Who Would Buy This Thing? is a series that spotlights particularly egregious commercial objects and tries to imagine who might indeed pay money to own them.
Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past few months, it’s been made abundantly clear that dads are enjoying a bit of a moment. From their lame, earnest jokes to their clunky yet comfortable clothes to the laden connotations of daddy, the dad way of life seems to have seeped into every corner of the zeitgeist. There are plenty of pieces out there speculating on the reason behind this fatherly takeover, especially in regard to fashion. But it doesn’t entirely matter whether dadcore is the logical extension of normcore or an aspirational channeling of the financial stability that supposedly comes along with American fatherhood. What matters is that the trend seems to have staying power, which means that previously affordable staples like fanny packs are now coming in for fashion markups. Designers have wasted no time in crafting expensive simulacrums of every piece of clothing your dad wore to drop you off at your junior high dances. There’s the quintessential Balenciaga $900 dad sneaker, the $400 Brunello Cucinelli flat wool cap and now, to capture the dad-on-vacation vibe, the Gucci $1,600 Hawaiian shirt.
First cited rather credulously by Who What Wear in a piece on the Hawaiian shirt trend, this floridly patterned monstrosity from Gucci’s Spring/Summer 2018 collection “is splashed in a vivid tropical print with volcanoes, sunsets, and one of the label’s adopted emblems: the panther.” Why one of Gucci’s adopted emblems is a panther, I have no clue (and since the first two pages of Google Search results held no clue I doubt I’ll ever find out.) The shirt is “crafted in Italy from silk twill” and sports a “relaxed-fitting style” with “wide short sleeves and a spread collar.” The $1,600 price tag and the fact that the shirt is dry-clean-only hasn’t seemed to deter Hawaiian shirt enthusiasts: At time of writing, the only size left is a U.S. eight.
The idea of some dad hypebeast out there dropping over a grand on a silk Hawaiian shirt didn’t exactly surprise me. What did was the fact that there is a matching pair of silk Hawaiian pants, the addition of which squarely tips the entire Gucci ensemble into absurd territory. The $1,500 “pyjama-inspired” pants are covered in the same garish swirl of volcanos, sunsets, florals, and panthers as the shirt and supposedly deliver “a vacation state of mind to a relaxed silhouette.” The model showcasing the pants is, of course, also sporting a pink leather fanny pack which brings this entire adventure full-circle.
Price: $3,100 for the entire ensemble. $1,600 and $1,500 for the shirt and pants, respectively.
Who Would Buy This Thing? A gigolo with a love for loungewear, and also Leonardo DiCaprio in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet