Preppy, Bohemian, Feminine, Glam Rock, Classic, Vintage… those are just some common words we often use to describe a person’s fashion style but every now and then some new words pops up like minimalist, bohemian grunge and this year, normcore. Learn about this new buzzword in fashion.


What is it?

Whenever I hear some ask what is it, I jokingly answer (but in fact it’s very accurate) “3 words: My highschool style” because Normcore is a collective, neutral blandness – eschewing obvious markers of luxury, fashion and distinctive style and instead opting for a more low key, cool look with a dash of athleticism and a whiny of the ‘90s. Let’s just say its emergence has knocked the life out of more exuberant trends like digital prints and made head-to-toe colour blocked looks worn by bloggers look a bit passé.

In short, it’s anti-fashion and anti-trends, which is ironic considering it’s one of the biggest, well, ‘trends’ of fashion right now. Yes, a healthy sense of irony is needed.

Where did it originate?

The term ‘normcore’ first appeared in a story in New York Magazine from February this year but full credit goes to trend forecasting agency K-Hole. It snowballed into mentions at Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. The breadth of coverage further solidifies its place and confirms that its influence goes beyond fashion. K-Hole might made the word as a fashion trend but some say that science fiction writer William Gibson is thought to have first come up with the term.

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How do you do normcore?

If you regularly wear T-shirts, sneakers and nondescript jeans, you’re probably in on normcore already, whether you realize it or not. “Normcore seeks the freedom that comes with non-exclusivity. It finds liberation in being nothing special, and realizes that adaptability leads to belonging. Normcore is a path to a more peaceful life,” states K-Hole.

Key normcore items:

– Birkenstocks
– Tracksuit pants
– Cotton jersey
– Grey marle
– Crocs
– Tevas
– Baseball caps
– White socks
– Turtlenecks
– Relaxed jeans
– Flannel shirts

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