It has only recently come to attention that my 80-something British Grandpa is somewhat of a fashion icon. He has been doing Dark Academia for years now, and he didn’t even know it. From sweater vests to (chic?) wide-leg pleated trousers—you name it, he wears it. Perhaps the next time you pick out a pair of Urban corduroy trousers from your closet, you can be humbled by the fact that, somewhere in the world, there’s an 86-year-old man making the exact same fashion choice.
‘Grandpa vibes’ is a corner of the fashion world that I have the utmost respect for. For me, there’s nothing cooler than a boxy silhouette, tailored trousers or a vintage look in people’s daily fits. ‘Grandpa vibes’ transcends binary fashion, offering a great gender-neutral option.
Grandpa-inspired outfits can also be eco-friendly. Thrift stores are highly saturated with the discarded sweaters of the older generation—it’s easy to find pieces to layer, adapt and modernize in the men’s section. The same goes for Depop, where you can find all things Grandpa-ish (and slightly weird) if you scroll for long enough. By searching for good vintage pieces, you can add an interesting element to your outfits, re-imagining and repurposing the style of the older generation.
Before a second lockdown hit the UK, where I’m living this semester, I was going to raid my Grandpa’s closet and style some of his clothes for this article. Instead, I have identified some of his wardrobe staples so that you can embrace your ~inner old man~ with your daily fits:
By ‘tailored,’ I don’t mean you actually need to go to a seamstress or get your clothes fitted. I’m talking pleated trousers, blazers or pieces with a boxy, faux-tailored silhouette. You can contrast these Grandpa-y pieces with feminine tops or chunky sneakers to mix up your look (think old, academic, small-bookshop-going man energy).
I don’t know how popular this opinion is but I think corduroy is incredibly cool. It both adds texture to your outfit and is really versatile. Whether it’s corduroy trousers, a corduroy jacket or a corduroy blazer (or all of the above if you really like ~chafing~), this is a fabric that is, for me, the perfect embodiment of ‘Grandpa vibes’ fashion.
From collared shirts under oversized jumpers to sweater vests and ‘ugly-in-a-good-way’ cardigans: Grandpa layering is really having a moment right now. (So much so that you can even buy collar bibs as a lighter way of getting the layered look.) Layering different styles and textures looks good and will keep you warm and comfy in the winter months. For layering purposes, I especially recommend sweater vests, which look incredible over collared shirts, over a turtleneck or over a dress. Particularly in jacquard/dogtooth print, sweater vests are easy to find on Depop right now.
Winter Grandpa essentials:
You thought the bucket hat was a trend started by cool teenage Instagrammers? You thought wrong. Its actual origin is almost certainly in the ‘Bird-Watching-Chic’ looks coined by the aged population of rural England (my evidence for this is weak but you can’t convince me otherwise). Here are your winter essentials (think hats, scarves, gloves) with a Grandpa-inspired twist.
(I honestly just needed a section to pay my respects to everything Harry Styles has done for the Grandpa fashion community).
Feature Image: Alyssa Lee (@alvssa_)