On Fatherhood and ‘Dad Jewelry’ with Miles Garber
Chances are, if you ask a dad what they want for Father’s Day, they’ll probably tell you they don’t need anything. And, while it’s true they may already own all of the typical dad tools they could need, the “Here’s a little something special” trick still never fails. Fret not, our latest Father’s Day gift guide has something for everyone—the history buff, the outdoorsman, the grill master, the “cool” dad, fashion dad, and more.
And, for any new dads out there, like model and self-dubbed “man of many hats” Miles Garber, the celebratory day might mean something incredibly simple: a day to sleep in.
After becoming a father in 2020, Garber’s fatherhood experience involved a fair share of learning by doing. Later on, he’d eventually partner with a friend to start an Instagram account dedicated to honest conversations on fatherhood to new and seasoned dads called Open Up Dad (an offshoot of Open Up Healing, a broader physical and mental wellbeing destination). On the platform, Garber talks about everything from securing adequate childcare, the magic of a little bit of “you” time, and even #DadBod. As our perceptions on fatherhood continue to evolve, including what being a father figure itself means, Garber’s openness and honesty embodies the very nature (and magic) of what being a parent truly means: no one day—or way—is the same.
Continue on to hear from Garber on the ups and downs of Dad Life and check out how he styled some of our key Father’s Day pieces, from black titanium to white gold, silver, and more.
Tell us who Miles Garber is. How'd you get to the point in your career today and where do you hope it takes you?
I’m definitely still defining who I am. It feels as if every year I discover something new, have new interests, etc. I’m still refining myself. It feels as if I woke up in my 30’s. I’m grateful to still be here, grateful people want to work with me, and grateful I can provide for my family. In reality, I don’t care much about accolades or attention—I just want my daughter to have every opportunity possible and for my wife to not be embarrassed of me (haha).
Who were you before fatherhood? Who are you after becoming a dad?
Before fatherhood I think I was an angry, cynical person. The world felt really small to me. Since having Maxime, I feel like my lens of life is through rose tinted glasses. My attitude is reflected back at me through her and that keeps me hyper aware of my actions. I try my best to keep things positive now so that she’s a positive person.
Everything about day-to-day life as a father can be funny. I hate to admit how many times my daughter has gone to the bathroom on me, the ridiculous situations she finds herself in, and just the overall exhaustion I have felt for two years. It’s better if you laugh at yourself. But I find our time spent doing absolutely nothing to be the most enjoyable for me, whether it’s watching a movie or just cuddling.
Anything you wish someone would have told you that you had to learn by doing?
I was not raised with a father and I can say now I am actually so grateful that I wasn’t. I was able to define being a dad for myself and I enjoy learning as I go.
And I hate to admit this but I had never changed a diaper until the first day of having a newborn. I had never even held a newborn baby. I was lucky to have my wife, my mother-in-law, and my mom there to show me the ropes—but I am proud to say I am now a diaper/nap time/bedtime professional.
What does the phrase ‘dad jewelry’ mean to you, if anything?
I think there is an assumption that once we become dads we will no longer care about how we look: cargo shorts, New Balances, and a can of beer type of stereotype. I think dads still want to feel cool and accepted. For me, at least, it’s nice to get hit on once in a while by someone who doesn’t know you’re a dad and just thinks you’re hot. So, to me “dad jewelry” would just be an extension of that. You feel good when you feel like you look good.
Tell us about your Cable Chain Tag necklace engraved with Maxime's initials and what it means to you.
I’m a really sentimental person. I love an heirloom. I thought it would be nice for Max when I’m gone one day to be able to have this necklace and say, “My dad wore this thing every day and it has my initials on it.” Maybe she will actually say something like “My dad is so corny,” but either way!
What are the tough parts about being a dad? What gets you through?
Being tired all the time. Not having any time for yourself. You and your partner are struggling to be romantic because you’re so tired and maybe just simply annoyed at each other because you can’t really be annoyed at your baby… But what gets me through is just knowing it’s not about me. We made a decision to bring a person into this world and it’s our responsibility to be responsible for her and for that decision. And when my daughter laughs out loud, it wipes it all away.
Tell us about Open Up Dad and your interest in connecting with other father's and sharing your experiences?
My friend Sam Turrell started Open Up Healing and was gracious enough to give me a platform to do Open Up Dad. At first, I just wanted to talk to other dads and connect, but it’s since turned into parenting as a whole. I feel as parents we are up against it a lot of the time—whether that’s always being sold something, the constant anxiety of the state of the world; it’s a challenge being a parent. With that, I just want to be a voice or a safe place for parents to go. I hope by being honest and vulnerable it helps someone else realize they aren’t alone in this. They say it takes a village to raise a child—so I’m building a village for parents.
What role does fashion play in your family and who you are?
It’s funny to me how much fashion plays a part in our lives. For one, I’ve been in it since I was 15 years old. Secondly, my wife is a major fashionista. Mostly though, we have a certain aesthetic at home. I’m a major dork about all things vintage. I’m an avid collector of furniture and memorabilia and jackets. My daughter even has a miniature Chanel purse, which I’m slightly embarrassed by (haha).
Lastly, what does Father's Day mean to you?
I spent the better part of 30 years hating Father's Day. It was a trauma-ridden day that I wrote off as a Hallmark sort of holiday. Since becoming a dad, however, it's been a very special day. Father’s Day to me means that I get to wake up after 6am (very rare) and do absolutely nothing with my father-in-law. That usually includes drinking beer while watching Formula One and taking a nap.