Sixty years ago, Bob Dylan and his girlfriend Suze Rotolo walked out of their West Village apartment, embracing each other against the biting February cold. Standing on the snow-covered street, next to a blue Volkswagen bus, they posed for a series of photos. “Bob stuck his hands in his jeans pockets and leaned toward me,” Rotolo recalled in his excellent 2008 memoir, A Time Off: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties. “In some scenes it is obvious that we were already freezing; Bob certainly was, in that thin jacket. But the image was everything.”
One of these photographs was used on the cover of 1963 The Free Bob Dylan, which contains classics like “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.” The album cover is iconic — so iconic, in fact, that it inspired the TikTok trend known as “Bob Dylan Core,” where teenagers are seen walking down the streets, hunched over in thin jackets and staring pensively at the ground while “Don’t Think Twice.” times” is played. The trend started last winter, and the hashtag #BobDylanCore it currently has 11.5 million views. There was even what appears to have been a Bob Dylan Core Themed Party at Emerson College last week, with a TikTok that garnered almost 500,000 likes.
Bob Dylan Core began in January 2023, when 25-year-old Andrew Clark found himself outside a Trader Joe’s in downtown Brooklyn. “Wait, hold the shopping bags for a second,” he told his girlfriend. “Do you mind filming this?” With the caption “Walking around in a jacket that isn’t warm enough”, a trend was born.
Clark, who describes himself as “definitely a multi-hyphenate corporate creative type,” helped popularize the football look Core Guy last year. Determined to start his own trends, he has a working list of “Funny TikTok Ideas” in his Notes app. “Jacket That’s Not Warm Enough” was on the list for six months before he filmed his video; it now has almost 250,000 likes.
“I think the reason it all blew up is that it’s essentially a choreographed little thing,” says Clark Rolling Stone. “You know how people recreate a dance on TikTok? It’s putting your hands in your pocket, someone films you walking and they can make you walk towards the camera or take a short film. That’s why it was replicated so much.”
The trend has now extended far beyond the composer’s famous brown suede jacket, with attendees wearing everything from jeans for leather. “Someone in my comments section asked me where he could get a Bob Dylan-style jacket, which I thought was hilarious because there simply is no such thing,” said the 25-year-old. Aidan Casco, who lives in Vancouver. “A jacket that’s not warm enough is a Bob Dylan-type jacket.”
Plus, Hull adds, fall is the perfect season for Dylan Core. “Fashion is big in the fall, so I think it killed a style,” he says. “He’s a funny guy who wears funny clothes. His music is good to listen to in the fall. His clothes are all autumn based. It just pulls off the look really well.”
Bob Dylan Core is yet another example of how TikTok is introducing Gen Z to classic rock. (It’s safe to assume that the upcoming Dylan biopic, starring Timothée Chalamet, will also attract new listeners to that thin, wild mercury sound.) “Even if there is someone who does this and doesn’t really know much about it, at least now they know ‘Don’t think twice, it’s okay,’” says Clark. “And maybe they’ll see ‘This is Bob Dylan’ on Spotify. Or maybe next time you’re in a record store, you’ll see one of his albums and buy it.”
Grace Dormer, 16, a student in London, was introduced to Dylan by her grandfather, who named the cat after the composer. For her, Bob Dylan Core represents a form of kinship. “Honestly, it’s becoming a niche group, especially younger people my age who like Bob Dylan,” she says. “When you meet someone else, it’s really nice to bond over that. Close bonds are formed by this type of music. That’s why I think it’s so popular, because everyone feels a special connection to it.”