Normcore Is A Fugly Fashion Trend, Here’s What It Means

normcore-seinfeldPhoto: Daily Seinfeld/Tumblr

Mom jeans. No-name brands. Socks and sandals. All of these are outfit elements of the now-spotlighted fashion trend, “normcore.” Thrust into the limelight by an in-depth analysis from The Cut, normcore is kind of all the rage (with hipsters), and on the Internet. Everyone is writing about it. Seriously. The Guardian. The Hairpin. Gawker. Pigeons and Planes even did  “11 Rappers Who Used To Be Normcore,” (a hilarious must-read, by the way). And of course there is a Tumblr. But what does normcore really mean?

Well, normcore began as a classification describing a larger cultural phenomenon, a pervasive attitude that blending in and being “uncool” was the new cool, rather than standing out as a unique human being. The first use of the word can be credited to K-Hole, a trend forecasting collective, says The Cut. But as with many cultural trends (grunge, opulence, pop, etc.) the fashion world took the idea and ran with it, and now normcore is a bona fide way of dressing.

As a fashion trend normcore “manifests itself in ardently ordinary clothes. Mall clothes. Blank clothes. The kind of dad-brand non-style you might have once associated with Jerry Seinfeld, but transposed on a Cooper Union student with William Gibson glasses,” says The Cut. In terms of the general aesthetic, it leans very 90s, further evidence that art (and fashion) is cyclical, and everything old is new again.

Outside of the people who actually dress this way unintentionally, ie. Larry David, all your uncles, and Barack Obama (look at him in this normcore Canadian tuxedo), the trend is hot among “Western Millennials and digital natives,” a classification that overlaps almost entirely with “hipsters.” Devonte Hynes (aka the musican Blood Orange) is a fantastic example. Just look at this outfit; he’s wearing a heather gray mock turtle neck for Pete’s sake. And that was six months ago before the trend blew up.

In fact, the trend has gotten so much buzz over the past few weeks that it’s gone international. Canada is talking about it. Even France is talking about it. But not everyone takes normcore so seriously. GQ doesn’t want any men to dress this way, so obviously they had to make a how-to guide, which is more of a please-don’t guide than anything else.

If you want to dress normcore, you should know that you’re making a conscious decision to blend into the crowd and dress, essentially, like a tourist. Still want to retain some fashion sensibility, if only you know it yourself? Go for the high-fashion Birkenstock look, but don’t forget your white socks. (Joking, obvi.)

The post Normcore Is A Fugly Fashion Trend, Here’s What It Means appeared first on StyleBlazer.

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