Normcore: A Fashion Trend or a Non-Fashion Statement?

Normcore - A Fashion Trend or a Non-Fashion Statement

The term normcore first came into the public consciousness in an article written by Fiona Davis for New York Magazine where the writer describes it as “the startling new trend of embracing sameness deliberately rather than striving for difference.” While according to Jeremy Lewis,publisher and editor of Garmento Magazine, an advocate of Normcore and the most quoted “authority” on normcore, it “ is one facet of a growing anti-fashion sentiment.”It’s a very flat look, conspicuously unpretentious and is about the idea that one doesn’t need their clothes to make a statement,”as further explained by Lewis.

K-Hole, a trend forecasting group credited for coining the term, on the other hand, uses it not to label a specific fashion style but a prevailing sentiment of “embracing sameness deliberately as a new way of being cool, rather than striving for difference or authenticity.” 

What exactly is normcore?

Normcore is not a defiance of fashion nor is it a rebellion against the status quo. It is more about an indifference to the need to look unique or original. It is a collective noncommittal commonplaceness or an abandonment of indicators of fashion, luxury and diacritic style. Instead it’s all about looking cool and laid-back with a touch of the 90’s and a suggestion of athleticism.

Nomcore pursues the flexibility that emanates from nonexclusivity. A normcore proponent finds freedom in being ordinary and celebrates normalcy. Normcore can even be aligned to the burgeoning slow fashion movement since this non-fashion trend seems to suggest a letup in fashion over-consumption: the excessive and endless buying of the latest fashion designs fresh from the catwalk or even off the rack.

Considered the best examples of  normcore advocates areSteve Jobsand his “uniform” black turtlenecks  and blue jeans; American comedianJerry Seinfeld’sdad-fashion style –baggy jumpers, beanies, jeans, white nikes; stylist Alice Goddard’s simple skirts, trainers and T-shirts; and of course, Garmento’s Jeremy Lewis with his “exhaustingly plain” fashion style of khakis, New Balances and North Face Fleece.

How to do normcore

Those that favor chinos, T-shirts, khakis or ordinary jeans, sneakers or other comfortable shoes are normcore proponents whether they know it or not. Some basic elements of the normcore trend are:

  • Comfortable jeans
  • Turtlenecks
  • Tracksuit pants
  • Grey marle
  • Birkenstocks sandals, shoes, & clogs
  • Cotton jersey
  • Teva shoes and sandals
  • Baseball socks
  • Crocs
  • White socks
  • Bucket or baseball  hats
  • Flannel shirts

Normcore in Australia

Uniqlo of Japan, whose goods are mostly normcore items, recently opened in Melbourne. According to Kate Evans, Uniqlo Australia’s public relations and events managers they have a  “philosophy  called ‘life wear’- clothes that are easy for everybody to fit into their lives.”She added that “People are looking for more simplicity.”

Other fashion brands in Australia have started to espouse normcore, especially the junior brands. They believe that many of the younger customers are becoming more inclined to a laid-back, simple dressing style normally seen on the older generation.

Joel Mayer

Joel Mayer

Joel Mayer is a professional freelance writer and blogger who writes on different topics.
Joel Mayer

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