Scribner’s Monthly: An Illustrated Magazine for the People wrote an analysis of “dandyism” in the “Topics of Our Time” column of its 20th volume, published in 1880. The “dandy,” the magazine article insisted, is a man who is neither sensible nor learned (and nothing like “the man who is sensible enough to read a magazine”). He is one who is concerned chiefly with material goods, has a “life-devotedness to cloth,” and whose “existence consists in the wearing of clothes.”
Men’s fashion for spring has unironically pushed “dad style” to the forefront of runways, magazines, blogs, and streetstyle. Among the standout trends for spring and summer are “utility wear” and “dad jeans.” Couple that with the sellout “ugly sneaker” trend by designers from Balenciaga to Louis Vuitton that can be seen on everyone from female supermodels to male trendsetters, and one might realize that this is not your dad’s dress at all. Your dad, presumably, never picked out his sensible jeans or foul-weather gear with the intention of fashioning himself to look like the models on the London, Milan, Paris and New York runways. His “ugly” sneakers were not following a trend, and he would surely have never justified spending upward of $600 on them.
Style in the name of sensibility; style based on sensibility. And now, the man concerned chiefly with his dress has bought out all the designer anoraks and “ugly sneakers.” Where then, does the man with both a taste for fashion and a penchant for sensibility stand this season? And in what clothes?
Sean Crowley, a collector and purveyor of fine vintage clothing, suggests that men can find a balance between dressing sensibly and still looking “smart” this season. One of his favorite trends for the warmer months ahead allows men to do exactly that: high-waisted trousers.
Spotted on the runways, they have a certain practical application for the seasons that find us wanting to relax in both comfort and style. Whether on spring break, summer vacation or at one of the many social events that come with the celebration of winter’s end and longer days, high-waisted trousers in a lightweight fabric are one of Crowley’s favorite choices for a man this season. He suggests the style in linen or gabardine chino for a look that “strikes the sweet spot between slouchy and dressy.”
Just as wearable for warmer spring days and cooler nights as they are on a hot summer’s eve, the style maintains a certain obvious sensibility and comfort without taking the trend of “dadcore” too literally. In a word: smart.
Though the intention of loose and long pants was initially to be dressy, pants of this style look just as sharp paired with a T-shirt or oversized sweater and sneakers as they do with a sport coat. Dare to forsake the inspiration from your father’s sensible closet (or maybe even your own) this season for a look that will be able to be re-worn long after “dad style” vanishes from trend reports and runways. Sounds remarkably sensible, if you ask me.
Crowley Vintage & Antiques is located at 546 Third Ave. in Brooklyn, New York. It is open from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays or by appointment on weekdays. Follow Crowley @mr.sean.crowley on Instagram.
Here’s some examples of celebrities wearing high-waisted pants.
For more fashion, check out some of our men’s fashion tips from models.