News & Opinion | June 14, 2019 10:41 am

Why Dads Love Cellphone Holsters

Even in the age of smartphones, many a dad still rocks the classic cell phone holster

The cellphone holster is the daddy of all dad accessories.
The cellphone holster is the daddy of all dad accessories.

You may not remember the last time you saw a cellphone holster, but if you do, it was probably on a dad.

In a recent Vox article, Rebecca Jennings took a deep dive into the history of “the most dad accessory of all time,” exploring the origin of the handy accoutrements that can still be found on the hips of dads today.

According to Jennings, the cellphone holster first gained popularity among men largely as a result of the way cellphones themselves were initially marketed. When the mobile devices first hit shelves in the ’80s, they were primarily marketed to businessmen, with magazine ads featuring the phones in the hands of  presumably busy working men wearing blazers and ties.

Unlike today’s sleek smartphones, the bulky cellphone models of the ’80s and ’90s didn’t fit easily in pockets. This presented a problem for, as Jennings phrased it, “people who had to carry cellphones for professional purposes, who did not, for reasons likely having to do with strict gender expectations, have purses, and who also did not care that cellphone holsters are very dorky.” AKA, dads.

Enter the cellphone holster, a no-frills accessory that was pure function and zero aesthetic. In other words, a perfect accessory for the everyday dad — or everydad, if you will.

While the ’90s and early ’00s saw the height of the cellphone holster boom, there’s still a market for the device. These days, the daddy of all cellphone holsters is the Answer 500, a holster made by an Oregon-based company called Simple.Be. According to Simple.Be founder Brett Hamilton, today’s holster market primarily caters to the everydad and “gun guys,” demographics which tend to overlap.

“There’s a lot of overlap between [our customers and] everyday carry people, guys who have pocket knives, guns, and tactical flashlights. There’s a whole culture of that,” Hamilton told Vox. “They’re looking for durability, made in the USA, matte black or earthy colorways — the aesthetic is the off-road, tactical look. It’s not ‘shiny leather business guy.’”

Meanwhile, as smartphones grow increasingly larger, the cellphone holster may be on its way to making a mainstream return. Like the fanny pack, the dad-conic cellphone holster could be on the verge of a comeback, proving the dadwear cannon truly never goes out of style.

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