Normcore: the anti-trend trend


Ellen Freeborn

Ellen Freeborn

Maybe you’ve noticed that the most popular fashion accessory has been the iPhone for a couple years now. I’ve become more acquainted with the tops of peoples heads than their faces as I look around campus. 

Our culture’s need for immediate entertainment, answers and communication has led to fashion trends that quickly come and go before everyone has a chance to notice they existed. 

But that seems to be the point. 

A new trend may only last for a month at best before it’s adopted by too many people to be considered interesting anymore. We are in an age of anti-trends. We crave individuality.

This subtle shift toward a blending of all trends produced the ironically trendy hipster around 2010. The hipster’s “effortlessly cool” style saw itself through ‘90s-inspired thrift store finds, large-rimmed glasses and any article of clothing that defied mainstream fashion ideals and gave its wearer a sense of uniqueness. Naturally, the hipster anti-trend quickly became mainstream and no longer desirable. Early adopters shortly realized that dressing like an individual is no longer the way to be an individual.

So as the pendulum keeps swinging, we now have Normcore, or “style for those who realize they’re one in seven billion.” 

Of course, this Midwest-inspired fashion made its way through NYC and LA long before it reached humble Ohio. But I am anticipating 2015 to be the year of the “norm” in Kent. Look up “Normcore” on Pinterest and you’ll find a page full of boyfriend jeans, white t-shirts, denim overalls and old sneakers. It’s practical, classic, simple and timeless.

While some consider it the opposite of stylish, it’s far from unattractive. Normcore adopters desire quality over quantity. They look for intentional details that create flattering lines, increase the life-span of the garment or give their daily wear a utilitarian purpose. In some ways, the Normcore is reminiscent of the beatniks of the 1950s in that it shifts the attention from what the people are wearing to what they are thinking. It’s about time.

But the real beauty of Normcore is that it takes the pressure to be non conventional off the individual. I remember the stress of picking out an outfit a couple years ago, hoping to look unique but disturbed by the thought of being called a hipster. When your wardrobe is simple and versatile, you’re free to be whomever you want to be. Normcore fashion won’t make any claims about your personality. It sets you free.

Contact Ellen Freeborn at [email protected].