WHAT IS 'NORMCORE' & DO I HAVE IT?

For most of my youth and well into my current adulthood I’ve struggled to really identify my sense of style. It seems so effortless for some people as though whatever they put on in the morning perfectly exemplifies who they are and what they want to present to the world. It seems frivolous to say that a piece of fabric embodies who you are as a person, but realistically, it does. Our physical appearance is what initially defines us or leads to misconceptions of who we are.

I have been toiling with amalgamating the looks of casual gamine and feminine accoutrements. It seems like I will usually stray too far to one side and end up deviating from how I want to represent myself. So, for the most part, I wear fairly simple clothing—certain colours and cuts, no noticeable branding, and whatever achieves the most comfort. These traits have been the easiest for me to attain in my clothing, but didn’t necessarily exhibit a specific style.

I recently discovered ‘Normcore’ while scrolling through Pinterest and this has completely changed my perspective on style and what it means to be “fashionable”. If you’re not aware of what Normcore is I’ll pop a quick definition below:

Normcore is a unisex fashion trend characterized by unpretentious, normal-looking clothing...As used by K-Hole, "normcore" referred to an attitude, not a particular code of dress. It was intended to mean "finding liberation in being nothing special."
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normcore

All this definition is really saying (as I’ve interpreted it) is that fashion doesn’t have to be separate from normal clothing. This can seem like quite the blow if you’re like me and genuinely enjoy flipping through the pages of Vogue to see some of the outrageous and bold clothing designs. Fashion, in a way, is artwork and is celebrated as such at events like the Met Gala and NYFW. From this bold fashion us simpletons would then pull out the key pieces to formulate our own sense of style. Peplum or capped sleeves could be a predominate part of your personal style despite how heightened the interpretation of those designs could be at runway shows.

I think I'm getting a bit off topic because I'm by no means a fashion critic. As I’ve mentioned above, I really don’t have a sense of style…at least I thought I didn’t. Could my inherent need to wear the simplest of simple outfits be a style of its own? Am I unknowingly participating in a trend that could be categorized as a ‘non-trend’? I won’t deny that I’m confused, but somewhat relieved to discover that maybe I have been presenting myself in the most fitting way. Just when I thought that I couldn’t get any more flummoxed with my own sense of style, I come to the realization that my sense of style may have been created by this inability to find a sense of style.

It may seem like I’m getting a bit meta with something as trivial as clothing, but I think it's an interesting topic to discuss since we live our lives in the clothes we wear. I would have initially tried to stuff myself into the box of minimalist style, but that didn’t seem to adequately exemplify how I felt. Normcore has been a game changer in my understanding of trends and timing. Had this become popular when I’d been in high school, the necessity of teenage showmanship may have been discouraged as Normcore is describe as unpretentious. I guess we’ll never really know, but it has been very interesting for me to think about the past couple of weeks.

What do you think about the Normcore trend and how would you describe your sense of style?