NORMCORE HAS taken on a number of definitions: fashion for those who realize they are one in seven billion, self-aware stylized blandness, cliché style taboos, a unifying socio-cultural movement. I would like to add one to the list: Stanford fashion.
Campus breeds students who dress in unpretentious, average-looking clothing. Hoodies, flip flops (Rainbow sandals, Tevas anyone?), sweatpants, jeans, t-shirts, baseball caps, athletic shorts, sneakers. A Stanford student cycling through the Quad on a sunny day will be sporting some combination of the previously mentioned. That same student will probably claim little interest in fashion. He might mutter that “time invested in fashion communicates incompetence” or “clothing should be functional.” But his style is so purposefully average that it must be fashion. His idols, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerburg, are normcore’s icons. Whether a black hoodie or a turtleneck (Issey Miyake, of course), technocrat fashion is the Vogue to Stanford style.
But while most students fall into the normcore category, a number of students are now championing fauxcore. The New York Times trend report was the first to point out normcore’s inevitable offspring. Fauxcore is the fashionable attempt to appear minimalist and unconcerned by fashion. It is Rag & Bone sweatpants paired with a Vince or James Perse t-shirt and special edition New Balances. It is the effort to render an American mall chic. I respect the fauxcore gang because they openly admit to caring about what they put on in the morning.
Stanford students should accept that they have bought into fashion’s greatest trend. Because while the visionary entrepreneurs may have started Silicon Valley fashion, Stanford students play a large role in maintaining it. Students proudly bring their unpretentious, average-looking wardrobe to the office upon graduation.
Like it or not, Stanford students are avant-garde. Before the anti-fashion statements were statements, we were the original normcore. A google search of normcore now yields over a million results. Can we take more credit, please?