In a world dominated by high fashion and Instagram influencers, the term “normcore” might sound like a rebellion against the fashion status quo. However, this seemingly unassuming fashion trend is all about embracing the ordinary and finding beauty in simplicity. Normcore fashion, which emerged in the early 2010s, stands as a unique sartorial expression that champions comfort, function and everyday clothing over flashy labels and extravagant designs. Let’s dive into the world of normcore and explore why it has captured the hearts of many black fashion influencers.
What is normcore?
Normcore, a portmanteau of “normal” and “hardcore,” is a fashion movement that champions unpretentious and practical clothing. It centres on pieces like plain t-shirts, jeans, sneakers and hoodies—items typically considered unremarkable. Rather than using clothing to stand out, normcore wearers aim to blend in, choosing comfort and functionality above all else.
Celebrity stylist Nicole Ranger explains the key elements to nailing normcore. “The best place to start is starting neutral colours. Normcore outfits are dominated by neutral colours such as black, white, grey, beige and denim blue. These tones are the foundation of a minimalist wardrobe, allowing for easy mix-and-match.
“You want to create a simple silhouette. Usually, normcore clothing features straightforward shapes. Baggy jeans, oversized sweaters and boxy jackets are staples, and tailoring is kept to a minimum.
“To complete the look, normcore aficionados opt for understated accessories like plain baseball caps, white sneakers or generic backpacks. The goal is to keep the focus on the clothing rather than the adornments.”
Normcore fashion is a refreshing departure from the world of flashy logos, extravagant designs, and fashion trends that change with the seasons.
Spell Magazine editor Jemima Cousins adds: “You can find some real quality pieces without the expensive name tag. It’s about finding beauty in the everyday, embracing simplicity and prioritising comfort and functionality.”
In an era where fashion often feels unattainable, normcore offers a sense of authenticity and a break from the relentless pursuit of the latest trend. So, if you find yourself drawn to the charm of basic, unassuming clothing, don’t be afraid to explore the world of normcore fashion and make it your own.
The practical appeal of normcore
Normcore prioritises comfort, and its wearers appreciate the freedom of movement and ease of dressing. Everyday tasks become more manageable without the constraints of high fashion or resorting to tracksuits.
The ultra-plain attire is seen as a rejection of consumerism, excessive branding, and the constant need to keep up with the latest trends. It’s a way to detach from the consumer-driven fashion culture with not a name brand in sight. The essence of this trend is individuality within uniformity – the true definition of an oxymoron. While normcore might seem like a uniform, it allows for subtle individual expression. By choosing which basic pieces to incorporate and how to style them, wearers can create their unique interpretations of the trend.
The longevity of normcore clothing means it could be a trend that’s here to stay. The timeless nature of these pieces encourages sustainability by reducing the need for constant wardrobe updates.
How to incorporate normcore into your wardrobe
1. Start with the Basics: Invest in high-quality, neutral-coloured essentials like plain t-shirts, straight-leg jeans, and a good pair of sneakers.
2. Mix and Match: Normcore is all about versatility. Experiment with different combinations of your basic pieces to create a range of looks.
3. Don’t Overthink It: Simplicity is key. Keep accessories to a minimum, and let the clothing speak for itself.
4. Thrift Shopping: Thrift stores are great places to find classic, unbranded pieces that fit the normcore aesthetic.
Take inspo from the upscale yet normal fashion looks from these normcore fashionistas.