The New Normcore: Look Book and Real Talk

Normcore—it was funny, but it also effectively captured the self-aware, stylized blandness I’d been noticing. Brad’s source for the term was the trend forecasting collective (and fellow artists) K-Hole. They had been using it in a slightly different sense, not to describe a particular look but a general attitude: embracing sameness deliberately as a new way of being cool, rather than striving for “difference” or “authenticity.”
— The Cut, NYMAG
Utility Jacket (Similar) | Striped Shirt (Target) | High Waisted Jeans (Thrifted)

Utility Jacket (Similar) | Striped Shirt (Target) | High Waisted Jeans (Thrifted)

High-Waisted Jeans (Thrifted) | Oversized Blazer (Similar) | Shirt (Target)

High-Waisted Jeans (Thrifted) | Oversized Blazer (Similar) | Shirt (Target)

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Turtleneck (My Boyfriend) | Crocs (The Clothing Rack of Shame) | Varsity Jacket (Similar)

Turtleneck (My Boyfriend) | Crocs (The Clothing Rack of Shame) | Varsity Jacket (Similar)

The Basics of The Normcore Trend

Normcore. I was looking for a word to describe it - the ability to wear the most unassuming of items and STILL have blogs, followers, and friends going gaga over your look. I both coveted that ease of style and wondered what was so great about it. So I started Googling, guys. Here's what I found:

So, what I've gathered from some e-surfing is that there's not just one definition for the term. What everyone can agree on is that the term was coined by K-Hole, a New York-based group of theoretically minded brand consultants in their 20s, as part of a trend-forecasting report, “Youth Mode: A Report on Freedom.” According to K-Hole, “normcore” was not a fashion trend, but a broader sociological attitude. If you were able to get through all of that without rolling your eyes into oblivion, I congratulate you. Because now we can get to the nitty-gritty of it. 

The Real Real.

I wanted to do this look book because in all my googling and "normcore" research, I didn't see many faces of color or any short, fat girls in the mix. What I saw were the Kendall Kardashians of the world being praised for slipping on some jeans and a turtleneck to run to Starbucks like it was some sort of feat of fashion. Even a basic description of the term oozes with adulation for "pretty people" in regular clothes as if this iteration of coolness is something unattainable by the rest of us. One article goes so far as to say, "granted, most of them are models who can make a paper sack look fantastic, but there were also intrepid show-goers who tried a new approach to baiting photographers".  What's the difference between Kendall in a turtleneck verses me in a turtleneck? Can't I make a paper sack look fantastic, too?

For some of us in the plus-size/body-positive community, the fight for on-trend fashion has been about participation. It's been about having the option to participate in fashion the same way someone who is a size 2 can. To be able to walk out the house looking stylish. What I've really learned from all of this is that style is so relative that if Gigi Hadid rocks a pair of Crocs on a Tuesday afternoon, she can start a phenomenon that takes you from one side of the "Dos and Don'ts" list, to the other.

What does this all mean? It means that crop tops, and body-cons, and skinny jeans and perspex boots will never make you stylish in the eyes of those setting the trends. So we cannot continue to look to them for approval. Normcore is attractive because it isn't about the clothes at all. It's about the person wearing the clothes and their ability to own their confidence. Are you able to own your confidence in anything you wear? Are you able to own your confidence despite what you are wearing? These are questions to ask yourself as you continue building your own Growth Mindset Style Guide

My final word: I kind of like the idea of "normcore". I am going to continue rocking any and everything with some serious swagger. Whether it's flared jeans or mom jeans, I'm in it to win it. Because the clothes don't make the (Wo)man - the Woman makes the clothes look fierce.