The '90s Dad Fashion Trend Is Still Going Strong
Why do I want to raid Danny Tanner's wardrobe?
Like a classic monster movie, by the time the transformation happens, it’s already too late to save you. Perhaps you embraced New Balance sneakers years ago, as part of the athleisure trend. Maybe you reached for a baseball cap one day, telling yourself, “Hey, this is actually a great hack for bad hair days.” But, sooner or later, the aesthetic will take over, and you'll look in the mirror and realize it.
You’re dressed exactly like a ‘90s dad.
For me, that moment came a few months ago, after I purchased a pair of khakis. At first I thought it was a great idea. These pants would be an alternative to jeans, and since they were neutral, they'd pair well with any kind of top, from printed puff-sleeves to button-downs. My first thought, however, was style them with a bright-colored T-shirt — a cute yet casual look.
And then, I looked in the mirror.
To be honest, I was taken aback, and was surprised I didn't realize it as I was putting together my outfit. Somehow, I'd unintentionally copied my own father’s signature look — the one he’s been pulling off, probably better than I ever could, for literal decades.
The ‘90s dad trend isn't something new. Like I mentioned earlier, it really started a few years ago, after the fashion world began embracing the wear-everywhere sneaker, and couldn't stop obsessing over track pants and baseball caps. For a while, top models were dressing just like my childhood soccer coaches. I half expected them to start handing out Gatorade.
From there, dad style only progressed. These days, aside from the khaki comeback (and yes, I'm telling you, both pants and shorts are must-haves), pleated dad jeans, polo shirts, and loafers have all become mainstays in well-dressed women's closets.
It's gotten extreme for me, to be quite honest. More recently, my latest level of '90s dad style includes the urge to buy a knit vest, similar to the one being worn by Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Somehow, I know this is partly Bella Hadid's fault.
Of course, Uncle Phil isn’t only throwback sitcom dad who’s now a source of fashion inspiration. Let's just examine, for a moment, the wardrobes of Full House’s Danny Tanner, Sister Sister’s Ray Campbell, and Boy Meets World’s Alan Matthews. I feel like I've seen these same combinations on bloggers and celebrities, and I'm not mad about it. Why did it take me so long to realize how practical a windbreaker would be? Or that a leather belt can truly transform an outfit while holding up your pants?
To be honest, I always suspected that one day I would admit my dad had been right all along, but I thought I would be talking about relationship advice or a good book suggestion. It turns out, he’s been the fashion icon of my family for my whole life. It just took until 2020 for me to realize it.