Dadcore: Where fashion, function and irony converge


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May 30, 2023

Dadcore: Where fashion, function and irony converge

It started with stuff like knowingly ugly knitwear and chunky trainers. Then came the bum-bag resurgence, the return of high-waisted 90s-style jeans, and the reclamation of socks and sandals. Now,

It started with stuff like knowingly ugly knitwear and chunky trainers.

Then came the bum-bag resurgence, the return of high-waisted 90s-style jeans, and the reclamation of socks and sandals.

Now, we’re even seeing a jorts (no, we’re not talking about Daisy Dukes) renaissance, with It Girls from Gigi Hadid to Hailey Bieber being papped in the kind of shorts your dad has been wearing without shame for decades.

In recent years, the list of now-trendy things that you’d have been bullied for wearing when they first came around is only growing, and that’s not showing any signs of slowing down.

This is more than just the trend cycle’s obsession with all things retro – this is dadcore.

There has been talk of dadcore for quite some time now, with a 2016 piece in The Guardian titled ‘Is dadcore a fashion trend to outlast them all?’ evidently on to something.

‘Dadcore has been trending for a while both in street style and high fashion, as designers and consumers alike reimagine functional styles and silhouettes,’ Steve Dool, brand and marketing director at Depop, tells

‘There is a long tradition of designers taking “boring” items and turning them on their heads into fashion items, and young people especially appreciate that bit of irony in their clothing right now.

‘It’s a subversive, almost “post-fashion” point of view that is resonating at the moment as almost a challenge: how can you take the most basic, dad-ish item, like jorts, and make it cool?’

He also tells us that the company has seen a 54% spike in searches for jorts of late, and a 33% increase for bermuda shorts, ‘with these figures only expected to rise as tastemakers like Bella Hadid and Emma Chamberlain have been spotted wearing them’.

They’ve also seen search for the football shirt rise by 344% this month.

Gloria Yasein, a trend expert with FINDS, says: ‘Yep, we’ve just pinned that Adam Sandler picture on our Pinterest moodboard.

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‘Football shirts, jorts, ugly trainers – it’s all a sign of the times and a quintessentially British summer in full swing. Oh, and blokette – the hyper-feminine successor of this trend – becoming a trendsetter favourite.

‘Reverting back to the 90s and 00s, as Gen Z fashion trends often do, it’s simple to see why staple pieces like jorts have been a top search on FINDS for a solid few weeks now.’

It makes much sense to us that dadcore elements are so hot right now.

It’s been bubbling in the background for years thanks to trends such as gorpcore and normcore, but the desire for fashion and function that the pandemic left us with is still going strong.

Not only that, but whether you call it irony or ‘meta-cringe’, some of our favourite trends right now come with a healthy sense of humour.

Don’t forget – if Crocs can become cool, then anything is possible.

Want to try out the trend yourself?

Steve says: ‘You can jump on functional, high-quality pieces that are easy to style, like jorts and football shirts, and remain confident that they’ll be good investments; even if your interest in dadcore wanes, these are classic pieces that will stand the test of time.

‘To really master this look, pair a retro football shirt with a classic bum bag and sandals, practise a few corny dad jokes, and hit the town.’

Uniqlo’s ‘fits everything’ bag – a constant sell-out favourite – is a great place to start. Additionally, slogan tees and combat trousers are easy to dress up or down, with your jewellery and accessories taking a look from old man to ‘oh man!’

On your feet, go for brands like Dr Martens and New Balance, and invest in some sturdy white sports socks to top the ensemble off.

Meanwhile, Gloria suggests taking a dive through your dad’s old wardrobe.

A white shirt can be repurposed from his work outfits to be paired with a fitted pencil skirt for evenings, or tied up to create a trendy crop that makes a perfect laid-back combination alongside flared denim.

Caps and polos are winners to look out for too, as are half-zip jumpers, golf trousers and pretty much anything plaid.

In general, if it’s something Bill Gates would wear, it’s perfect for channelling father figure fashion.

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Get in touch by emailing [email protected].

MORE : Socks and sandals are no longer a crime against fashion – here’s how to style the controversial combo

MORE : Yes, preppy fashion is back – but not as we knew it

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Jorts everywhereDo you have a story to share?Get in touch by emailing [email protected].