“Dressing like dad” is no longer a playground insult to feel ashamed about. Over the past few years, emblems of ’90s dad fashion, such as chunky sneakers, Crocs, baseball caps, and fanny packs, have transformed into statement-making pieces. The sense of effortlessness embodied in this normcore trend is why It-girls like Hailey Bieber, Kendall Jenner and Emma Chamberlain are among the biggest proponents of dad fashion. Nowadays, the only thing more important than looking chic is making chic look easy.
When styled with the right accessories and worn with casual swagger—the same kind of we-don’t-care-how-we-look nonchalance that dads everywhere seem to naturally possess—even the most unfashionable items can seem downright cool. It’s a kind of irreverent cool that shows you’re not afraid of poking fun at yourself, that you’re so self-assured you can strut down the street like it’s your personal catwalk even while wearing technically “unflattering” items.
Perhaps dads really do know best, even when it comes to fashion. So this Father’s Day, show your appreciation for dad’s style by taking pieces—or at least inspiration—from his wardrobe. After all, isn’t imitation the sincerest form of flattery?
Gone are the days when we had to force ourselves to squeeze into skinny jeans. As she traipsed around town, Hailey Bieber epitomised casual chic in baggy jeans that looked like they had been pulled on last-minute just before she stepped outdoors. This newfound love for loose clothing reflects how much we prioritise comfort and ease these days, after more than a year of wearing loungewear pretty much 24/7 at home.
Meanwhile, fellow model Cara Delevingne didn’t shy away from showing a bit more skin, having tossed on a humble Hawaiian shirt—an item of clothing long associated with dowdy dads on holiday—as a cover-up over her black-and-white geometric bikini. After all, one year into the Covid-19 pandemic, we have to seize any semblance of vacation escapism we can get.
Sweater vests, which we once swore we would never be caught dead in, have become the very definition of ironic-chic thanks to the Y2K trend. The vest is a sartorial statement even when worn on its own. But its versatility as a layering piece—over button-downs, under blazers, or both—has won legions of fans including Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner. The funkier the print and the bolder the colours, the better.
Bermudas have long been seen as the antonym of glamour. But it is precisely because they are so unapologetically uncool that being able to rock a pair of berms suddenly made the wearer, well, cool. With a plethora of options ranging from denim jorts to tailored linen, these not-too-short, not-too-long bottoms strike the perfect balance between casual and put-together, chic and comfortable.
For years, socks for females veered between two extremes: ankle socks so tiny they would ideally be invisible once tucked into shoes, or knee-highs that help elongate the leg line. Tube socks, with their awkward mid-calf length, were dismissed as an option only people who didn’t know better (read: clueless dads) could possibly appreciate. But after they were seen on style icons like Sophie Turner and on the runway, tube socks suddenly became the new must-have accessory. For the ultimate dad look, pair them with a pair of sandals—Birkenstocks and Crocs are the ultimate dad-approved footwear.