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Dadcore guide

A Guide to Dadcore

Style

Dads are cool as hell and don't you forget it. Yes, while actual dads are ashamed of having lost their cool, the rest of the world is trying to cultivate that 'ashamed of having lost their cool' cool.

Dadcore is one of those trends that isn’t going away. Certainly not for dads, they have no choice but to dress functionally, unsexily, prosaically since this is what life with children, especially small children, demands; clothes that can carry all manner of crap, stand up to a thousand washes because you can’t afford to buy anything new, and which retain vomit stains, for the memories. But Dadcore has now gone way beyond an ironic hipster gesture and has become a genuine style which designers are attacking in earnest, producing quality clothes that capture those slightly dull and depressed elements of dressing for fatherhood but making them cool.

Here’s our pick of items to ‘get the look’ in the most authentically dad way possible. Yes, we just used the phrase ‘authentically’ and yes we hate ourselves for it.

Dadcore guide

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Thule Sling Bag
Thule Aion Sling Bag from John Lewis – £44.99 – shop now

Well if Sleaford Mods are wearing bum bags, then their transformation from 80s dad on holiday shame-gear to anti-fashion grot-gear is complete and is now edging into edgy cool because any wearer must be aware of its innate naffness and so is either a nutter or is couldn’t care less what anyone thinks. Either way, it works.

We recommend this Thule one, which of course they call a sling bag not a bum bag. Thule are of course the Nordic brand who do gritty gear like bike racks and dog crates and heavy-duty luggage, somehow managing to combine an urban and outdoor aesthetic at the same time: a dad’s pent-up wet dream, basically. Hell they even do baby strollers.

Anyway, when this item is worn in that over the shoulder look, this will look dashing resting not on a bum, but on an underworked-out belly.

Tretorn court m's
Tretorn Court Clay M’s tennis trainers – £130 –  shop now

Tennis shoes are of course the classic dad look, a sign of someone spending far too much time watching Seinfeld at home. These Tretorn trainers are particularly great, made of recycled material, and 100% sustainable. Cool, responsible, like all dads should be. Aptly, these Tretorn trainers were popularised in the 70s and 80s by the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, for added points on the school/Shoreditch run.

Universal Works military chinos – £160 – shop now

Chinos, that staple of dads at a semi-formal barbecue organised by your boss, are having a moment thanks to nice punk band IDLES, who’s singer Joe Talbot likes a turned up chino to complement his tattoos and manic glare; takes the edge off in a pleasing way. Of course Joe’s a dad too – quite obviously given the choice of trousers. Anyway, these spiffy numbers from Universal Works cannot fail for any man, whether you’ve spawned or not. Of course the military part of these chinos is paramount here – to think kindly we’ll put that down to a tongue-in-cheek meta self-spoofing of fashion’s belief that you have to bring out the boy soldier to appeal to any man – yet the cut is altogether looser, sexier and a retort to skinny jean hell. Dads wear them for the pocket space, non-Dads for a Dad-aping insouciance.

Dadcore
Stonewash jeans from Uniqlo – £40 – shop now

On the other hand, skinny jeans are never going away – but if you are going to retain them, then of course stone wash jeans are where any Dadcore sensibility must go. Worn with white trainers and a gilet, to echo a distant childhood hero-worship of Marty McFly.

Yet what many forget is such jeans are not truly Dadcore unless you fill the pockets full of loose change, two sets of keys, an overstuffed wallet, boxes of raisins and a functional tool of some kind, a bottle opener or Swiss army knife. Only then, once the skinny jeans are clinging to your un-worked out legs and hanging down to reveal a good two inches of arse-crack, can you be a true imitation dad, my friend…

Dadcore
Thrudark Engage Jacket – £375 – shop now

Of course dads will spend any bonus or sudden lucky win at the dogs, on a premium SF jacket which will protect them against the elements of school trips to nature reserves and caravan holidays in Wales. Thrudark take themselves very seriously indeed, and is basically for actual killers, but the pudgy warmth of dads takes the edge off. The mindset of dads wearing such an item is laced with an irony (hopefully); sure you’ve compromised yourself by having a family to weigh down your ops, but you are still a deadly killing machine, in the right circumstances. Like, when there’s milk to be grabbed in the one minute before Sainsbury’s local closes.

Germs t-shirt from Redbubble – £20 – shop now

The detail that Dadcorers often tend to forget is the one nod to a punk rock past which the dad is keen to retain for his own sanity and as a way to signal to other dads that he is a cool dad and not one of those crap dads on Instagram. A band t-shirt is the most successful way of doing this, although it has to be very worn, to show that of course the dad was into the Germs back in the day and probably caught them live, even though there’s no chance he did. Nevertheless, dads are punks, they have to be – get fierce with fatherhood or go home. Same with fashion.

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