Normcore-fashion-trend-Birkenstocks-with-socksNormcore staple: Birkenstocks and socks. Photo courtesy of Free People.

Sometimes a trend comes along which, in retrospect, is so predictable that it’s like a mathematical equation. In this case, it goes something like: hipsters + the desire to differentiate oneself from other hipsters = normcore.

Normcore—of course.

Practically, normcore means dressing like you just don’t care, in “normal people” clothes like Patagonia fleece and New Balance sneakers. Philosophically, it’s a textbook progression of the hipster movement, a natural leap from the hipster catnip Bill Cosby sweaters of yesteryear to normcore’s Jerry Seinfeld jeans—people wanting to be seen as too cool or preoccupied with their lives to care about what they wear. But there’s always a wink. The outfit may owe a debt to a mom from Red Deer or a comedian from the Upper West Side, but the wearer’s haircut, tattoos, even their youth, indicates that they’re in on the game. There are contributing fashion factors to normcore—
street style’s nadir and the trend towards comfort (see the recent rise of the flat and the designer sneaker;
the pairing of sandals with socks). And if people find something genuinely appealing about normcore, that’s one thing. But it’s the hordes of people who will be tempted to adopt the normcore style now that they’ve read about it on
Gawker who should think twice.