Have You Seen This? The tragedy of 'dad pants'


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SAN FRANCISO — Any dad can fall victim to the tragedy that is known as “dad pants,” and multi-millionaire coaches are no exception.

Professional coaches don’t necessarily wear a team uniform, but they often wear their own personal uniform. San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is no exception.

A photo set from USA Today Sports shows Harbaugh always wears a team cap, a black long-sleeved 49ers-logoed pullover and an array of too loose, multi-pleated khakis. It’s pretty standard football coach wear that most people have come to accept as part life — unless you're Jim’s wife Sarah Harbaugh.

On Jan. 14, Sarah publicly decried Jim’s wardrobe, telling KMVQ- FM that she would “not take the blame” for Jim’s $8 pleated khakis. She said she has thrown out his pants before and tried to get him to wear flat front pants, only to have Jim purchase more pleated pants at Walmart.

Two days later, Walmart was already capitalizing on Harbaugh’s wardrobe choices, releasing a campaign that read “Coach Worthy Khakis. Fit for a champion, priced for everyone.”

Now the real commercial champion is rising to the top, just in time for Father’s Day, with a clever new "public service announcement" campaign about “the serious condition affecting countless men in our country” — dad pants.

If you don’t know what dad pants are, Sarah describes them best in the video: “The shapeless, pleated tragedy that too many men find themselves in every day” that look like curtains hung from a belt.

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But like any good PSA, after outlining the tragedy, the music becomes light and airy, and we are told there is a reason to hope, because Dockers has “discovered the antidote to dad pants.” (Which of course is in the form of their own product.)

Sarah testifies to Dockers’ life-changing powers, saying Jim’s Dockers have made him a “whole new man.” That point is really brought home when the Harbuaghs' daughter asks, “Mommy, who’s that man?” in reference to her Dockers-wearing dad.

The message is clear: Just because you’re a dad, it doesn’t mean you have to be a dad pants victim. So Happy Father’s Day to all dads, especially those who are currently suffering from the tragedy of dad pants.

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Have You Seen This?
Martha Ostergar


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