New York Magazine explores edgy new fashion trend of dressing like a normal person

New York Magazine columnist Fiona Duncan was confused and bewildered last summer when she discovered she could no longer differentiate, fashion-wise, between NYC residents and tourists. Unsure of what was going on—perhaps some sort of plague—she texted an “artist friend” who informed her that what she was witnessing was “lol normcore.”

Normcore. Let’s just let that roll around in our brains and wash over us for a second. Normcore. The term was coined by a “trend forcasting collective” called K-HOLE, and has apparently been going on for a whole entire year now. Also, there is a freaking “trend forcasting collective” called freaking “K-HOLE” and there are people out there who do not die of hysterical laughter upon hearing that. This is a thing we’re all supposed to take seriously now, I guess.


By late 2013, it wasn’t uncommon to spot the Downtown chicks you’d expect to have closets full of Acne and Isabel Marant wearing nondescript half-zip pullovers and anonymous denim. Magazines, too, had picked up the look. T noted the “enduring appeal of the Patagonia fleece” as displayed on Patrik Ervell and Marc Jacobs’s runways. Edie Campbell slid into Birkenstocks (or the Céline version thereof) in Vogue Paris. Adidas trackies layered under Louis Vuitton cashmere in Self Service. A bucket hat and Nike slippers framed an Alexander McQueen coveralls in Twin. Smaller, younger magazines like London’s Hot and Cool and New York’s Sex and Garmento, were interested in even more genuinely average ensembles, skipping high-low blends for the purity of head-to-toe normcore.

I feel so fashionable right now, you guys. I’m wearing an ancient “Newport Jazz Festival” t-shirt with a hoodie and a pair of jeans. Which I guess are pretty “anonymous” since they’re from H&M. I am so clearly on the cutting edge of fashion. Probably I should go stand outside and wait for all the street fashion photographers to capture my haute couture look.

The article suggests that the move towards normal person-fashion is due to a growing trend of anti-fashion sentiment where people don’t want to look like they are buying their identities or something. Because they’re like, super deep. I’d like to think that maybe people just realized that it’s super dumb to throw away $500 on a t-shirt or whatever. That would be nice.

According to K-HOLE, the leading “normcore” trendsetters are Western Millenials and “digital natives.” The first, probably because they are poor, the second, I can tell you from experience, is because we don’t have to leave the house to work. I used to work in fashion and now barely buy anything that cannot also qualify as pajamas.

But hey, whatever. It is pretty much the entire function of New York Mag to point at things and declare them trends. So let’s just look at some of their pictures of so-called “normcore” and feel inspired.

normcore-18.nocrop.w1800.h1330 normcore-01.nocrop.w1800.h1330 normcore-17.nocrop.w1800.h1330 normcore-02.nocrop.w1800.h1330 normcore-14.nocrop.w1800.h1330