Lifestyle Column: Normcore



WORDS | Megan Smith

Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the age of normcore. “What is normcore?” Oh, you lucky bastard, I’m about to enlighten you.

Normcore, and its unfortunate moniker, gained traction through a New York Times fashion column titled “Normcore: Fashion for Those Who Realize They’re One in 7 Billion”, and is now a legitimate thing. It is sadly not about a newfound, frenzied fandom for Norm from Cheers.

Essentially, normcore is a response to the outlandish hipster get-ups that have been clogging up the streets for the past five years. The aim is to dress like the average civilian.

Here is a list of things with the essence of normcore:

  • Larry David.
  • Middle aged tourists wandering around Circular Quay wearing rip-off North Face jackets, taking pictures of seagulls.
  • You, that time you slept in and came to uni looking like shit and didn’t worry about it until a stupidly attractive person came near you, so you went to the bathroom to try to make yourself look better, and you resolved to make an effort next time, but you just end up doing the same thing the next week. Nope, just me? Cool.

However, don’t get ahead of yourself, you can’t just wear your average clothes and be considered truly normcore, oh no. It is, of course, intended to be a little more sophisticated than the hoi polloi’s. This is a movement that is over hipsterdom, but doesn’t want to desert the subculture’s beloved investment in irony. It’s basically just rebranded 90’s minimalism with a steeper price tag, because it’s just not fashion if it’s not out of the average consumer’s reach.

Still want to dress normcore? Think sneakers with luxe t-shirts, skivvies, button-ups, Birkenstocks and some utility jackets, and you’re on the right track. The look is meant to be the classic “I’m not trying to look this gorgeous, but I actually spent half an hour last night deciding which Bassike grey marl t-shirt would make people question if I’m taking out the rubbish or about to be snapped by We The People.”

I do tip my hat to it though, pretending we’re all special snowflakes has become nauseating. So, my biggest piece of fashion advice is, wear whatever you want, wear some clothes, or don’t. We’re all going to die anyway. Quite frankly, I don’t know how much longer I want to live in a world that doesn’t celebrate seminal alcoholic Norm Peterson anyway.