Adam Sandler on Becoming a Schlub Style Icon: 'It Took a While'
Adam Sandler is sitting down at a press junket in an oversized red polo shirt, layered on top of an even more oversized undershirt; the white tee sleeves are creeping out just past his elbows. He’s on the promo tour for his latest Netflix film Hustle and his real-life look isn’t that different from the character he plays: a down-on-his-luck NBA scout who predominantly wears a mix of loose-fitting athleticwear from scene to scene.
The difference between Sandler and his character, Stanley Sugerman, is that Sandler is a bona fide Hollywood actor, comedian, and producer who’s worth over $400 million, but refuses to dress like one. It’s probably the reason why he’s been embraced as a style pioneer in the pandemic era, even though he’s been sporting his signature schlubby looks off camera for more than three decades.
“It took a while. I was working that angle for years,” Sandler deadpans. “For a while I was like, ‘Please accept me and the way I dress.’ And 30 years later, they finally came around.”
Look up the hashtag #sandlercore on TikTok and you’ll find thousands of videos of people paying homage to and discussing Sandler’s 55-year-old dad swag. Teenagers, who weren’t even born when movies like Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison came out, held dress-like-Adam-Sandler days during their high school spirit weeks across the country this past spring. His name was the most searched in Google’s celebrity fashion category in 2021.
In a time when people spent a majority of their time indoors, Sandler became a sort of sartorial savior for those whose tastes lean more towards baggy sweats and sneakers. Old photos of him from 2013 walking the streets of New York eating a jar of pickles even resurfaced and started to go viral.
“I was doing a movie when that pickle thing happened,” he says, giving context to the photos that stirred up conversation on Twitter and Reddit. “I like pickles by the way. They taste good. They’re crunchy as hell.”
Much like the kosher dill pickles the movie-star comedian and actor enjoys, you either love his style or you hate it. Unsurprisingly, his ethos when it comes to clothes isn’t overly complicated: “It’s all comfort and it’s a lot of ‘Hopefully, this fits.’”
Here, Sandler offers some more easy insight on how he became a fashion antihero.
Go big, even when people tell you otherwise.
Finding the right fit is half the battle when it comes to finding the right outfit. By choosing to get everything parachute-sized, Sandler found a way to bypass ever having to go to a tailor. “I go with a lot of XXL even though I’ve been told I don’t need a XXL,” he says. “I wear the XXL shirts. I wear the XXL shorts. I pull my socks up goofy and I wear my sneakers.”
Don’t be loyal to particular labels. Just wear what feels good.
Sandler’s been seen in everything from cross-matching sports brands (in the same outfit, naturally) to printed polos that he most likely picked up from the gift shop at a golf club. When it comes to labels, the Sandman doesn’t have a go to, but he does go by one rule: “Anything that feels soft I usually buy. These are pretty good pants by the way,” he says with the flourish of a gruff middle-aged uncle who just found his new favorite bakery. “These are golf pants. I don’t know who makes them, but they feel good.”
Repeat what’s comfortable.
Say what you will about Sandler’s style, but there’s no denying that the man is consistent. He prefers to not pop tags on new garments for a couple of reasons. “Usually I wear the same clothes a lot because after it gets out of the laundry it feels even better,” he says. “New stuff kind of gets me itchy.”
From: Esquire US