Normcore girlsImages courtesy of street style blogs and Pinterest Words by Elizabeth Pollard

The English language is changing constantly. Words forgotten, slang invented and words being adopted to mean something new. But only a handful of words last longer than their fad. At the ripe old age of 23, I already feel too old to pick up a lot of the hipster language circulating, which is why I depend on my younger siblings and cousins to keep me informed. At a recent BBQ, I did just that, and quizzed all of Peckham’s trendiest 18 year olds about what the latest slang words are. They immediately replied with “normcore” and were both shocked and embarrassed for me that I hadn’t already adopted it into everyday life.

Their definition was straight and simple; “a mash-up of normal and hardcore, a.k.a hipsters who dress minimalist and ‘classy’.” Images of willowy, 90’s girls dressed in vintage Calvin Klein, hanging out at Peckham Springs, with a scrunchie holding a knot of hair on the top of their heads start running through my mind. I totally got it, and in many ways felt relieved that someone could describe an entire trend of people that fell between the gap of fashionista and hipster.

So, armed with the young-people’s definition, I decided to research a little further.

Wikipedia defines “Normcore” as:
Normcore wearers are people who do not wish to distinguish themselves from others by their clothing. This is not to mean that they are unfashionable people who wear whatever comes to hand, but that they consciously choose clothes that are undistinguished – except, frequently, for a highly visible label to impart prestige. The “normcore” trend has been interpreted as a reaction to a fashion over saturation resulting from ever faster-changing fashion trends.

Vogue defines “Normcore” as:
The notion of dressing in an utterly conventional, nondescript way struck a collective chord.

Hilariously, a “normcore” sense of style is one of the easiest to recognise and rather than not distinguishing themselves by their clothing, have created a look so carefully curated it can be defined as about four colours (black, white, navy, grey marl) and five essential garments (the cotton t, the boyfriend shirt, the unstructured coat, trainers and a sweatshirt). A trend that has come out of Normcore is to wear Birkenstocks or pool sliders, but generally the wardrobe is to look as transeasonal and androgynous as possible. Look at any ‘style board’ on Pinterest and you will know exactly what we mean.


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