Are the New “Anti” Trends a Reaction to Fashion Bloggers?


At its essence, blogging is about the personal, the anecdotal, the individual. Of course it means different things to different people and is interpreted in a variety of ways, but amongst the fashion blogging community, I think we can all agree that our individuality is stressed and celebrated through our words and images.

As blogging has taken off and infiltrated mainstream, popular culture, we can safely say that it has even become quite a saturated marketed with an endless stream of fashion and street style blogs accessible, that perhaps the novelty of it is wearing off, and as the cycle goes and fashion moves onto the next thing, could the next “it” thing be a move from clear cut identity to…a generic sartorial sameness?

The motivation behind this connection stems from Fiona Duncan's article for New York Magazine, in which she coined the phrase “normcore,” a phenomenon, or perhaps we may go even as far as calling it a trend, that is in retaliation to keeping up with the fashion cycle and the hottest designer item, and instead, looking like the rest of America, i.e. “like a tourist,” “Jerry Seinfeld,” a middle America “mom” or “dad.”

Pieces that can described within the normcore circuit are “mom jeans,” stone washed denim,  sandals with out of place, bulky white ribbed socks, baseball caps, all-white leather sneakers, Crocs, velcro sandals, khakis, fleece pull-over jackets, and track pants (Want more examples? Check out GQ's 10 #Normcore Essentials feature).

It's been described as practical, awkward, clichè-heavy,  full of fashion no-nos, and unpretentious, an escape from the “keeping up with the Joneses” patterning that can happen by being absorbed and perpetually defeated by the incredibly fast past of fashion, which is quickened to a sprint by the dissemination of information at lightening speed on the web.

It's not a total abandonment of fashion; even anti-fashion is still a fashion statement, and through the ambiguity of dress, those that go normocore are still identifying within a group, albeit, a potential new one.

And if the idea is to look essentially express a sameness that doesn't stand out from the crowd in a traditional fashion sense, then where does that leave fashion blogging and style bloggers?

Blogging and social media have certainly reinforced a “me, me, me” culture, in which we share what we are wearing and doing, constantly, and perhaps to excess.

By dressing in a way that doesn't evoke a unique point of view reduces the emphasis on the way and amount of time put into sharing via these outlets, and also signals a return to a simpler time when none of this existed.

For example, the concept of JOMO (the Joy Of Missing Out) is a hot topic of debate, which means staying home, turning inward, meditating, reflecting, and overall, living more mindfully, instead of giving into the urge to go out or having jealous feeling of not being invited.

JOMO preaches the exact opposite of the feeling of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), making peace with what's happening on social media and instead, discovering the importance of nurturing oneself. I personally feel at times that I've reached a burn out point with social media, and can understand staying home and doing something relaxing for myself instead of attending a much-touted party. Relating this to the idea of normcore, these concepts are an overall redefinition of a way of being, dressing, and lifestyle, changing the idea of what it means to be cool and taking the outward display and turning it more inward instead.

As we as bloggers have helped to democratize style for all, and if normcore is a “trend”  and is truly happening, it's certainly a seismic shift in what we know of as fashion today, and I can't help but ponder if the blogging community is contributing in an indirect way to it surfacing.

Or are we all merely over thinking it? Self-expression when it comes to fashion, and the aesthetic, pleasing eye of what we declare to define as stylish could be changing, or these ideas could merely prevail for a short period of time on a largely subcultural level. We won't know for sure until we've gained more perspective and can further evaluate its implications and what it means in the future, and if the impact, if any, on fashion blogging and social media can be measured.

What do you think about normcore and JOMO? Is there a link to fashion blogging and social media?

Image credit: New York Magazine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

14 Responses

  1. Maegan

    I think it’s half and half… yes, this is all true… but on the other hand, all things ’90s are back in style and all the things listed as “normcore” were also highly fashionable in the minimalist ’90s decade as well. Though I’m a much “older” fashion blogger, lol, and am not a niche fashion blog either, {though I do fall victim to certain trendy items – mostly handbags} my style has remained the same and I think if there’s anything to gain from Fashion Bloggers {if they are good} is just a bit inspiration maybe and style tips and tricks to pull from what you already have instead of falling prey to so much fast fashion and having a closet full of cheap items {which is bad for the environment as well} I like when I see the young girls thrifting as I did in the 90s and still do. That not only leads to individual style, creativity, and unique-ness, it’s good for the environment as well 🙂 Unfortunately, most of the very big “celebrity bloggers” {and understandably} portray a very elite and expensive lifestyle that is sure to be coveted by newcomers.

    • julia

      HI Maegan,
      Love love love your comment! Very spot on and conscious of the environment with the issue of fast fashion, and the re-circulating of the 90s trends!

  2. m l williams

    Normcore. So that what they call how we dress in Toledo Ohio. Great style that is affordable and is available in your local mall, but I still love my fashion blogs and mags.

  3. CynthiaCM

    I’ve never gone OTT like most fashion bloggers (I’m not fashion-fashion, anyway…more lifestyle…and as I’m getting older (34 now), I’ve started to move away from reading fashion glossies (though I still love Harper’s Bazaar) and onto more Martha Stewart and Chatelaine (major Canadian lifestyle magazine). My wardrobe has mostly been jersey dresses (wrap or otherwise) in the spring/summer, worn with semi-dressy sandals and long tops/skinny pants w/ boots in the fall/winter. What would that fall under? As I live in the downtown area of Toronto, I pretty much “blend in” with most people here, who tend to dress up a bit more than in the suburbs. Is that still #normcore?


    • julia

      I think exactly what normcore can be defined as is still having a bit of a chameleon quality to its definition, but I would say, in my humble opinion that your style is…you — not normcore. 🙂

  4. Monika Faulkner

    Fashion (and I’m using the term very loosely here to describe a love of clothes and accessories!) isn’t for everyone, just like swimming or playing card games isn’t for everyone. Sure, we all have to wear clothes when out in public…but some people want to keep things as simple as possible, while others enjoy the ritual of “dressing up” and all that this might entail (including blogging about it!!) To each his own, which I think is part of the JOMO philosophy; but I personally agree with Tom Ford’s statement that “dressing well is a form of good manners!!”

  5. Chelsey

    Interesting post. First time I have heard of JOMO… I kinda like it and the concept behind it. Sounds relaxing.

  6. Gracious Store

    I think fashion and social media are related as we are in an age when everyone wants to be seen (as the way they dress) and heard ( as being constantly engaged in conversation)

  7. Julie

    Social media is like an extension of fashion bloggers! Everyone knows that.
    The whole point of fashion is to showcase ourselves and our views. Whether or not we choose to participate in trends, it’s all about the individual.

  8. jo

    People don’t have the money to keep up. Lifestyle has changed. The world has changed. It’s about being resourceful. So yeah, fashion bloggers are annoying with expensive clothes tastefully put together in professional photography light with makeup applied just so… Now is the time to figure out what really is important in life. I can tell you fashion is not on the top of my list, and no one loves cute clothes more than me.