A Guide to Dadcore
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.
Well if Sleaford Mods are wearing them, 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 give a shit what anyone thinks. Either way, it works.
We recommend this North Face one due to its sincere connection to dadwear – all dads are given at least one North Face item shortly after the placenta is delivered – and when worn in that over the shoulder look, will look dashing resting not on a bum, but on an underworked-out belly.
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, being recyclable, vegan friendly, 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.
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 stone wash jeans are crucial for dadcore, but 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 can you be a true imitation dad, my friend…
Of course dads will spend what little disposable cash they now have on a premium SF jacket which will protect them against the elements of school trips to nature reserves and caravan holidays in Wales. Anything Thrudark do is super-cool and really, this is about the mindset of dads here; 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.
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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