open presence that lets small things know he is okay to crawl all over. He is liable to be found on the carpet at Christmas, being jumped on by a few nieces and nephews, and probably the family puppy. And he is totally game for it.
3. When it comes to holding babies, he is very careful, but always good at it. (And damn, does he ever look good with a tiny baby in his arms.)
4. His ability to grow a little scruff is second to none, and somehow he looks even more dignified with a little five o’clock shadow going on.
5. That being said, he looks just as at home when he’s got a clean shave and a side part going for a more formal occasion.
6. One of his signature looks is “it’s the end of a long day at work, so I’m rolling up the sleeves of my conservative button-down shirt to relax for a nice drink or meal.”
7. He is always good about calming you down and giving you a little pep talk when you’re getting too much in your head. He has this disposition that puts people at ease, and if he can handle some of your more consuming freak outs, he’ll be a natural when it comes to helping a kid with their scrapes and boo boos.
8. He is totally comfortable in his skin and confident with who he is. He doesn’t mind holding your purse or wearing a pink sweater or (eventually, you imagine) carrying a little girl’s Barbie backpack around all day so she can go play. He is game for a good tea party, and has no fear of “looking silly.”
9. People have a tendency to trust him. When he gives directions or advice or a recommendation for a good restaurant, he just gives off this vibe like “Yeah, you don’t have to believe me, but I’m lowkey right about everything.” And people tend to follow.
10. You can tell that even if it’s not right now, his eventual beard and/or salt-and-pepper hair game is one day going to be incredibly on point.
11. Fall as a season just becomes him. He never looks more in his element than when wearing one of his crucial sweaters and standing amidst a swirl of crisp, fallen leaves. You just want to snuggle up with him and drink some hot (spiked) cider as you watch the chilly autumn rain fall.
12. Speaking of which, his scarf game is also always on lock.
13. He is very good about doing little chores, and can pick up after himself. When kids come around and are making a mess, you know he’ll be there to get crayon portraits off the wall and get the dirty dishes out of the sink.
14. He knows the staples of good male fashion. He can tie a tie. He will evolve into the business casual look of a classic DILF with ease.
15. He eventually wants a dog, and is most attracted to the majestic, hunting/sporting types that are the DILF’s ultimate accessory (aside from his adorable children, of course). You can picture him with a regal, goldeny-auburn dog and a cup of coffee, surveying his playing children. (The children are frolicking in a pile of leaves in this scenario, by the way.)
16. He is at ease in the kitchen, and even if he’s not a good cook himself, is always down to help you prepare or chop something. When it comes to getting the kids their veggies (and occasional dino nuggets) he will be ready to go.
17. Overall, he has a joy and appreciation for life that in some ways reminds you of a child. He is happy and optimistic (and can often make you see the brighter side of things), and you know that nothing is better when it comes to children than seeing the world in the appreciative, joyous way that they do. He will be on the floor building an intricate Lego castle with them, and love every minute of it. (And you will be looking on lovingly in this scenario, sipping a latte and browsing the JCrew catalog for some fresh new sweaters to add to his killer collection, of course.) It’s a perfect match.