The Dad Styles We Have Come to Love and Adopt

This Father's Day, we honour how our fathers' sense of dad style has influenced fashion
Published: 8 June 2024

As we journey through the years, certain iconic dad styles—particularly from the '80s and '90s—have stood the test of time as symbols of fashion heritage. From the sharp suits of the past to today's relaxed casual wear, there's a unique sense to the evolution of dad style. What makes it so cool? Perhaps it's the nonchalant attitude towards fashion that fathers seem to effortlessly embody. As Father's Day approaches, we take a look at some dad style (or dadcore) trends that continue to thrive in the fashion world.

Dad shoes

Amid the burgeoning of athleisure oin the '80s, "dad shoes" emerged, prioritising function over form. They captured the attention of dads and everyone else who valued practicality. The '90s then saw these shoes taking on bulkier and seemingly less fashionable versions. Today, revitalised by brands the likes of Yeezy and Balenciaga, "dad shoes" have enjoyed newfound popularity. With its continued momentum, there's no doubt that there'll be newer releases of fresh iterations alongside timeless classics from Nike, Reebok, and New Balance.


Jorts—short for jean shorts—surged in popularity last year, possibly owed to TikTok. Picture Adam Sandler for the vibe—they hit just above or below the knee, embodying that awkward sense of dad-like modesty. While hardly ever deemed cool, they've eventually become a summer staple. Even brands like Acne Studios and Bottega Veneta have embraced the style, solidifying its status as part of menswear's lexicon. After all, mastering dadcore is all about letting go of the traditional "cool" factor while effortlessly maintaining a sort of devil-may-care aesthetic.

Wraparound sunglasses

For the sporty dads, wraparound sunglasses are more than just eyewear: they're a symbol of practicality and understated coolness. Originally designed for athletic pursuits, they have since become synonymous with the dad aesthetic. The '90s witnessed a creative reinterpretation of these sunglasses as partygoers recontextualised their light-shielding prowess to navigate the neon-lit dance floors of the era. Today, their versatility and function-first appeal can be seen from festival-dressing to futuristic style leanings.

Polo shirts

Once synonymous with the business of golf and tennis, polo shirts have undergone an evolution from a dad's wardrobe staple to a versatile essential. They were most recently embraced by the younger generations through the surge of the "old money" trend, featuring prep-era fashion notably exemplified by Ralph Lauren. Their casual yet polished aesthetic renders them suitable for a myriad of occasions, from casual Fridays at the office to weekend brunches.

Oversized dad blazers

Oversized blazers, once emblematic of dad's penchant for investment pieces no matter how wrongly sized, have found unexpected resonance among younger audiences. These oversized, boxy blazers are now statement pieces, challenging traditional notions of fit and silhouette in menswear. Contempoary purveyors of oversized blazers include brands like Saint Laurent, AMI, Dries Van Noten, and Gucci—all of which return to the silhouette time and time again. If that's not a sign that dad's are actually fashionable, we don't know what is.

Each facet of dad fashion serves as a testament to the enduring legacy of paternal influence on style. So here's to the dads who effortlessly blend comfort with class, (unknowingly) leaving an indelible mark on fashion for generations to come.

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