When it first entered into the fashion zeitgeist it was possible to ignore New Balance sneakers, Dad hats, and jeans. Fast forward to 2019, and it’s become impossible to overlook the rise of anti-fashion as a full out fashion arch that is closing in on a five-decade run. Sartorially I was one of the haters of the Jerry Seinfeld aesthetic, but one item out of the Dad style staples swayed me? The ever likable fleece.
Fashion for me always had to lean towards cool. When wearing streetwear was still a fresh idea. I wore Supreme t-shirts and Kith sweatpants with a sense of pride. As streetwear grew bigger and bigger and I grew older and older, it began to feel more and more unrelatable. The marketing campaigns were no longer directly speaking to me. They were speaking to the teenager who was obsessed with the latest Yeezys. It didn’t make much sense anymore to be wearing what some 11th-grade reseller was wearing anymore.
Style-wise I was lost. I didn’t want to devote large dollars to level up to the next echelon of more mature brands that catered to older streetwear heads. Tailoring is making a slow comeback, but I didn’t want to be that guy at the coffee shop that thought he was better than everyone else because he wore a skin-tight blazer. Would I just be a basics guy? You know those guys that wear head to toe J. Crew and Frank & Oak looking like a side character from some poorly reviewed Rom-Com. With no more stylistic avenues that I felt comfortable enough to explore, I caved into the Dad aesthetic. The easiest piece to adopt? The ever loveable Fleece.
If the hoodie has become the modern two-button navy blazer, the fleece jacket is the double-breasted version since it double downs on comfort.
Nostalgic is the first feeling you get when wearing a fleece sweater. It quickly fades and then you question how something this comfortable and easy to wear is now considered a hot fashion item. If the hoodie has become the modern two-button navy blazer, the fleece jacket is the double-breasted version since it double downs on comfort.
The fleece is having its moment in menswear. It became a talking point when finance bros adopted it as their casual uniform for their nine to five. Then the world of fashion took notice of the fabric and flipped it making it a highly covetable fashion piece. The rise of hiking gear inspired silhouettes as a fashion trend has also contributed to its upward trajectory.
A quick Patagonia search on a secondary market site such as Grailed reveals that the price of their vintage fleeces is being sold for triple digits. It has become one of the rare clothing pieces that are being embraced by all guys no matter your style preferences. Financial dudes stick to the tried and true Patagucci. Streetwear guys will rock the Supreme and Palace versions. While high fashion guy prefers the Sandy Liang iterations.
Taking a chance on fleece has softened my stance on all things Dad style. When you don on gear that is culturally appointed for swagless fathers it feels odd at first. Then you quickly embrace it. You begin to understand the irony and the inside joke of wearing something that’s not supposed to be fashionable whatsoever but somehow is.