Behind The Fashion Revival of ‘Dad Style’

There was a time in middle school when wearing crocs was considered a crime and dad sneakers were a stereotypical fashion staple for “nerds.” Now, crocs can be seen on runways, and dad sneakers and hats are found everywhere on  college campuses.

High-end fashion brands haven’t been shying away from experimenting with the “dad style.” Balenciaga has featured Crocs-inspired shoes on their runway, and Neiman Marcus has turned the clog shoes into a quirky piece, designing them as wedged heels accessorized with logo buttons and spikes. Adidas has also recently launched its new Falcon collection, reviving the chunky ‘90s sneakers in fresh colors. Although it seems like  these styles would not be the most well-perceived by others, Balenciaga sold out of its collection pretty fast when it was, and Adidas has seen its sneakers on many Instagram models’ feeds.

The shift in the perception of these trends has been quite interesting. What transforms such a previously unloved and criticized style into an embraced trend by the fashion world?

 The answer simply lies in comfort. The “dad style,” which relies on simple, basic outfits, is something that not only your typical suburban dad would enjoy, but that everyone who values comfort will also come to appreciate. The versatility and comfortable aspect of this fashion trend has made it an easy target for renovation with a little “chic” element added. The street-wear of supermodels is one of the biggest indicators of this shift in the blending of comfortable and fashionable  to create a crossover of a sporty-chic look.

Designer brands have also been perfecting the intersection between “I raided my dad’s closet” and “I need to look presentable with the least amount of effort.”  The domination of oversized sweaters, loose-fitting pants and orthopedic-looking shoes has been a staple on many runways in recent years, such as that of Balenciaga and Yeezy. These designer brands are not afraid of making a statement with any piece deemed “ugly” and turning it into a runway outfit that goes against the “normal” fashion rules. And what better way to do so than to use an “uncool” dad outfit and turn it into something that’s styled for younger generations?

The revival of this trend can also be viewed as an ode to the ‘90s anti-fashion times, where a lot of the inspiration of the “dad style” comes from. It’s also an artistic depiction of how the modern mentality of function over design has shaped the fashion trends.

Dad-style outfit inspiration

If you’re looking to add a little bit of “dad style”-inspired looks to your wardrobe that blend comfort and runway fashion, you can wear these denim black cargo joggers from Forever 21. They can be paired with this oversized patterned sweater that can also be found in  Forever 21, as well as these white chunky sneakers from FILA. Complete the look with a fanny pack from L.L.Bean, and for a full “dad” effect, you can top it off with this black “dad hat” from Zumiez.

Related: How to Rock The Chunky Sneaker Trend

It’s always fun to incorporate new trends into your outfits. Maybe it’s time to find some inspiration from your dad’s closet, so secure a fanny pack, and kick out those mom jeans. And whether you’re a fan or critic of this fashion trend, I hope that we stay in dad territory and don’t see the day when socks and sandals  are a thing.