The short answer to the titular question is no — dads invented the dad cap, obviously. But as Ezra Koenig sagely noted in our recent digital cover story, it was Dev Hynes who pioneered the cheap tourist hat, making it his own and bringing it into the lives of young people everywhere.
"[Hynes is] definitely the first person I saw doing cheap tourist stuff, but in a purposeful, cool way,” said the Vampire Weekend frontman. And it’s true. Koenig has pinpointed part of what makes Hynes' fashion choices so memorable: he's a master at layering different codes together and re-contextualizing pieces that don't necessarily scream "fashion" initially.
The main appeal about Hynes' style is that it's, well, actually personal. He's a classic fashion anorak and knows his fashion designers, from Galliano to Ghesquieré, inside out. "The number one weird thing about me is that I know so much about fashion — like a psycho amount," Hynes told Koenig, before explaining his affinity for Alexander McQueen, a fellow Essex boy.
In the age of the celebrity stylist where many people in the public eye look unnaturally dressed (sorry, Joe Jonas), Hynes’ organic – and well-informed – alloy of high fashion, vintage, sportswear, and dandy-ish tailoring sets him apart as an unquestionably unique style icon.
Coming back to the main point, a key component of Hynes' style is his on-point headwear (we'll conveniently ignore his furry hat-wearing days as Lightspeed Champion), particularly the recurring dad caps. The slightly oversized, cotton five-panel accessory is one of the few consistent items when it comes to the frontman's eclectic sartorial tastes, adding a louche, unfuckwithable quality that makes you want to bolt to the closest thrift shop for a day of rummaging.
Sure, Hynes, may not have invented the dad cap, but he wears one in a way that no one else can. Scroll below to see our favorite looks.
Here's an example of how Hynes looks a thousand dollars without really spending that much. The shirt is from the affordable J.W. Anderson x UNIQLO collaboration and is paired with a pair of smart black pants, a wallet chain accessory, and an SLR camera, which, admittedly, does look very expensive.
The Art of Good Merch
This look marks Hynes out for what he is — a proud music stan. Rocking a piece of Microsoft Word Art-inspired Brockhampton merch, Hynes is doing bits for the camo-heads out there, with a simple Under Armour cap (also worn in his recent photoshoot with us), tracksuit pants, and — the ultimate summer accessory — iced coffee.
Park Ranger in The Big City
This park ranger vibe is one of our favorite fits from Hynes so far. There have been several brands tapping into styles that promote the great outdoors — nascent label PHIPPS comes to mind — doing things for cargo pants similar to what Kanye did for shorts and hoodies (i.e. making them fashionable).
Here, Hynes has matched his NY-style hat with some wide-legged single-pleat coffee-colored pants, a short sleeve navy shirt, a patched pro-EU vest, and black penny loafers.
World Food Programme Chic
Here's Hynes preparing for a piano performance with a cup of coffee, black slouchy pants, and a neon yellow World Food Programme tee from Demna Gvasalia's charitable FW18 Balenciaga collection. This look works because of how naturally styled it is, even if it's a $400 T-shirt. The wavy silhouette generated by the pants is nicely offset with the sleek, athletic Salomon XT 6s, while the insouciant wallet chain brings a touch of personality — just as the NY Yankees dad cap always does.
Take a look at some of our favorite Hynes-inspired hats below