The latest fashion trend isn’t all that fashionable, and it may be more than a fashion trend.
It’s called “normcore” and it highlights the average and, well, normal. It’s popping up in several places this week, as many ponder what it may be aiming to accomplish. In fact, it may be more than just a style, as American culture seems to be wrapped in its appeal.
Vox was kind enough to answer nine questions about normcore to help clear up what it means, though opinions of it seem to be mixed.
“Wearers leave Chanel sneakers in the closet in favor of off-brand Keds; colorful shorts are traded for khaki cargo pants and designer purses for backpacks,” Vox writer Kelsey McKinney explained. “Normcore is the antithesis of the highly stylized, dark-denim, vintage-tee hipster look.”
Other questions that McKinney looked to answer included how pop culture answers what normcore is, when the style became popular and what makes it a fashion trend, among others. But even though this is on the rise, it may fall apart soon, McKinney wrote.
“Keep wearing what you're wearing,” she wrote. “Fashion trends come and go, and even though this one is on the rise right now, you may be able to dodge it entirely.”
But is it a trend that’s been going on for a while? GQ reported Tuesday that famed writer Ernest Hemingway may have been an originator of the style, as he often dressed casually and in average clothing.
“Clothing was not a concern; a man had to be ready to fight a bull, shoot an elephant or brawl in a bar,” wrote Tara Wanda Merrigan for GQ. “This was Ernest Hemingway's time, and for him, sartorial laziness was a point of pride.”
Merrigan was quick to point out that this style isn’t necessarily good for men in society, as it could make them seem less respectable, especially in the workplace.
The normcore push has a connection to another recent trend, too. In recent weeks, no-makeup selfies have populated social networks like Instagram. Some of these selfies even raised money for cancer research, according to The Guardian. And it might also be a part of the normcore style, according to Slate, which questioned if no makeup is just a part of laziness, feminism or the normcore movement.
“Like regular normcore, no makeup makeup seems to proceed from the assumption that, as Simon Doonan put it in Slate, the ‘final fashion frontier’ in an ‘era that embraces the distinct, bespoke and quirky’ is to reject fashion itself,” wrote Katy Waldman.
So does this mean it’s cool to be normal?