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Men of Style 30 March 2022

Dad Jeans: Men’s Essential Wardrobe Staple

Symbol of the 90s’ American men's fashion

Dad jeans had their huge moment in the 80s and 90s in America, mostly worn by middle-class men. Although having a bad rep throughout the last decade, it is gaining great attention as the wave of vintage fashion trends marching back. Dad jeans fall perfectly into the realm of comfortable yet stylish clothing. Jump in this trend with us as we have curated some pairs of dad jeans, raging from the most vintage style to those with a modern twist.


Words By Thuy Nguyen

The OG

We start with the original and most iconic pair of dad jeans – Levi’s 501 Original Jeans. This pair of jeans has become the signature piece of the brand and of the denim realm ever since it was introduced. It set the backbone for Levi’s classic design, straight-leg fit and button-through fly. Levi Strauss & Co. has every factor to be the iconic and timeless, yet still relevant brand at the denim helm.

The Levi’s 501 Original Jeans have everything dad jeans are about. It has a loose fit silhouette, made for comfort and practicality. Legs are left with room and narrowed down as it reaches the ankle. It falls right at the hips, unlike most modern silhouettes where it meets above the hips. Another important element that makes an OG pair of dad jeans is the colour. The Levi’s 501 has a classic blue stonewashed colour, creating a processed and old-looking jeans hue.

For this OG pair of jeans, why not make it an OG dad outfit? Tuck in a white oversized T-shirt for warm days and add on a baseball jacket for cold days, there you have the classic dad outfit. And don’t forget the chunky sneaker to complete the look!

LEVI’S 501® Original Jeans, $119.95, The Iconic

Athletic

Another pair from Levi’s that has made the cut is the 541 Athletic Straight Jeans. Although it was designed with the intention of a more modern and sporty piece, 541 still holds some underlying principles of dad jeans. It has the dad jeans silhouette but made even more practical for physical-based activities and muscular built customers. It is perfect for those looking for a well-cut fit yet comfortable and casual jeans.

The 541 Athletic Straight Jeans, like its name, have a loose straight silhouette from the upper hem to the knee, then slightly tapered down to the ankle. The silhouette gives the piece a comfortable and relaxed feeling, yet does not make it baggy. Instead, it is stretchy and well fit, with a sharp and neat cut. It sits right at the waist, similar to the 501 Original pair.

Because of its casual and contemporary design, this Levi’s 541 pair is versatile, you can pair it up with almost anything casual. It is a perfect fit for an everyday look. Whether it is a T-shirt, a button-up or a hoodie, it can work harmoniously. You can not go wrong with any pairs of sneakers to finish the look, but a smooth finish leather pair of shoes also works just right.

LEVI’S 541 Athletic Straight, $119.95, The Iconic

Slim Fit

Pull&Bear offers a contemporary take on the original dad jeans trend – the Slim Dad Fit. It takes some characteristics of the OG but has slight changes, perfect for those who want something in between modern and vintage. The design has a youthful essence to it, identifying with Pull&Bear’s image. The brand is known for a casual, laid-back and streetwear style, focusing on ready-to-wear pieces.

This version of dad jeans from Pull&Bear has a similar silhouette to the typical one but fits a little tighter. Still keeping the comfort factor in the design, this design, however, gives a more defining element to the legs. The pair has a slightly higher rise, which falls right at the waist, making another the modern twist. Despite all the modern takes on the design, Pull&Bear keeps the colour very retro – distressed blue denim.

With this in-between modern and retro pair of jeans, you can definitely be flexible and creative with how you style. Recreating the dad outfit with this pair can give the outfit an interesting concept, a combination of vintage and contemporary. A complete modern look is also a great option, with a graphic button-up or a nice knitted sweater.

Pull&Bear Slim Dad Fit Jeans, $59.95, ASOS

Cropped

Calvin Klein has another interesting interpretation of dad jeans. Although keeping the original silhouette close, the paid has alternatives in detail that change the whole look. Calvin Klein is an iconic brand of high-quality and affordable streetwear. It embraces the essence of trendiness, minimality and timelessness. These qualities are well reflected in their version of dad jeans.

The Calvin Klein Dad Jeans has a fitter cut than classic dad jeans but still stays true to the straight-leg silhouette. It gives the piece a sleek and contemporary look. The upper hem falls at the waist, not so high as the modern silhouettes, but still adds a modern essence to the design. While dad jeans usually reach the ankle or over, the Calvin Klein version only reaches above the ankle. The cropped cut is an important element for the quirky take of this dad jeans design.

A simple plain colour top is enough to make the outfit work. But of course, this pair of jeans can do more than that, it can be styled with a button-up or polo for a smart casual look. Don’t forget to finish the look with a pair of loafers or sneakers, depending on which style you desire!

Calvin Klein Jeans Dad Jeans, was $149 now $74.50, The Iconic

Baggy

As it is said in the name, Reclaimed Vintage stocks items that are retro and youthful, but still very trendy and lasting. The brand’s inspiration stems from the classic silhouettes and iconic styles from the past. It has two lines of design: Reclaimed Vintage Inspired with a vintage twist in modern design and Reclaimed Vintage Revived with a collection of iconic items. Their 90s Baggy Dad Jeans fall into the Inspired category.

This pair of dad jeans have a harmonious combination of vintage and modern silhouettes. The dad jeans spirit lies in the straight leg and mid-rise. However, the silhouette is a lot baggier than the classic dad jeans. The loose effect creates a sense of comfort and youthfulness. The colour – grey, while not the classic blue denim, still has that washed and old-school finish, making the vintage essence of the jeans.

This version of dad jeans is perfect for a modern casual outfit with a hint of retro. It can be styled with an oversized tee or graphic button-up to give a laid-back and comfortable feeling to the look. Add on a pair of chunky sneakers and chains to complete a relaxed yet youthful outfit!

Reclaimed Vintage Inspired 90s Baggy Dad Jeans, $65.99, ASOS

Patchwork

Our last suggestion is the pair of jeans from Hallensteins – a New Zealand brand well-known for men’s street style. The brand offers a wide range of men’s clothing focusing on comfort, casualty and trendiness elements. Their interpretation of the classic dad jeans has a bit of quirk to it, though still staying very close to the vintage aesthetics. But Hallensteins does not forget to pour into the design some refreshing and relevant aspects.

The striking and most attention-grabbing detail of this piece that we have to talk about is the patches. It is the whole point of this pair of jeans. The patches add a little messiness and recklessness to the design. Yet they are sown neatly with a nice range of denim colours. All the patches’ hues work smoothly, enough to compliment each other, but not outshine the jeans’ colour. The jeans’ silhouette is loose fit and tapered down to the ankle. There is a good level of bagginess and straightness to the legs for comfort and vintage purpose.

This pair of jeans give off rebellious and daring energy, suitable for outfits on both the modern and retro ends. It definitely will work amazingly with graphic tops for a youthful and nostalgic look. For those crisp weather days, either a hoodie or vintage knitted sweater can work equally great even with different effects.

Hallensteins Brothers Patch Dad Fit Relaxed Jeans in Blue, $59.99, Hallensteins Brothers