Style

Why Your Dad Is The Biggest Style Icon Of 2016

This season's trends are all looks your old man has been rocking for years.

BY Finlay Renwick | May 26, 2016 | Fashion

Getty

It started a couple of years ago with 'Normcore' - a dubious trend where dressing like an accountant on dress down Fridays was supposed to be the new cool. 

Now there's a new style hero on the block ready to take the movement to the next level, a man championed by streetwear kids and catwalk designers alike: your Dad.

Skinny jeans are out. Wide-legs are in. So are bold short sleeve shirts, running shoes and baseball caps. We're not sure how, but it's happened: the pieces that have been central to oblivious-to-fashion Dad dressing for years have become red hot and on trend.

Here we break down the 5 key looks to take from your old man's wardrobe, and how you can make them work.

1 | Cuban Collar Shirts


Tom Selleck has long been a champion of the statement summer shirt. Getty

One of life's great truisms is that any father's wardrobe will contain at least one garish short sleeve shirt. It might have hula girls on it, it might have palm trees - it might even have both, but it's definitely there.

This brings us to one of 2016's most noticeable trends: the rise of the Cuban collar shirt. A straight throwback to the 50s, the Cuban features an open, rounded collar that sets it apart from your run-of the-mill novelty Hawaiian, a style best kept firmly to the history books.

How To Wear Them

It's important to not go too tongue in cheek when sporting a bold printed shirt. This nautical take by American streetwear brand Stüssy is definitely a statement piece, but without descending (too far) into cruise holiday territory. Pair it with fitted shorts and clean white trainers for a modern summer outfit. 

2 | Wide Leg Trousers


Bill Gates: Style icon. Getty

It seemed like the fashion world would never fall out of love with the skinny silhouette​, but that's all changed this year, with the wide leg reemerging as the billowy trouser of choice for those in the know. Your Dad's jeans from that 1983 photo aren't so funny now, are they?

How To Wear Them

The key here is to not go overboard - harem pants are still a definite no-go. Examples like this Oliver Spencer pair, which have added width without being clownish, are ideal for adding some shape to a work uniform.

And remember to keep your top half slim-fitting. You don't want to look like you've forgotten your size completely.

3 | ​Running Shoes With Jeans


One of the original jeans and trainers heavyweights, Jerry Seinfeld. Alamy + NBC

Jeans and running shoes have long been a contentious fashion pairing, usually making you look like you've just given up on style altogether and started making all decisions based purely on comfort and practicality. Exactly, in other words, how your old man would sum up his clothing philosophy when pushed. However there has a been a  shift of late, with high tech and retro running shoes becoming a fully accepted style move - even with jeans. You just have to make sure you pick the right ones.

​How To Wear Them

​This look might be inspired by your Dad, but that doesn't mean dirty 90s New Balance and frayed denim are suddenly acceptable. Instead keep your jeans slim and dark and your trainers clean and current. Adidas Ultra Boosts for a modern look, or Nike's new edition of a 70s classic are both sharp options.

4 | Dad Caps


Sean Connery sporting a very on trend ensemble. Getty

Now seen on the head of every wannabe streetwear teenager the world over, the 'Dad' cap is probably the biggest success story coming out of the Dad style movement. 

Originally worn as a practical accessory - more often than not when manning the barbecue on the one sunny day of the year - the 2016 iteration of the Dad cap has now been adopted by youngster in a kind of ironic nod to the 90s they didn't even live through.

How To Wear Them

Without any irony whatsoever. No slogans, no crazy prints, nothing. It's a classic and although it's definitely having a 'moment', the original baseball cap is still a perfectly good accessory for keeping the sun out of your face with a bit of style, like this Blue Blue Japan one for instance. 

Just don't be that guy who wears it inside. Ever. 

5 | Technical Wear 


Barack Obama was an early advocate of performance wear chic. Getty

The love-in between sportswear and high fashion is a continuous trend, with performance fabrics and upmarket athletic wear being worn on front rows and fashion weeks the world over. 

But your Dad has been rocking the Berghaus fleece and jeans look for decades, a true champion of hybrid sporting style who has slipped under the radar. Until now.

​How To Wear It

Look to the Scandinavians if you want to join technical fabrics with good design (they are very stylish and it is very cold over there). Brands like Norse Projects and Fjallraven both offer sturdy and stylish jackets, shells and fleeces; whether you're heading to the pub or trekking through the wild fjords of Norway. 

Another technical wear icon is Stone Island, whose football hooligan rep is all but forgotten, with a new generation appreciating the Italian brand's clean and quality approach to technical wear staples.

The final take away? Think twice before you mock your old man's taste in music, facial hair or anything for that matter. You never know when you might end up owing him an apology.

From: Esquire UK.