Trends can be daunting, not to mention ephemeral. Like items on a conveyor belt, they come and go and sometimes, voila, reappear. Is there anything that new under the sun anyway? But all of that doesn’t make these fads any less fun to embrace. I’ve been keeping my eye on a particular recycled look for awhile now, asking myself, "Is this the season it finally has run its course?"
Alas, it keeps re-emerging. I deem this the "dad style."
To glean sartorial inspiration for the aforementioned style, think the ensembles of the Seinfeld cast or even an all-American dad, clad for a barbecue or road trip. The term “normcore” gained popularity in 2013, but it’s not obsolete yet. The day my dad and I coincidentally had matching outfits, I congratulated myself because it meant I finally had this concept down. To indicate how amicable this encounter was, not one of us asked the other to change.
So, if you’re down to emulate this anti-fashion movement that is actually, ironically, a prevailing idea in the fashion world, then look no further than these simple and accessible ideas:
The appearance of fanny packs has emerged everywhere. This functional and pragmatic accessory can be turned into a fun one by selecting a bold color. Think beyond tourism; fanny packs are perfect for concerts, dates or even grocery shopping. Anytime you want your hands carefree while picking out ripe mangoes and your money at your side, try a fanny pack. Also, Hands Carefree and Money at My Side is the name of my upcoming autobiography. Stay tuned.
MIX & MATCH
According to my personal dichotomy, there are two kinds of dads: those who love to match and those who don’t. Luckily, both are having a moment.
The monochrome look, making sure an entire outfit is one color, is an easy way to look put together with little effort.
If you are a walking rainbow and the idea of one color makes your eyes glaze over, by all means, mix your prints. The permutations can be endless. Polka dots with stripes. Huge stripes with small stars. A skirt arrayed with pink triangles mixed with, say, a floral blue top. Much like my approach to spontaneous dining, the mantra here is no reservations.
I am one of those humans who dislikes compromising warmth or physical ease for clothing. That’s why I was delighted to see the likes of puffy jackets and athletic, windbreaker jackets everywhere. My dream come true, it’s akin to wearing a fitted sleeping bag. You are warm. You look put together. You can borrow this puffy jacket from a dad’s closet. For a triumphant execution of a dad-on-the-go uniform, wear with sneakers. There are no cons here. Everyone wins.
Over-sized tees ooze comfort. And if anybody knows about comfort, it’s dads. Comfort even transcends international barriers. My Russian dad can sport an over-sized tee tucked into his light denim jeans combined with New Balance shoes like nobody’s business. Local consignment shops, like Boulevard Mercantile, have a plethora of tees in good condition that are begging for a corporeal back to reside on. Get one several sizes bigger and tuck it into those denim jeans.
In a way, you could say that dads are the ultimate trend setters, because they were wearing socks with sandals long before the fashion industry deemed it no longer a faux pas. But you know what’s cooler than socks with sandals that dads have also pioneered? That carefree and cavalier attitude towards fashion that allows them to so fearlessly wear shoes like Crocs and shrug when you point out that you detest them. That "so-what," unfussy attitude towards wardrobe has become a ubiquitous staple in the runway world, and it doesn’t cost a thing.