Normcore, a new trend sweeping the fashion industry, utilizes plain patterns and bland pieces and promotes a sense of “normalness.” However, this trend seems to push the idea of “fitting in” rather than standing out — the opposite of its intentions.
Normcore encourages individuals to wear boring, dated clothing, like the wardrobe found on most ’90s sitcoms (think “Friends” and “Seinfeld”). The idea is to develop a sense of individuality with a clean slate, rather than being defined by the image of clothing.
“It’s not about being simple or forfeiting individuality to become a bland, uniform mass,” London-based stylist Alice Goddard told New York Magazine. “Rather, it’s about welcoming the possibility of being recognizable, of looking like other people — and seeing that as an opportunity for connection, instead of as evidence that your identity has dissolved.”
Mom jeans, solid sweaters and flat colors are common staples in this latest movement. This style seemingly gives leeway for people to mold themselves into their true identity instead of settling for the image clothing describes them as.
Clothes are not meant to define an individual. Rather, you define yourself first and then express this vision to others by wearing clothing that complements this personality.
This trend is making the argument that people shouldn’t try to conform to the predetermined fashion statements already out, which is true. However, dressing in such a plain manner doesn’t represent our current day and age, as these fashion trends characterize a previous generation.
“Is normcore actually about blending in and rejecting fashion?” Erica Cerula of Vanity Fair said. “Or is it really about looking normal … but only if you lived in Pittsburgh in 1994 and weren’t rebellious enough to be smoking under the bleachers at Liberty High School?”
Obviously, our clothes do not encompass our personality completely, but they give a snapshot for others to create first impressions. By muting this freedom, the fashion world silences the creative minds behind those who look to express themselves with eccentric patterns or edgy shapes.
Others say Normcore is more than just a fashion trend — it’s also a sociological attitude about loving life regardless of the clothes you wear. However, this attitude shouldn’t be dependent on how others perceive our image. Clothing should promote self-confidence and encourage unity through this personal assurance.
“Normcore is a blank slate and open mind — it’s a look designed to play well with others,” Emily Segal of K-HOLE told New York Magazine.
Because fashion is a forever-changing platform, new trends are continuously sweeping on and off the runway. While one’s wardrobe is developed based on personal taste, it is important to use clothing as a means to exhibit one’s confidence in his or her personality traits and characteristics.
Normcore is likely to fall into the same trap as the hipster scene: so vague and overused that the term has lost some meaning.
“Essentially, concretely defining normcore is as difficult as articulating the term everyone’s tired of hearing — hipster,” Katherine Brooks of Huffington Post said. “‘You know it when you see it’ seems to be the guiding principle for identifying the scene.
The fashion world is more defined than that, and we ought to embrace it.
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Editor’s note: The opinion presented in this column is the author’s and does not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.
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