From jokes to Greek life: a look at the rise of the Mizzou Dad shirt

If you thought it was just parents wearing shirts that say “Mizzou Mom” or “Mizzou Dad,” you thought wrong.


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No matter what you’re involved in, there is probably a shirt out there for your parents to buy so they can claim some credit for the person they created. In high school, many parents consider themselves to be a “soccer dad” or “dance mom.” But college calls for a simple shirt that says “Mizzou Mom” or “Mizzou Dad.”

It would be easy to assume only parents would be wearing this apparel, but many students on MU’s campus do, too.

There are a couple possible explanations behind this trend.

First, maybe Greek life culture is partially to blame.

MU junior Alex Krawiecki is in a sorority and is very aware of this campus trend.

“I see other girls in my sorority doing it for their big-little pairing, so I think that is part of the reason,” Krawiecki said.

This trend isn’t just seen in sororities, though — fraternity men are on board too.

It is possible these college men just want the dad image. Are they trying to impress women? Do they want to be the king of football Saturday? Who knows. What we do know is they are sporting shirts with “Mizzou Dad” across the front.

The second theory is simple. People wear these shirts because, well, a T-shirt is a T-shirt, and that’s all there is to it.

This is college, and fellow students tend to be forgiving of all fashion choices. You can dress up, you can dress down or you can just stay in bed and not even worry about what you’re going to wear that day. No matter what category fits you, there are going to be days where all that you want is a comfortable, and most likely oversized, T-shirt.

Krawiecki agrees with the fact that sometimes it doesn’t matter what is on the T-shirt.

“People do it because they are just Mizzou T-shirts,” Krawiecki said.

All other theories aside, the trend could just be a joke.

MU freshman Ryan Giesing sees it as something simple to laugh at and owns a “Mizzou Dad” shirt himself.

“My sister, Victoria, got it for me as a graduation present,” Giesing said. “She thought it would be funny.”

As far as this trend goes, Giesing isn’t convinced it’s truly a fashion trend here to stay.

“I see it as more of a joke that caught [on],” Giesing said. “It will be temporary.”

So, it has been established that there are students wearing Mizzou mom and dad shirts around campus. I can tell you it wasn’t something I expected to see, but college is full of unexpected things.

The first time I saw it, I most likely laughed to myself as I walked past the student, but then I started seeing it over and over again. It has gotten a little overdone and doesn’t have the same effect as it did when the person who thought of the idea came up with it. Now it’s just another common sighting, like Ugg boots and oversized sweatshirts. Even though it has become more common, that doesn’t mean it’s not a little strange.

“I think it’s a little weird,” Krawiecki said. “But I’d probably do it, too.”

Who knows how long this trend will last, but it’s here for now. We might as well laugh and make the most of the weird things college kids do.

Edited by Claire Colby |

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