Basically Normcore

When we look into our closets and say or think those five dreaded words — I have nothing to wear — it’s not because we actually don’t have anything to wear. There are many reasons why that phrase pops into our head — we’re sick of everything we own, nothing fits, it’s all been photographed…whatever the case, I’m sure you’ve all said or had those thoughts at least once before. But the reason could actually be none of the above and all of the above at the same time.

the row, basics, pre-fall 2014

Although I buy and wear some crazy-ass clothes, on a day-to-day basis I pretty much wear the same thing. A t-shirt in some form (or a sweatshirt when it’s cold out), jeans or leather pants and a flat shoe (boots, loafers, sneakers…depends on the season and my mood). At the end of the day, I’m all about good basics but when it all starts to look the same, it can seem like you have nothing to wear.

And with the Internet buzzing about basic bitches and Normcore, does this mean I fall into one of those categories due to my love for basics? Let’s just say I just hope this kid doesn’t come knocking on my door any time soon.

To describe “being basic” is a tough thing to spell out (although I learned from College Humor that hashtagging caffeine, wearing Ugg boots, and captioning Instagrams “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” during your Vegas vacation are clear signs of basic-ness). So, I wore Uggs in college (guilty) but otherwise I seem to be in the clear. And if you’r really concerned, you can always take the “How Basic Are You?” Buzzfeed quiz (know that checking off “you’re really concerned about being basic” can only add to your basic-ness).

Now this whole Normcore thing is interesting (mostly because it makes a lot of references to one of the greatest shows of all time — Seinfeld). According to the most reliable source on the Internet — Wikipedia — Normcore is “a 2014 fashion trend of stylized blandness.” And according to the second most reliable source on the Internet — The New York Times — Normcore is “A fashion movement, c. 2014, in which scruffy young urbanites swear off the tired street-style clichés of the last decade — skinny jeans, wallet chains, flannel shirts — in favor of a less-ironic (but still pretty ironic) embrace of bland, suburban anti-fashion attire.” Just think Keds, Gap, New Balance — in Normcore, fitting in is the new standing out.


Now it seems as if both terms have the same message but females tend to fall in the “basic” category, while males can be “Normcore.” So altogether, I guess you can be BASICally Normcore. But regardless of these categories, this post actually has a point…and it’s as basic as basics. It seems like we’re always on the hunt for the best basics — those that are good quality and just work with everything in your wardrobe. These can be anything from the simplest white tee to one with a little something extra (but can still fit in your “basic” category of clothing). So, where can we find these wardrobe staples? Unfortunately my favorite basics brand, Bassike, isn’t sold in the US (so if any boutique owners here are reading this, I hope you take this as a MAJOR hint). On the contemporary side, I also like the offerings from T by Alexander Wang and LNA. Some of my favorite stores also have their own in-house line of basics — Shopbop and Sofia. If you’re looking for the most affordable basics, though, look no further than Zara (the amount of Zara white tees I have is probably not normal, but perhaps Normcore). And if you want the complete opposite, look to Mary-Kate and Ashley — by far the best luxury basics are from The Row. Although these are definitely elevated basics, the brand was founded on the perfect t-shirt and leather leggings so of course they’re going to be the best in this category.

So whether you want to call it being a basic bitch, Normcore, or minimalist (and whether you consider it all a compliment or an insult) they all have one thing in common and that’s good basics…something that every wardrobe can never have enough of. But now I need to hear from you. I have a lot of questions, like…

What are you favorite brands for basics? Did you take the Buzzfeed quiz? If so, how basic are you? And finally, what are your feelings towards Normcore?


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