As a response to fast fashion and trend-hopping, a movement contradicting anything “on-trend” or “on-point” has been born, called #normcore. The term, coined by the trend forecasting New York-based group K-Hole, has littered tweets and Instas as of late, calling attention to the desire to simply be ordinary, an aesthetic that’s described as “stylized blandness”—the very antithesis of fashion.
So what does normcore look like like exactly? Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (pictured, above) might perhaps be the poster child(ren) of the crusade. Both were recently spotted in dark shapeless layers with matching gray socks (yes, socks) paired with black Birkenstocks. The approach is a deliberate lack of style or loud personality. There aren’t any pretty prints or “It” colors in the world of normcore, nor are there flirty skirts or heels. Instead, they’re replaced with nondescript clothing and plain tennis shoes, a nonchalant look stripped free of trends.
Signs of normcore have even emerged on the runway as well, whether that was the designers’ intention or not. Phoebe Philo surprised all when she unexpectedly teamed her fluid, elegant pieces with furry Birkenstock-esque flats for her Celine spring/summer 2013 collection. The same goes for Marc Jacobs who gravitated toward Tevas-inspired sandals for spring/summer 2014.
We like to think of it as “comfort fashion,” with familiar shapes and silhouettes that are reminiscent of the ’90s or can be traced back to Midwestern roots. Will this be the end of statement-making fashion as we know it? Whether it’ll fizzle or gain traction, we’ll just have to wait and see.