February 27, 2014

"Normcore isn’t about rebelling against or giving into the status quo..."

"... it’s about letting go of the need to look distinctive, to make time for something new."

It's like the grunge fashion of the 90s... but without the "anxiety around 'selling out'... more ambivalent toward its market reality."

50 comments:

William said...

I wear Levi's and New Balance sneakers and have since the early days of radio. I knew it was just a matter of time before the world caught up with my fashion forward look.

SOJO said...

I wear a lot of Patagonia for these reasons: Too old to enjoy dressing hip / in a costume anymore. Do want quality. Do want things that can do double duty on a hike or outdoors, which provides some amount of casual style. Patagonia has a good corporate philosophy and they're from my home state. REI is also a goto place.

Earlier in life, I scoured vintage/used stores, added the black 'normcore' basics from a pre-A&F version of Crew/Bean, and accented with the occasional NY, UK, or Italy boutique piece.

It took a lot of time, but the look was distinctive and not easily reproduced, although people tried. When my particular subculture finally went public in the 90s, it was mass produced from that point forward. My own roommate started dressing that way.

It then becomes a matter of what you look like - how thin, young, hot or not you are because everyone had the same stuff. IOW, it's not necessarily the deeper stuff that gets emphasized when everyone is in a uniform.



traditionalguy said...

That is a good look...maybe if also leave off the make up, and let your hair grow out....Voila, you have achieved the Pentecostal church lady look.

Emil Blatz said...

That, I could do.

Ron said...

I just sat there and somehow the curve came around to me! There's some Einsteinean story here somewhere...

AustinRoth said...

Yawn.

madAsHell said...

Sssshhhh....don't tell the women.

Lord Ben said...

Before I went to work tonight I put on pants and a shirt but on the way home I'm wearing a normcore style to reject non-conformist conformity.

Zach said...

Unattractive and depressing. In fact, I think depressing is what they're going for.

If you had to come up with a title for the fashion show, you might try "Can't afford Wall-Mart."

somefeller said...

If you had to come up with a title for the fashion show, you might try "Can't afford Wall-Mart."

North Face, Patagonia and New Balance are all more expensive than the standard fare at Wal-Mart. And you misspelled Wal-Mart. Otherwise, clever observation, bro.

The Cracker Emcee said...

I've been dressing that way since 1978. Suddenly I'm a filthy hipster? No sweat or track pants though. And athletic shoes only when I'm doing something athletic. No baseball caps except for protection from the sun or rain. And stone-washed jeans are ugly. A natural fade is the only dignified way to wear denim. Fuck it, never mind.

Zach said...

Well, that's a relief. I'd hate to look shapeless, drab, and unmotivated for cheap.

Freeman Hunt said...

I like the idea of anti-fashion fashion. Fun. I like it.

I especially like this quote from the slideshow:

"The one thing about normcore that’s cool is that you want to be approachable by as many people as possible rather than being divisive or elitist.”

I had a conversation with someone on that exact topic. If you can look especially refined, do you want to? You'll be separating yourself from most people. What clothes are approachable?

Freeman Hunt said...

I hope women's golf shirts become a huge fashion thing through normcore. I am going to look so cool.

rehajm said...

A new riff on the classic bohemian attitude. Also, New Yorkers don't want to look like an economic stand out in the age of de Blasio.

Won't be long until middle aged upper west siders kill the trend.

betamax3000 said...

Cheetah Speedo Man Says:

A Well-Fitted Cheetah-Print Speedo Never Goes Out of Style. On My Prowls Through the City at Night I Am Both Fashionable and Menacing; my Chest Hair Glistens beneath the Street Lights. On the Bus I Proudly Sit Up Front: Cheetah Speedo Man.

betamax3000 said...

Cheetah Speedo Man Says:

Hipster, What are Those Sounds behind You? Why are You feeling Pitiless Dread Deep in Your Hipster Stomach? Could it Be That You Sense Me in the Shadows? Walk faster, Hipster, Walk faster: Cheetah Speedo Man Is Always Right Behind You, Until I Emerge From the Shadows in Front of You and Do My Cheetah Speedo Man Dance! Arms Outstretched Above My Head, Swaying From Side to Side Like Jungle Trees in a Furious Wind. Cheetah! Your Normcore Will Not Save You Now: Your Control of Bodily Fluids Evaporates. As You Urinate Down Your Pants-Leg I Smell Your Fear -- Fear and Pizza from the Pizza Place Down the Street. Alas: You Almost Made it To Its Fluorescent Safety.

Moose said...

If they're so worried about the appearance of "selling out" they should move back to Ohio and get jobs at Wendy's.

Fen said...

beta. have. you. thought. about. changing. your. style. its. a. such. a. pain. to. read. that. i. usually. just. no. longer. bother. you. i. think. you. would. reach. more. people. with whatever. it. is. you. are. talking. about. if. you. switched. to. something. easier. to. read. hint. not. this. style. either.

Fen said...

I'm beginning to think that urban dwellers are devolving into a new species.

I'm sure SciFi has already covered the topic. Communal hivemind that gradually morphs into something no longer recognizable to the natives.

betamax3000 said...

Fen,
I have Indeed Considered changing My Style But:
1. It is Deeply Ingrained;
2. If I change to regular formatting everyone will read what I write and think I am Freeman Hunt because of the obvious similarities. Then I have to send countless replies stating that "No, I am not Freeman Hunt, but thank you." This inherently leads to Freeman Hunt having to always reply that she is not betamax3000. Then whole threads get confused by this dynamic, and after a while everyone thinks Freeman is Cheetah Golfshirt Woman. If I WERE Freeman Hunt I would Home-School my children TO Write Like This All the Time. So, to answer your question: I am not Freeman Hunt, but am flattered that you thought so.

Fen said...

Ha. Well, at least you have a good sense of humor about it.

Sadly though, this is likely the only conversation we will have on this blog. I will miss out on whatever you have to say because your choice of format makes you unreadable. Maybe its different for others here?

Anyways, good luck.

Illuninati said...

I like nice clothes but I don't follow fashion trends. Awhile back a couple of kids asked me if I am a cowboy because of the clothes I had on. I'm usually honest but I thought their question was so cute I found myself playing along with them. Later on I realized that I had lied to them.

betamax3000 said...

Perhaps Althouse Could Post a Poll:

Should Betamax Keep His Idiosyncratic Grammar, or adopt a more conventional approach?

1. Betamax Should Keep His Style: I Can Follow the Rhythms.

2: He should adopt a more conventional style; I am tired of the headaches.

3. He should adopt a more conventional style, even though I will often confuse him with Freeman Hunt.

4. Who cares? I don't read him anyway so it doesn't really matter.

#4 counts the same as #1 in the poll. I will accept the results of any total of #2 and #3 being the majority (a minimum of 25 to count).

I Feel My Identity Already Slipping Away...

betamax3000 said...

One-Time Offer, That.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

Yah sorry Beta, I'm not trying to be mean to you. I feel I am like attacking something special to you and I feel guilty about that.

betamax3000 said...

Fen,

No worries, I did not take it in a a bad way, and the point is valid, and voiced before. If Althouse posts a poll I will let the Althouse world decide.

(I Can Always Talk to Myself in Title Case).

Fen said...

It may just be that our interaction styles are not compatible (I'm used to reading very fast, skimming and scanning, which your style prevents).

See what the others say. Some might claim that "being unreadable to Fen should be counted as a blessing" :)

EMD said...

. And you misspelled Wal-Mart.

Wall-Mart is the expensive Wal-Mart.

They're pop-up NYC stores that sell exclusively to people who pretend to 'not give a shit.'


OK. I'm lying.

EMD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

@betamax Heh.

MattL said...

The sneetches always come back around...

SGT Ted said...

not to describe a particular look but a general attitude: embracing sameness deliberately as a new way of being cool, rather than striving for “difference” or “authenticity.”

"Normcore"? Puhleeze.

Fashion Bullshit is for narcissists.

SGT Ted said...

More like "Lemmingcore".

If you wear stuff because everybody else is wearing it, you're a drone. A herd member.

Moooooooooooo.

Might as well just wear cow costumes and chew your cud.

SGT Ted said...

I gave up wearing a uniform when I retired from the Army.

The chick in the top pic for that article looks like her brain fell out. Slack-jawed, uncombed hair, hat stuffed on her head, like a toddlers hat, put on by mom.

Anglelyne said...

Huh? So trendies have discovered what I've been calling the "global Mao suit" for years? Yeah, right. You know what it really means when people in the fashion industry start getting all pretentious about stuff like this, don't you? It means that the quality of fabric and construction in ready-to-wear is going to take another nose-dive, as if it weren't bad enough already.

SGT Ted said...

"It's like the grunge fashion of the 90s... but without the "anxiety around 'selling out'... more ambivalent toward its market reality."

Fashion is for easily led, gullible morons. It really is.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Back in high school, we always used to joke about how the artsy non-comformist types actually conformed to each other more than all of us AP student conformists did.

Of course, now that I live an edgy alternative lifestyle (i.e. "Homeschooling Mom.") all the hipsters are trying to imitate me.

I guess I'm like the beatnik to their flower children. Stick it to the man! Wear fleece, reproduce, and go to church on Sunday!

Deirdre Mundy said...

Also, I like Betamax just the way he is.

paul a'barge said...

Just a quick point - none of these people are getting laid. End of story.

sigh.

michaele said...

I do "endearingly awkward" quite easily...it's in my DNA.

Ann Althouse said...

@betamax

On the single style point of capitalization, I would change if I were you... at least if what I wanted were that my words were read as opposed to simply seen and a block of text.

I love your writing, but the capital letters deter me from reading.

SteveOrr said...

Like the 30 Rock episode where Jenna & her transvestite husband develop a "normaling" fetish.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5qutHb0BUE

CStanley said...

I enjoy Betamax's posts and don't find the capitalization distracting or off putting. Asking him to refrain from using caps is like asking e e cummings to use them, IMO.

I find it easy to quickly glance at the stream of consciousness of his posts without really reading them thoroughly.

wildswan said...

Let Betamax Be Betamax

Don't Normcore Betamax

Fred Drinkwater said...

"Normcore isn’t about rebelling against or giving into the status quo..."
That's right. It's about being able to raise prices on regular stuff that looks like the already high-priced stuff at REI etc.
Another thing to piss me off. Just like when that damn movie came out, and prices on my favorite decent SoCal red wines went through the roof.
Popularized culture. I can live just fine without it.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Also, I agree with wildswan.
Let Betamax be Betamax.
(The art of reading Betamax posts is Easily Acquired with Minimal Real Effort, but the Effort Must Be Made.)

Ann Althouse said...

"I find it easy to quickly glance at the stream of consciousness of his posts without really reading them thoroughly."

Well, you totally reinforced my reading-or-seeing point.

Deirdre Mundy said...

If Betamax changed his style, he'd lose his voice. In my head, he sounds like if my outdated 80s tech could talk. If he changes, he'll be just another commenter.

Asking him to change is like asking Titus to refrain from discussing bowel movements. He's part of what gives Althouse a unique atmosphere....

Keep Althouse weird, man!