Step aside, dad fashion. There’s a new menswear trend in town.
In 2023, the very best outfits seem to fall somewhere between looking vaguely paternal and experimentally maximalist. As it turns out, this stylistic niche is a gift that keeps on giving from Pedro Pascal, whose funky viral red-carpet wares are reliably reminiscent of a beloved hip older relative.
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The Chilean-American actor, who stars in HBO’s The Last of Us and Disney’s The Mandalorian, has emerged as a bespectacled menswear star in recent weeks. His tendency to play father figure characters coupled with his penchant for playful knitwear, his recognizably thick retro glasses, and his comfort-first mentality have propelled him to the latest frontier of fatherlike dressing: the fun uncle.
Take, for instance, The Mandalorian press tour. At the show’s premiere in London on February 22, the 47-year-old sported a cropped fishnet knit cardigan partly buttoned to reveal a grey tank. He paired his top half with red voluminous waist-hugging trousers by Acne Studios and a pair of black boots. Be it the laissez-fair vibe of his scruffy hair, the added edge from his semi-sheer chemise, or the fact that his vibrant pants were just a few inches too long, the jaunty ensemble perfectly captured Pascal’s internet-catnip charm.
Though he’s been a bona fide menswear star for years since starring in Netflix’s Narcos, the actor’s recent looks emit a renewed personalized aesthetic, Vogue notes, thanks to his work with stylist Julie Ragolia. Case in point: while still in London promoting the Disney+ show, he sported a sparkly silver cardigan by Italian brand 4S Designs atop a sheer shirt from Commission. He experiments, but first and foremost, he prioritizes coziness. Clearly, this styling formula is really working for him (and the rest of the world).
To further drive home his love for cardigans, Pascal later emerged in a creamy Gucci getup at an event in Los Angeles. Wearing slightly oversized trousers and a gauzy yellow button-up, he completed the look with a mustard sweater tied over his shoulders — to keep the chill off, presumably. A most practical choice for sipping lemonade on the sidelines of a croquet match. And as it so happens, a red carpet winner, too.
This pragmatic-yet-playful fashion sense has prompted social media to ordain him a sexy “daddy” (see below). Which is, in The Year of Our Lord 2023, incredibly in vogue. Once-maligned fatherly styles like cargo bottoms and sensible sneakers are all the way back. Adam Sandler — despite all his efforts — remains an inexplicable fashion icon. The Cut proclaimed that the “dad-ification of fashion” would continue well into 2023.
But Pedro Pascal’s style is decidedly more refined. Sure, there’s a focus on functionality baked into his rotation of pullovers, but there’s also crafty colour coordination, shape-accentuating silhouettes, and an ongoing flirtation with sheer textiles that offer more range than the dad styles of yore. At the premiere of The Last of Us in early January, he donned a sequin overcoat by Saint Laurent. To host Saturday Night Live in February, he opted for a bright purple Valentino blouse. Skewing from ornate to laid-back, each outfit has a bit of risk-taking kitsch. Add his charmingly dorky dancing to the mix, and we have the makings of the ultimate cool uncle.
Though well-versed in being an internet heartthrob, Pascal has expressed befuddlement at his fandom’s increasing obsession — and sexualization — of him as a so-called zaddy. “What’s wrong with people who like an old man like me? I don’t understand,” he recently said, speaking Spanish in an interview. “What has happened culturally? How could this happen?” he continued, before pleading to the forces of social media to instead “focus on Harry Styles!”
With that, we say, let this well-dressed middle-aged man live in peace. Respect his boundaries, as you would those of your favourite uncle.