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Why Is Everyone Dressing Like a 2000s Dad from Ohio

The concept of "dadcore" is alive and thriving, especially among Gen-Z guys who are becoming style icons, like Jacob Elordi and Manu Rios.

Hailey Bieber wearing an oversized race car sport jacket windbreaker with sunglasses and headphones. Hailey Bieber street style, paparazzi photos.
Photo: Pinterest

In recent years, there has been a growing trend of Gen-Z men dressing in a style that harkens back to the early 2000s. This trend, which has been dubbed "dadcore," is characterized by oversized clothing (especially jackets), vintage sneakers, and accessories like bandanas and trucker hats. Essentially, things your dad probably still has buried in his closet. But as dads are venturing to modern style, their kids are thrifting and sometimes paying hundreds for pieces they used to wear.

While some might find this trend to be a bit ironic, there are a few reasons why it has become so popular among Gen-Z. First, the early 2000s was a time of great cultural and social change. The rise of the internet and social media led to a more globalized and interconnected world, and this had a profound impact on fashion. Suddenly, people were exposed to a wider range of styles and trends, and this led to a more experimental and eclectic approach to fashion.

Y2K was also a time of great economic prosperity. The dot-com bubble had yet to burst, and many people were enjoying the fruits of an economic boom. This led to a more relaxed and laid-back attitude towards fashion, and people were more likely to wear comfortable and casual clothing. Which also meant people were allowed to experiment with their clothes. People were also watching shows like "Friends" and deeming these actors as style icons. Oversized sweatshirts with college names and loose jeans became the trend.

If "dadcore" seems like your ideal style, here are some ways to keep building on your wardrobe.

Oversized clothing: Dadcore outfits are typically characterized by oversized clothing. This could include baggy jeans, oversized T-shirts, or even oversized sweaters. Head to your local Goodwill or thrift store, and search for windbreakers or sport jackets. Jeans are also very much on trend. Carhartt and Zara both have options for baggier jeans and utility pants that pair perfectly with an oversized jacket.

Vintage sneakers: Dadcore is also characterized by a love of vintage sneakers, think NewBalance or Fila. This could include sneakers from the 1980s, 1990s, or even earlier. Think the kind of shoes you'd wear to P.E. class in the early 2000s.

Accessories: Dadcore outfits are often accessorized with items like bandanas, trucker hats, and sunglasses. Square sunglasses area must, and don't be afraid to go for a bigger pair of shades even if it feels clunkly.

Hairstyles: Dadcore hairstyles are typically short and simple. This could include buzz cuts, crew cuts, or even flat-tops. For women, think Hailey Bieber's short hair style. Or a longer cut, but styled with bandanas or headbands.

Why Gen-Z Is Dressing Like Their Dads

There are a few reasons why Gen-Z are dressing like their dads in the early 2000s. First, many of us grew up in the early 2000s, it was around the age where we started to care about fashion. We have fond memories of our dads' fashion sense from that time. Second, the early 2000s was a time of great cultural and social change, and many Gen-Z men are drawn to the relaxed and laid-back attitude towards fashion that was prevalent during that time. The nostalgic revival of TV shows like "Seinfield" and "Friends" have also influenced our style. When you see Jennifer Aniston styled in an oversized Yale sweatshirt or Matthew Perry rocking an oversize flannel with light washed jeans, it's easy to be influenced.

But trends are just that, trends. Nothing in the fashion world lasts forever. It's hard to say what the future holds for the dadcore trend. Yet, it's clear that this trend is here to stay for the time being. Especially as celebrities that we consider style icons (think Hailey Bieber or Jacob Elordi) are embracing it in their everyday style. As more and more Gen-Z people embrace this style, it's likely that we'll see even more creative and innovative takes on dadcore in the years to come.


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