Fashion gurus are happy to talk about this ‘antifashion sentiment’, citing people like the priests of anti-cool Jerry Seinfeld and Steve Jobs — names that no one would ever associate with fashion. But with the biggest celebrities and supermodels like Rihanna, Gigi Hadid and Kristen Stewart sporting white shoes and faded anti-fit denims — the fashion world got introduced to normcore.The term was coined by K-HOLE, a New York-based trend forecasting agency. It stands for finding liberation in sameness — the idea is to ‘fit in’ and ‘not stand out’.
Once upon a time, fashion was complex, and ostentatious was considered better. But now, it seems fashion has taken a sharp turn towards the plain and simple. This trend was embraced wholeheartedly because, let’s face it, aren’t flip-flops more comfortable than heels? Why struggle with figure hugging trousers when you can live in your track pants?
Normcore gained popularity in the West in 2013. On international runways, designers from Yves Saint Laurent to Diane von Furstenberg showcased elements of the normcore style. Remember when Karl Lagerfeld transformed the Chanel catwalk into a super-luxe supermarket with model Cara Delevingne sporting joggers and trainers? Take a peek at airport diaries across fashion sites, and you’ll find many of our Gen-X Bollywood actors such as Kangana Ranaut, Alia Bhatt, Anushka Sharma and Siddharth Malhotra adopting it.
But here’s the tricky part — how do you make a style devoid of conventional fashion elements look stylish? Here are some handy tips to help you rock the normcore look
• Normcore doesn’t equal wearing the first pair of jeans and T-shirt from your wardrobe. Behind dressing easy, lies a precise selection.
• As with any outfit, the primary elements of normcore are fit, colour, and texture, all of which must match both normcore’s loose silhouette, and at the same time, suit your body. Above all else, it’s about comfort. So if it doesn’t look effortless and easy, it’s not normcore.
• To achieve this, there needs to be a balance of high retail clothing with good quality, vintage clothing. For instance, sporting a vintage yet stain-free NY Yankees hat is an element of normcore.
• Pair black skinny jeans and a white or black T-shirt with an open denim shirt and finish this look with black loafers or sneakers.
• You have a great all-day outfit in a pair of grey loose pants, paired with a white T-shirt, a chic black blazer and white sneakers. Alternatively, you could pair grey cigarette pants in cropped style, white sneakers and a leather jacket. Add a statement necklace for a feminine touch.
• Combine leather pants or leggings with an oversized sweater or turtleneck and sneakers for a super-chic look. However, remember to keep the colours subtle.
• Mix feminine with relaxed, minimal, and sporty pieces in your wardrobe.
• While there is no way to guess how long this trend will last, if you are looking to stay away from shopping for a while, normcore is the way to go. Because, it’s all about finding inspiration in your existing wardrobe.
Gupta is a leading fashion designer. She tweets as @MasabaG