‘Daddy Dressed Me’ Campaign Helps Dads Increase Their Daughters’ Confidence

In an interview with the Today Show, Michael Gardner, shared his story of teaching himself to sew and then starting the “Daddy Dressed Me” social media campaign. 

Gardner first became interested in sewing after seeing his sister create unique designs. 

“I think I want to do this,” he said, “and then I just decided to go for it.”  

A native of Philadelphia, Gardner started “Daddy Dressed Me” after taking pictures of his daughter Ava wearing the designs they worked on together. 

“She loves everything I create simply because it's her dad and he’s making her clothes,” he shared during the interview. 

He also took note of her confidence when she put on the original designs. “There‘s a difference when she puts something on and she connects with it in a certain way,” he added, “There’s a different confidence, there’s a different attitude.”  

Gardner shared that his own father did not have a relationship with him and that dressmaking is a way to maintain a connection between Ava. 

Since then, the daddy-daughter duo have created over 200 dress designs over the last six years, and they’ve shared their creations and connections to social media. Their hope is to get other dads involved in building their daughter’s confidence and self-esteem through fashion. 

When asked what makes her dad special, Ava replied, “His sewing, his smile, his care, his love.” 

Ava also shared that her dad regularly does her hair and nails. “I feel rich,” she said, acknowledging the care and quality time her dad gives to her. 

Photo: Getty Images 

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