STYLE. GROOMING. INSPIRATION. ADVICE.
7 NORMCORE ESSENTIALS
By Libby Banks, 14 May 2017
Normcore, the celebration of standard-issue style, has been a driving force behind off-duty menswear for the past few seasons, and it’s a trend that’s only set to continue into 2017 and beyond.
Fashion’s favourite disruptor, Vetements creative director Demna Gvasalia, pledged his allegiance to normcore on the menswear catwalks in January. The designer sent out models dressed as 'normal’ stereotypes – from middle management office workers and off-duty dads to punks and football casuals. The clothes, although reimagined and re-proportioned, were stolen from real people you’d see on the street. The result was a kind of subversive take on street style that deconstructed the look-at-me peacocking you'd typically see outside the fashion week shows.
Miucca Prada did it, too – with a menswear collection that referred to the designer’s days on the picket lines in the 70s – as did Virgil Abloh at Off-White and Kanye West at Yeezy. In these politically turbulent times, normcore can be seen as a celebration of the collective and a return to simplicity.
When it comes to mastering the normcore trend, it’s about low-key styling with a distinct 90s flavour. And don’t be afraid to go big on colour if you feel the need. The resulting style turns dad classics on their head and into something highly covetable.
Zipped fleece sweater
A staple on the football terraces in the late 80s and early 90s, the half-zip fleece has made a big (and unexpected) comeback. Keep the cut relaxed with dropped shoulders. Minimalists will favour a simple black or navy, but brighter colours make the look ultra modern.
The archetypal all-weather dad jacket has done a fashion 180 and is suddenly one of the most on-point items you can buy right now. After seasons of a restrained and muted menswear palette, now is the time to cut loose and get some colour – or even some high-visibility brightness – in the mix, as demonstrated by Drake here.
Focus on the absolute 90s classics here. We’re talking Nike Air Max, Vans Old Skools and perhaps a Reebok Classic or InstaPump. Keep trouser lengths ankle-skimming, and don’t be afraid to wear with classic tube socks. Good times.
Tracksuits and track pants
Not so long ago the tracksuit was the preserve of second division football managers or anyone on a midnight dash to the corner shop. But it no longer lingers in fashion’s relegation zone. Instead, it has been re-worked into something unfathomably cool, not to mention comfortable. At the recent menswear shows, track pants were a style editor favourite, and everyone from Tyga to Rafferty Law can’t get enough of them. The more daring should try a head-to-toe look, but a pair of striped joggers with some classic Nike Air Max is a good place to start.
The oversized hoodie has been elevated from the fashion equivalent of comfort food to a serious statement piece in recent months. It’s also an excellent tool for layering, especially with the aforementioned windcheater. Stick to oversized style in bright colours. And if you want to throw some band merch or an old-school sports logo into the mix, even better.
Best worn at ankle-grazing length, the silhouette is pretty self-explanatory. Chinos in a loose fit without tapering in the leg will create an almost boxy shape. Smart/casual normcore style.
A wear-over-anything denim jacket is the easiest way to get some normcore styling into your off-duty uniform. Make sure the fit is boxy and oversized, and lean towards a 90s-issue stonewash palette to ensure your steez stays fresh.