It’s time to iron those Barack Obama jeans and dust off those Seinfeld sneakers – ‘dad style’ is back with a vengeance.
New York fashion houses say that dressing like a stereotypical suburban dad has suddenly become au courant in 2018, reports The Wall Street Journal.
“The whole dad trend is noticeable,” confirms Chris Green, the divisional merchandise manager for retail giants Totokaelo and Need Supply Co. in New York.
“You see guys dressing like dads with the bigger sneakers, baggy pants, big shirts and oversize track jackets. I’m surprised Members Only jackets haven’t come back huge yet.”
For the northern hemisphere spring, high-fashion U.S. labels like Balenciaga, Ami and Acne Studios are churning out techy windbreakers, bulbous running shoes and of course, those generously cut washed-out blue jeans that just scream “Dad!”
But before you get too carried away and turn up to that next social event in your acid wash Levis and Dunlop Volleys, there are limits to what constitutes ‘fashionable’ in the year’s most surprising men’s wardrobe trend.
For example, those old broad-striped shirts are likely too blousy and knee-high athletic socks still belong in the dark recesses of the underwear drawer, reports the WSJ. And while pleated pants are “relevant” again, today’s cut is more tapered.
To help ensure you are the trend-setter you always knew you were (if only she’d listened), here are seven pieces you can wear with confidence.
1. The functional sneaker
No brand has benefitted from dad style’s popularity more than New Balance, says the WSJ. Young and old men alike are fetishising its sneakers (chunky and grey on the outside, squishy on the inside).
2. The dad cap
Also known as “vacation hats,” these canvas ball caps may feature the name of some town where your family spent the summer in the 80s or 90s. Although Balenciaga and Acne Studios are making their own pricey versions, you can nab a sweetly nostalgic version Chez Dad.
3. The fleece jacket
Among the unlikely shared enthusiasms of snooty menswear editors and ecologically-minded suburbanites, you’ll find Patagonia’s Synchilla jackets. Developed by the California label in the ’80s, the fuzzy classic is more authentic and affordable than the new riffs developed by luxury brands.
4. The vintage-inspired polo
Don’t worry, we never really understood the attraction to the phrase “slim-fit” either. Luckily, the roomy polo is having a renaissance, with some fancy U.S. brands sporting price price tags ten times what we’d pay at Lowes. Bonus: Piqué cotton acquires a nice patina over the years.
5. The argyle sweater vest
The argyle sweater vest will always be associated with dads, particularly those with a “Dr.” in front of their name. Italian brand Marni recently showed off a version over a short-sleeved shirt, but this classic works best as a layering item under a jacket. That helps to diminish the dweebish Urkel factor (see below).
6. The fishing vest
Your kids may have been giving you flak for wearing this for years, but that multi-pocket fishing vest has become a surprisingly useful outer layer in the era of portable chargers and plus-sized cell phones.
7. The Ray-Ban wayfarer sunglasses
Bob Dylan, John F. Kennedy and…you? The squared-off, dark, tilted frames are as quintessentially “cool” today as when they debuted 66 years ago.