Why high schoolers across the US are dressing up for ‘Adam Sandler Day’ (2024)

Adam Sandler’s fashion school is now in session.

Students across the country are donning ill-fitting T-shirts and baggy shorts to mimic the A-lister’s roll-out-of-bed vibe at official school-sanctioned days — complete with looks from his 1990s blockbusters like “Happy Gilmore,” “The Waterboy” and “The Wedding Singer.”

The “Adam Sandler Day” trend has spread across the US — and even Canada — this fall after popping up on TikTok in March. It’s often part of Spirit Week, when schools set a different theme each day.

Sandler, 56, might be an odd fashion icon to some, but the Brooklyn native’s decidedly down-market look — dubbed #Sandlercore on social media — made him Google’s top search in the “celebrity outfits” category last year, beating out high-style symbols like Britney Spears, Cher and Harry Styles.

Reilly Baron, a junior at McHenry Community High School in Illinois, swiped one of her dad’s shirts to pair with baggy sweatpants, a backward baseball cap and Reeboks to complete her best Sandler impersonation on Oct. 3.


Roughly half of the school’s 2,200 students dressed up as the “Billy Madison” star, Baron said, even though his more popular movies came out before she and her classmates were born.

“I think it’s just because so many celebrities wear really expensive clothes or unique styles and then Adam Sandler is just wearing casual, everyday clothes,” Baron, 16, told The Post of the funny man’s allure. “He dresses like he’s not a celebrity at all and that’s really cool.”

Charlotte Alexander, another 16-year-old junior at McHenry, said she was “really excited” for Adam Sandler Day since she could to go school in clothes more fitting for a day spent on the couch: a bulky hooded sweatshirt and basketball shorts over a pair of leggings.

“Knowing that he’s amassed a large amount of money and is capable of dressing in much more expensive clothing is really funny to our generation,” Alexander told The Post of Sandler. “It’s ironic.”

Students were behind the push to hold the Sandler-themed day after seeing the idea on TikTok. The former “Saturday Night Live” star — whose fortune is estimated at a staggering $420 million — was the only celebrity who was considered, Alexander said.

“It was Adam Sandler or nothing,” she said.



Some teachers and administrators got into the act as well, including attendance clerk Nancy Shea, who went all out as Sandler from 1998’s “The Wedding Singer.”

Brent Pearson, a student council advisor at Eureka High School in Missouri, estimated some 80% of the school’s 1,700-plus students took part in that school’s inaugural Adam Sandler Day earlier this month.

“Most dressed like Happy Gilmore,” Pearson said, adding that he did the same, complete with a flannel shirt, baggy sweatpants and a lone golf club. “It was just fantastic.”


After years out of the classroom due to the pandemic, the teens were eager to express themselves, Pearson said.

“Kids are so creative,” he said. “You can’t help but laugh when they walk in with that type of swagger.”

For Audrey Watson, 16 and a junior at Eureka, the reason the kids chose Sandler to show off their school spirit is as simple as his titular character in 1995’s “Billy Madison.”


“He dresses in such a particular way, almost as if he just walked out of a Goodwill or second-hand store,” said Watson, who raided her brother’s dresser and wore long basketball shorts and a “really, really oversized” tank top along with an old pair of Nikes. “He is worth so much, but he dresses like an everyday person. It’s kind of iconic.”

The first-ever Adam Sandler Day at Lincoln High School in Rhode Island last week was also an unmitigated smash hit, principal Rob Mezzanotte told The Post. At least several hundred students took part.

“He’s obviously a very popular guy and his movies are kind of classic,” Mezzanotte said of Sandler. “It really just came from our kids. They suggested it as a spirit day and they seemed to all be in favor of it.”


Teri Rasa, a social studies teacher at Southern Alamance High School in Graham, North Carolina, said Sandler Day garnered the “most participation” of any school spirit days last week.

“At least half of the school and most of the faculty participated in one way or another,” Rasa said, adding that most were decked out in athletic wear, shower slides with socks or “dad shoes.”

A rep for Sandler, meanwhile, declined to comment on the teen fashionistas he inspires. The unlikely trailblazer told reporters in June that it’s a look he’s been honing for some time, Esquire reported.


“It took a while,” Sandler said. “I was working that angle for years. For a while I was like, ‘Please accept me and the way I dress.’ And 30 years later, they finally came around.”

Sandler’s crude fashion sense also took over the hallways last week at Poteet High School in Mesquite, Texas, where roughly 75% of its 500-plus students wore the baggiest clothes they could find, cheerleading coach Rita Maldonado said.

“It was a big hit,” she told The Post.


Karis Alcoser, a 16-year-old cheerleader at Poteet, borrowed her father’s cargo shorts to complete her Sandler getup along with an oversized plaid button-down and a Texas A&M T-shirt. Students had considered doing a Spirit Day pitting soccer moms versus barbecue dads, but Sandler won the vote in a landslide.

“It was not close at all,” Alcoser told The Post.

Another Poteet cheerleader, Joliah Flores, said Sandler was the obvious choice since he bridged the generational gap between youngsters and older teachers and administrators — like assistant principal Angela Hammonds, who summoned Sandler’s “The Waterboy” with character Bobby Boucher’s orange No. 9 jersey.


“He’s so calm and relaxed, everyone can relate to him,” Flores said. “Even though [Sandler] has so much fame, his fashion has never changed. He stays true to what he likes.”

Why high schoolers across the US are dressing up for ‘Adam Sandler Day’ (2024)
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