Most of us who have dads are probably familiar with the concept of dad jeans, those super cool, light-washed, high-waisted jeans dads love to buy at JC Penney’s. My dad loves some Dad Jeans — his favorite varietal is a gently faded black jean that goes great with his plaid shirt of choice and an anonymous black shoe. And then there’s Dad Jeans in popular culture: Jerry Seinfeld, Tim Taylor from “Home Improvement” (worn with smug smile), or Louis C.K., an actual dad who is also a nerdy, funny, middle-aged man.
Suddenly, Dad Jeans Are A Thing, a thing worth writing about in the New York Times Style section. The renewed interest in Dad Jeans is probably attributable to one thing — the ever-snarling Ouroboros that is fashion. It’s so uncool, say Dad Jeans advocates, that it is suddenly Coolness Ground Zero and how could you ever not want to wear Dad Jeans, you cool-as-fuck hipster?
But why now, style hive mind? “It’s a backlash against the now-ailing Americana-urban woodsman trend,” said Brad Bennett, of menswear blog Well Spent. “Dad jeans are pretty much the total opposite, and thus, a quick and easy way for people who don’t want to be associated with the lumberjack look to distance themselves.” So Brad, you’re saying that men are purposely dressing like “Growing Pains” extras just so that they’re not mistaken for hipsters? That’s seriously the most hipster thing ever.
Why else are Dad Jeans growing in popularity? Well, because wearing regular dude jeans is just so hard. According to Dad Jean loyalist Jian DeLeon, a writer for Complex magazine, “Finding that the time investment and work that goes into breaking in a pair [of hipster selvage jeans] — six months without washing, the initial discomfort — isn’t always worth it.” The heartache. Stop. You’re going to make me cry.
But don’t think that DeLeon and other fashion bloggers are going to be snatching up pairs of Levi’s 560 comfort fits. They’ll go with strictly designer Dad Jeans interpretations from brands like A.P.C. and Acne that cost way more than any actual dad would ever spend. They’ll run you around $250 buckaroos (that’s what dads would say).
So is this for real? Like, really for real? This is coming from the publication that brought you the breaking news that women have bangs, like hooking up with strangers, and wear dresses. For now, let’s hope this marinates in the weird NYC fashion scene and dies a slow death. I don’t want to see those Dad Jeans around town. [NY Times]