I’m about to say the one thing I never thought I would: Dad style has become style, period.
When did this happen? I have no clue. But somewhere in between old Levi’s jeans and clunky sneakers, we’ve found ourselves here. Whether scrolling through Instagram or browsing in stores, suddenly the vacation dad, the business dad, the weekend dad and more are everywhere.
Another thing I couldn’t have anticipated is how these pieces have gone from dad territory to wardrobe staples I would actually want in my closet.
With Father’s Day right around the corner, we thought we’d share trends you can borrow from dad’s closet this summer.
Case study 1: The dad sneaker
While Carrie Bradshaw essentially anointed Manolo Blahniks the shoe of the century, somehow (thankfully) we found ourselves wanting to feel our feet again as we ditched skyscraper stilettos in favor of chunky sneakers.
And while, admittedly, I’m not sure the chunky dad sneaker is the shoe of choice for everyone, never did I think I’d style a sundress with a pair of sneakers, but here we are.
Case study 2: The oxford shirt
I have to admit, this piece of clothing has never been deemed as dad-exclusive, but it is a critical part of this list since it seems every dad has an abundance of these shirts in constant rotation.
While the oxford shirt has been paired with traditional workwear, the silhouette has taken new forms and shapes throughout the years, whether it be intentionally oversized, cut for a modern one-shoulder silhouette, or reinvented as a shirtdress. Its versatility and timelessness are exactly why I would want my dad’s oxford.
The polo shirt was once associated with timelessly traditional, all-American style, and later segued to the role of hero piece during the early 2000s — think the era of Paris Hilton and MTV’s Laguna Beach. I didn’t think I would even consider wearing a polo shirt again without remembering my middle school self feeling like the best-dressed person in the room because I was wearing a polo shirt paired with a mini skirt.
But now? I might have to think twice. Maybe it has something to do with athleisure, but the thought of taking cues from my dad and pairing an oversized polo tucked into trousers seems kind of cool? (Dad, please don’t be reading this.)
Case study 4: The dad jeans
It seems the quintessential dad pant, the Levi’s jean, has really taken off. It must have started when high-rise took over low-rise denim (note: thank goodness).
While low-rise and a body-skimming fit was initially all you could find when shopping for jeans, now it seems we’ve opted for denim that falls straight, sits a little higher on the waist, and matches perfectly with Dad’s go-to wide leather belt cinched at the waist.
Case study 5: The loafer
I’ve always associated loafers with traditional menswear. While my dad and I will never be the same shoe size, I love the sleek cut of a loafer — in polished or burnished leather — which works with or without trouser socks. From the office to out-of-office, this is a style I’d steal from my dad’s closet in a second.
Case study 6: The vacation fanny pack
Fashion magazines will have us believing in this accessory known as the “belt bag,” but do not be mistaken — this is just the elevated stepsister of a fanny pack.
When I think of fanny packs, I think of amusement parks. The bag secured around your waist, doing nothing for your figure but everything for convenience. Somehow this look has returned in 2019 in numerous variations — from calfskin leather to PVC fabric — and has become a street style staple across the board.
In conclusion, maybe Dad had it right all along. So this Father’s Day, I dare you to go into Dad’s closet and see what you can borrow and reinvent. Even better, feel free to share what you come up with by tagging us.