Dressing like a dad, on paper, hasn’t always been a good thing. You think of Al Bundy, the criminally uncool dad in Married With Children. Or Jim’s dad in American Pie. All ill-fitting jeans, awkward polo shirts in murky colors, and blocky sneakers.
But dressing like a dad can look good. Take, for instance, Cole Sprouse’s latest outfit. Stepping out for the JW Anderson show in London this weekend, the American actor wore a fit reminiscent of guys over 50 with three kids and a season ticket to the Knicks. A simple cap, an untucked pale blue shirt, and a pair of baggy (like, seriously baggy) jeans that trailed on the floor. He finished his look with an oversized blazer, which came with exposed stitching. On paper, very American Dad. But in reality, incredibly good.
The power was in the proportions. Sprouse didn’t just wear the sort of stuff that a dad would wear. He supersized it. He went big on fit. He sized up with his jacket. It was too big, but not too big at all. It gave his fit an IDGAF energy. His jeans trailed behind him—a signature for JW Anderson denim.
And he isn’t the only one cosplaying as a family man. Taylor Swift got down with dadcore earlier this year in her own baseball cap and baggy Oxford shirt. Kendall Jenner is often seen out and about in oversized blazers, slacks and New York Yankees caps. Kit Connor has also been subverting classic dadcore, wearing double denim pieces—also by JW Anderson—that have all the energy of a guy in his fifties, but with the coolness of a 19-year-old up-and-comer. Meanwhile, your favorite designer’s favorite designer, Martine Rose, is an advocate for bloke-y dadcore: big broad-shouldered blazers, retro sneakers, and really lanky denim.
Dressing like a dad needn’t be a bad thing. Sprouse ain’t just a regular dad. He’s a cool dad. Take note, even if you don’t have kids.
This story originally ran on British GQ with the title “Cole Sprouse makes dadcore look easy”