Quick Question - When Did We All Start Dressing Like Dads? (Not That We Don't Love It)

A new trend has proven to potentially have just as much staying power as high femininity: dadcore. We're talking about oversized button-up shirts, loose-fitting jeans, denim-on-denim, and everything in between. Even the maligned bucket hat made a surprise comeback! The sudden popularity of sporty sandals and fanny packs as summer 2023 trends raises the question: When did we all start dressing like dads? 


The major boom in dad-vibe fashion started in 2022 when, according to The Cut, always-fashionable style icons like Bella Hadid and Emma Chamberlain began sporting some important dadcore essentials. It can be argued, though, that it really began in 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic forced us all to prioritize comfort over curated aesthetics.

This comfort-over-all mentality is at the root of dadcore's popularity. Even better, it's a mindset that is applicable to everyone, regardless of their gender identity, making the aesthetic accessible and desirable in equal measure. In recent years, the fashion world has seen an increase in "androgynous" fashion that can be worn by anyone, regardless of gender; the rise of elevated dad looks directly correlates with this newfound trend, and it isn't hard to see why.


Comfort isn't cringe

Dad-inspired fashion is all about comfort, and that's not limited to just the clothes themselves. Rather, this type of fashion is about being comfortable enough in your body and mind that you are able to unabashedly rock a combination like socks and Birkenstocks. Even the smallest changes to an outfit, like a bandeau underneath an open Hawaiian shirt, can elevate it from corny to classic dadcore. In fact, these changes are what makes dadcore so unique, elevating it from just wearing traditionally male clothes. Adding your own personal flairs to these outfits, such as a set of chic necklaces or combining loose-fitting clothes with more form-fitting ones, is crucial to make the dad look your own.


In a reveal that's probably shocking to nobody, most men's clothing is tailored in a way that makes them look good on a variety of bodies, while traditionally female clothing tends to be more restrictive and limited. Since we're now (finally) all about inclusivity and comfort, it only makes sense for people to gravitate towards the more versatile clothing. After all, you'll want to look and feel cool no matter what you're doing throughout the day. Whether you're getting groceries or shopping for a new bedside table to set up, you're going to want to be comfortable, and dadcore is the perfect fashion trend for that.

Dad fashion staples to have in your closet

The best thing about dadcore is that you can pair individual items with anything else you own. That is exactly what we mean when we say it's a versatile aesthetic — even if and when the trend dies down, you'll still be able to utilize these items in your everyday wear. Striped unisex shirts and athleisure sneakers, for example, can never go out of style. Neither can colored running shorts, baseball caps, or single-pleat chino slacks.


There are a few other types of items, however, that are made for this particular moment. Embroidered bomber jackets have flown out of the danger zone and onto the runways, while rugby sweatshirts emit major Cape Cod vacation energy. Chunky, sporty sandals and fanny packs are seeing a resurgence and can be dressed up and down (at least for now).

Ultimately, though, the greatest thing about dadcore is the lack of rules associated with the style. Versatility and comfort are the only things you really need in order for your inner dad to come out, something that has been sorely missing in the fashion world.