They are calling it a facet of a growing anti-fashion sentiment. Normcore is the embracing of sameness rather than uniqueness as a new way of looking “cool”. This trend shows a shift from the objective of striving for authenticity through difference, but contrarily manifests itself in the most ordinary of clothes. Plain white t-shirts, sweatpants, mall clothes, bank clothes, etc..
This is the style first identified by trend researchers K-Hole. As researcher Emily Segal insists, Normcore is not about one specific aesthetic “It’s not about being simple or forfeiting individuality to become a bland, uniform mass,” she states. It is rather about being open to the possibility of being recognizable, but by looking like other people. This is being seen “as an opportunity for connection, instead of as evidence that your identity has dissolved.”
So is this a shift in fashion trends? Or is this particular trend a manifestation against fashion? a form of anti-fashion?
The Internet seems to be the converging spot for Normcore discussion. With the emergence of tools such as Polyvore and other reverse image searches, discovering the source or brand of any clothing item has become as simple as ever. Shopping for these styles is therefore equally effortless, only a click or two away…
So could this emerging trend be a form of rebellion? Are people becoming sick of seeing extravagant street style and eccentric garment combinations?
Normcore does however seem to be rooted in a specific fashion too… it is not devoid of aesthetic influence, as it seems to recall the 90’s, with elements of the Gap as well as Calvin Klein minimalism. This trend, led by western millennials and digital natives, seems to be a regressive one, leading back to aesthetics worn before their adolescence, before a time where identity was as consciously linked to dress.