4 Steps to breaking down Normcore, the anti-fashion fashion trend

4 Steps to breaking down Normcore, the anti-fashion fashion trend

Remember what we called geek chic - the style that made oversized glasses, beanies, suspenders and geeky sweaters instantly cool? That studied, dorky-cute style that veers into hipsterdom is now so out of season, according to fashion insiders.

Instead, what many are hailing as the "normcore" streetwear trend has taken over the fashion world. You'll find models, the who's who of stylists and more wearing it - they'll be dressed in jogger pants, with oversized sweaters and fleece pullovers layered over more plain clothing.

It could be said that normcore is a form of fashion detox, a "palate cleanser", as Vogue would put it. It's as if these industry insiders are going on a fashion strike, in resistance to the flashy, look-at-me street style looks.

We would hazard a guess that the trend first crept in when stylists and fashion designers began swapping heels and loafers for New Balance trainers; and now, even Chanel deems these sneakers the height of high fashion.

The result: an attire so simple that it makes these fashion people almost anonymous in a crowd. You won't be the only one mistaking these fashionistas from the lazy student or the sweatpants-clad tourists who dress for comfort.

So is this the supposed new epitome of fashion cool or a trend that should just die now? Before you decide on whether to jump onto this fashion bandwagon, let us decipher what normcore means:

1. Back to the basics

Normcore was first coined by K-Hole, a group of trend forecasters who described it as an attitude; of "find(ing) liberation in being nothing special."

And it's this spirit of embracing the ordinary that fashionistas have re-appropriated for their purposes. It's now been used in fashion lexicon to describe what the New York magazine calls a "stylised blandness", where the point of it all is to look as non-descript as possible.

For these sartorially-aware folks, it's now cool to blend into the crowd. Even if the plain clothes on their backs are in fact designer threads, you'll find brand logos and any conspicuous prints noticeably missing.

Oddly enough, kitschy branded caps and beanies prove to be an exception to this rule; as if to show that these fashionistas couldn't care less and had grabbed the first hat in sight.

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