If you live in or nearby a city, chances are you’ve witnessed walking examples of the newest fashion non-trend, “normcore.” “Normcore,” also referred to as “borecore” is a style trend that basically involves dressing down. Think off-brand jeans, old pullovers, baseball caps, and sneakers – anything that indicates the antithesis of modern fashion and mainstream stylishness.
How and when did normcore become the preferred attire for young urbanites and high fashion risk-takers? As The Cut’s Fiona Duncan explains, “Sometime last summer I realized that, from behind, I could no longer tell if my fellow Soho pedestrians were art kids or middle-aged, middle-American tourists,” of the steady transition from hip styles to normcore. Says Duncan, “By late 2013, it wasn’t uncommon to spot the Downtown chicks you’d expect to have full closets of Acne and Isabel Marant wearing nondescript half-zip pullovers and anonymous denim,” and goes on to explain how even high fashion glossies like T and Vogue had picked up on the trend.
Fashion writer and founder of Garmento Jeremy Lewis says that normcore is “one facet of a growing anti-fashion statement,” mirroring Duncan’s observations. Basically, normcore describes a general attitude that embraces sameness deliberately as a way of being uncool. It’s old Tevas and sweatshirts tied around one’s waist; normcore is fleece jackets worn over khaki pants. It’s boring as hell; it’s your dorky suburban uncle’s closet.
The irony of choosing to wear clothes that represent an anti-fashion sentiment lies in the fact that practically everyone is doing it now. On the plus side, this no-fuss style sensibility might help to dissuade traditional standards of beauty that pressure women in particular to look a certain way. Normcore is a form of rebellion, albeit in muted beige tones. It’s different, and intriguing, and it will be interesting to see how long it lasts.
What do you think of the “normcore” trend?