Normals are the new big thing… Kind of. Normcore, or a style of dressing that emphasizes neutral uniformity, a sort of hyper self-aware minimalism that evolved in response to a fashion culture over-saturated with over-processed, desperately different outfits that try too hard, painstakingly created and photographed by everyone with aspirations of Instagram fame.
The anti-fashion fashionables who have embraced normcore interpret their choice to dress in plain, uniform outfits as proof of their own identity. In normcore, overthinking how to look different is the ultimate sign of a herd mentality. The normcore uniform gives people a sense of human connection, and shows the world that you’ve got better ways of standing on than 10 lbs of jewelry.
Pillars of Normcore style include: stonewashed denim, plain t-shirts, white sneakers, fleece outerwear, clunky shoes, and baggy cuts. Normcore goes hand in hand with androgyny and unisex, as most styles are asexual enough to be suitable for men or women. Fellow fashion cynics might be amused to notice that even anti-fashion fashion isn’t immune to actual fashion; these pieces seem straight out of the 1990’s, aka the decade everyone is channeling these days.
Clunky sandals? Check. Shapeless jeans in a medium blue hue? Check. Baggy button up in a similarly undistinctive shade of blue? Check. This Olsen twin is normcore from head to teeny toe.
Blank is a big statement in the normcore stratosphere. A heather grey structured T-shirt might seem simple, but any fashionista worth her salt can guess that this piece probably cost big bucks at Barneys; after all, anyone can slap sequins on a garment and call in fancy, but only the real pros can sell the masses on a $300 T. Admire the pristine plain white kicks, which contrast deliciously to artfully ripped black skinny jeans.
When composing a Normcore ensemble, ask yourself “Would Rory Gilmore wear this?” If the answer is “Yes”, congrats, you’re on the right track. Normcore is the antitheses of sex kitten, so bundle up as much as possible. This normcore nymphette uses layers of knitwear to great success, leaving only a glimpse of ankle flesh on display. Laura Ingalls Wilder would be proud!
Head to toe black is rarely normcore, but notoriously normal (aka mysterious and prone to bland ensembles) Supermodel Freja Beha Erichsen defies the odds. If you’d like to do a normcore look in all (or mostly) black, take a note from Freja’s moleskin and make sure all shades of black are lightly washed out and slightly different. As if it’s laundry day and you just grabbed a handful from the basket.
I like to think of this normcore incantation as “Sloppy Professor Chic”. Can’t you just imagine this fetching young lass tripping into a crowded lecture hall with an armful of disappointing term papers? By now you should be able to identify the classic normcore touches: white sneakers, muted colors, faded blue jeans, and layers of knitwear. Like Freja, this stylish normcore devotee blends layers of slightly different, marginally faded black hues.