What Is “Kidcore” and Is This Really the New Trend in 2022?

The year had been one of youthfulness for men’s fashion. Charm necklaces frequently ringed the necks of Pete Davidson and Justin Bieber, giving those shlumpy style icons — and paparazzi favorites — the appearance of having just emerged from summer camp. Last November, Washington Wizards guard Kyle Kuzma entered the locker room wearing a pink Raf Simons sweater with gigundo sleeves, evocative of a child dressed in his older brother’s hand-me-downs. This embrace by adults dressed like tweenagers is dubbed “kidcore.” While it has been simmering for some time (the 2018 tie-dye explosion was an early hint), kidcore has exploded in popularity during the pandemic.

an older man dressed youthfully, kidcore style
What Is “Kidcore” and Is This Really the New Trend in 2022?

Is This Really The New Trend?

Men may have sought solace in dressing themselves like their teenage selves: Lyst, a British business that measures the behavior of over 150 million online buyers in 2021, named kidcore one of the top trends of the year, citing the popularity of charm bracelets and cartoony Crocs. “Many individuals were seeking comfort and familiarity,” Pierre Lavenir, a cultural specialist at Lyst, explained.

What Is “Kidcore” Exactly?

Kidcore is defined by an attitude rather than a specific outfit or accessory combination. It’s about rediscovering how you dressed before anyone told you what was fashionable—when you dressed for yourself.

When Isaac Rodriguez, 24, dons a very expressive ensemble, such as an orange-and-red fleece paired with a green cap and scarlet Nikes, he channels his tweenage mind. He would say, ‘Man, you should wear it to death.'” Mr. Rodriguez, a Los Angeles stylist who was formerly employed as a loan officer, said he had discovered a sense of excitement in “pushing the boundaries” of what he is permitted to wear. (It should be noted that the majority of kidcore people encountered are still rather young.

Man dressed in Kidcore style outfit
What Is “Kidcore” and Is This Really the New Trend in 2022?

As strict corporate dress requirements grow increasingly irrelevant, many men see little reason to abandon their young sense of style after they land a quote-unquote adult job.

Nostalgists who are more reserved may prefer to add a touch of boyishness to their model rather than go for full-throttle free expression. Calvin Tierney’s strategy is as follows. Throughout the week, Mr. Tierney, a 25-year-old electrical engineer from Nanaimo, British Columbia, layers a press release piece, such as a barbed wire-print fleece jacket from Supreme’s collaboration with Japan’s South2 West8, over an otherwise unassuming ensemble.

On weekends, he employs a slightly less constrained method, “throwing together completely distinct patterns.” His fiancée and grandparents frequently raise their eyebrows at his patchwork flannel shirts and Goofy-print T-shirts, but like many a tween-at-heart, he dresses for himself, not for them.