The cast of “Seinfeld” had their fashion game on point and we’re only learning about it now, more than ten years later.
A few weeks ago, NY Magazine introduced “normcore” as “Fashion for those who realize they’re one in 7 billion.” Now, normcore has become almost inescapable with fashion forecasters publishing the trend in Oyster Mag, Huffington Post and NBC News Style.
The normcore look embodies “general attitude: embracing sameness deliberately as a new way of being cool, rather than striving for ‘difference’ or ‘authenticity,’” according to NY Magazine.
While fashion is known as a visual statement for individuality, normcore translates intentional and unintentional, yet muted looks.
“In fashion, though, this manifests itself in ardently ordinary clothes. Mall clothes. Blank clothes,” according to NY Magazine.
It is easy to mistakenly believe that virtually anyone can follow the normcore trend, or is already following it without realizing the fashion statement the clothing makes.
Normcore is not trendsetting in a muted outfit. Rather, it emphasizes “dated” articles of clothing that are transitioned into a modern style.
To achieve the look of normcore, there needs to be a balance of high retail clothing with good quality, vintage clothing. Throwing on a 1980s, bleach-stained baseball cap is not normcore. Whereas wearing an obviously vintage yet stain free NY Yankees hat is an element of normcore.
NY Magazine credits Western Millennials, who are believed to be hitting the reset button to the non-digitized ‘90s era, and challenging the myth of individuality for the normcore trend. The ideology behind normcore originally came from trend forecasting collective “K-HOLE.”
Emily Segal from K-HOLE emphasizes that normcore doesn’t embody a single aesthetic or come from abandoning individual style.
“It’s not about being simple or forfeiting individuality to become a bland, uniform mass,” she said in an article to NY 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.”
K-HOLE calls the normcore trend a “theory” of fashion rather than a “look.”
Although normcore is a recent development, the normcore look has circulated the high fashion scene since late 2013.
Marc Jacobs showcased Patagonia-inspired fleeces in his 2013 fall collection; model Edie Campbell wore Celine version Birkenstocks in Vogue Paris and Louis Vuitton cashmere was paired with Adidas in a Self Service magazine shoot.
Sean Monahan of K-HOLE explains that normcore is translated differently depending on the style demographic, i.e.: East Coast versus West Coast.
“At K-HOLE, we think it’s all about being situationally appropriate,” Monahan said to the Huffington Post. “It depends on who you are, what your scene is.”
In that case, normcore in university life can be quite subjective. Is rocking a university sweatshirt normcore? Or is that just a student rolling out of bed and into class?
Some students, including senior kinesiology major Robert Bui, think it’s a difficult concept to grasp.
“I’ve seen [normcore] and all those people wear that stuff in the kinesiology department. I have friends wear stuff like that, so is that normcore? Are Sperrys normcore? Are Clark boots?”
To some, normcore is just a silly excuse to create a trend where trends have never been before.
“[Normcore] signifies nothing,” senior biology major Daniel Trinh said. “It’s really not saying anything; they’re just trying to dress like Seinfeld. It’s a passing trend.”
Some are grateful for the normcore trend because it is a reason to spend less time on being fashionable.
“I feel like it’s more of like a simple kind of fashion, not too much of a fashion statement to stand out,” said junior journalism major and normcore fashionista, Jovanna Madrigal. “It requires minimal upkeep; it’s simple… doesn’t need many items to make a statement. Its just like one statement piece, like a bold accessory.”
When it comes down to it, normcore is more than a defining fashion moment but is also the representation of Generation Y’s thirst for human connection outside of Internet globalization. Rather than bold being better, this style emphasizes conformity while keeping it simple.