Posted on June 11 2020
“Every Dad is entitled to one hideous shirt and one horrible sweater. It's part of the Dad code.”
Cheaper By the Dozen 2 – Tom Baker (Steve Martin)
What’s a trend if you can’t make it relevant, approachable and wearable? That’s the attitude you’ll need as we navigate “Dadcore”, fashion’s homage to the middle aged man trying to make it in the world.
This trend breeds nostalgia. The Dadcore revolution is fashion’s idea that you can revisit your childhood through style. It’s a tricky trend and a way to return to those times, that feeling. Try it on for yourself, play the part and embrace the past.
President Jim Murray’s hypothesis is that Dadcore is how dad dressed on the weekends. It’s remembering him at his most relaxed and best self. Others may find the throwback to be a nod to the dad they never knew (lost to the grind of the ‘80s office) and therefore, is a middle finger to the memory of dad walking away, a route to reclaim the dad they lost through the look they vividly recall.
Dad fashion has an ironic streak. If we look at streetwear and how it works to infiltrate the 90s, borrowing from rave culture, skate style and even hip-hop and grunge influences, it’s no wonder it circles back to elements of that awkward dad style we can’t help but love.
While it’s the cyclical nature of fashion that gives you the freedom to identify with dear old dad, it’s how you style the fit that’s the way to make it yours, make it modern and make it real again.
If Balenciaga can bring dads and their kids on the runway then you can be the father figure we need now. The uniform is simple. Look for those slouchy, out of office jeans and pair it with a camp or polo shirt that you can tuck in. Next, add comfortable shoes that speak to your youthful, athletic days and a roomy, technical jacket (because you don’t want to be caught outside without a coat, this isn’t just a mom rule). Come fall, it’s a geeky Cosby sweater but you get the idea.
Who are the champions of this look? Everyone’s favorite dad, Clark Griswold, comedian Jerry Seinfeld, director Larry David and former President Barack Obama. Now, it’s time to raid dad’s closet for the following pieces:
You know the look. Relaxed, everyday denim similar to Levi’s 501 jeans that offer a higher waist, balloon out at the hips then taper at the bottom. It’s the regular guy badge of honor and it must be in a stone wash with your shirt tucked in, way in. Bonus points if you add a fanny pack to the look. A perfect example is our Closed brand tapered jean in a light wash, available here.
They’re chunky, clunky and have that filled-with-air puffiness. They have a practical aesthetic that’s ideal for running after errant children or having to quick, hop on the subway. You look like an absolute square which is how we know it works. A more subdued way to work the trend into your look can be with these gold-dipped, low top sneakers from Golden Goose, available here.
The cousin to the Hawaiian shirt, the camp shirt is a wildly off-duty lounge shirt with a loose, straight cut and short sleeves with a buttoned front. It’s the definition of chill, when dad can put on his yacht rock and have a cold one and escape his spreadsheets and mother’s to-do list. Your second choice for tops should be an easy polo shirt because it’s dad’s practical standby and second skin. This lightweight, breathable and tropical camp shirt is modernized in a black and white colorway, available here.
Perhaps the hat has dad feeling sentimental for his days playing baseball or coaching his children in little league. Besides, truth be told it hides the fact that he’s thinning up there so it’s sort of a security blanket. It’s also something to buy at an appropriate price point (because if dad is anything, it’s sensible). This Stone Island logo hat gives dad a little sway with the kids these days, available here.
But oversized and boxy, right? Jackets should have a bit of a technical, sporty vibe to them and look like a last-minute decision to throw over your ensemble. We’re talking puffer styles and well-pocketed pieces that balance street cred with carpooling the kids to school. Think hike-approved anoraks that still scream I get the groceries. This classic baseball jacket gets turned up with a funky camo print and is all about that sneaker life, available here.
Have you come around to dadwear? Face it, Dadcore is fashion’s current dad joke. It’s cringeworthy yet completely endearing at the same time. Shop our collection and get on board with Dadcore’s cornerstones of practicality and comfort with a nod to anti-fashion that culminates in one style lesson you may need to summon your dad to understand.