Normcore: More Than Just an Anti-Trend

Paulina Kulczycki

In the ever-evolving realm of fashion, it feels like each passing year births increasingly weird trends, all trying hard to outdo the trends of the previous season. The outcome? Outfits that lack style and look like nothing but a sad soup of consumerism. Fast fashion, in particular, has turned fashion trends into fleeting fireflies, barely flickering for a season before they're snuffed out. Today's fashion trends are tomorrow's fashion faux pas. Yet, amid this trend frenzy, emerged an anti-trend that has proven itself as a lasting fashion statement over the past years: Normcore. But what exactly is Normcore, and is it more than just an anti-trend?

It seems like our attention spans have never been shorter – our minds latch onto the next thing within seconds. And it seems like fast fashion is picking up on that! Fashion trends no longer adhere to the length of an entire season; they change as swiftly as April showers. Alongside the slow fashion movement, there are other counter-currents attempting to slow down the fashion world. One such movement is the so-called “anti-trend”, and within it resides a peculiar standout: Normcore, an anti-trend so established it even boasts a Wikipedia page. But let's start from scratch: what exactly is an anti-trend?

Normcore More Than Just an Anti-Trend SANVT


In fashion, an anti-trend refers to a conscious resistance against prevailing fashion trends. It's a deliberate withdrawal from mainstream fashion conventions, and can therefore be understood as a kind of counter-movement. Anti-trends often manifest in unconventional styles, designs, or clothing pieces that defy the mainstream. They can be embraced by individuals, subcultures, or even broader groups, often serving as an expression of individuality, nonconformity, or even a social or political stance. Anti-trends can take various forms, from minimalist designs to provocative or avant-garde fashion statements. Examples of recent anti-trends include minimalism, gender-fluid fashion, and, of course, Normcore.

Read more on gender neutrality in fashion as an anti-trend here.

Normcore as an Anti-Trend

But let's be real; oftentimes, anti-trends end up being... well, trends themselves. Both trends and anti-trends entice us with qualities like avant-gardism and individualism. After all, in our individualism-infused culture, we all strive to be as extraordinary as possible. The irony, however, lies in the fact that through globalized (anti-)trends, no matter how niche they're sold to us, we all end up looking the same. A prime example? The hipster movement, which began with a desire for individualism and culminated in a nearly ridiculed uniformity.

So, if despite our efforts to be unique, we all end up looking the same, why bother at all? And that's precisely where Normcore comes into play.

SANVT Normcore More Than Just an Anti-Trend

What Does Normcore Mean?

The term "Normcore" first surfaced in 2008 in a guest post by Ryan Estrada for the web comic "Templar, Arizona." In 2013, the trend forecasting group K-HOLE used the term in a report titled "Youth Mode: A Report on Freedom," referring more to an attitude than a fashion style. It was meant to suggest finding "liberation in not wanting to be exceptional." In 2014, author Fiona Duncan mistakenly associated Normcore in an article for the New York Magazine with what K-HOLE termed "Acting Basic," a concept of dressing neutrally to blend in. This misunderstanding of Normcore though took root in the fashion world. That same year, "Normcore" was named the second-best neologism by the Oxford University Press, and in 2016, the word was added to the AP Stylebook. The term combines the words "normal" and "hardcore," essentially meaning not individual or being, well, "hardcore normal."

Is Normcore More Than Just an Anti-Trend?

Normcore existed as a style long before it was given a defining term. The sitcom character Seinfeld, for instance, epitomizes Normcore and was already setting the style tone in the late '80s. In broad strokes, Normcore dressers are individuals who don't use their clothing as a way to want to stand out from others. However, that doesn't mean they're unfashionable. They simply opt for what's easiest and consciously select clothing that is functional and modest. Today, Normcore can be understood as an anti-trend that is a response to the ever-changing fashion landscape. And if you want to nail Normcore, the foundation of your style should consist of premium essentials that are timeless and trend-resistant. Normcore clothing is unisex and typically comprises casual basics like t-shirts, polo shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, knitwear, joggers, chinos, jeans, shorts, and sneakers. In essence, the entire collection from SANVT. 

We believe that Normcore is much more than just an anti-trend. It's the solution to many of the issues plaguing the fast fashion industry and its detrimental consequences on the environment and climate. If Normcore were to become the norm, there would be no more inflationary fashion trends, only high-quality, long-lasting essentials that transform our wardrobes into minimalist capsule collections. If you ask us, Normcore can be almost considered as a form of activism and a political statement. A philosophy and approach that goes far beyond just a clothing style.

Normcore More Than Just an Anti-Trend SANVT t-shirt

Is SANVT Normcore?

Given that SANVT exclusively offers sustainable, ethically produced, high-quality premium essentials that can be worn regardless of the season or gender, and are characterized by minimalist, trend-resistant, season-independent, and timeless designs in year-round collections, our brand fits the Normcore label. After all, we prioritize quality over short-lived trends, crafting premium basics for everyday wear. Normcore at its finest. Yet what sets SANVT apart is our attention to detail. Despite our philosophy of "less is more," we offer perfected basics – both in terms of fit and material, and production methods. So, if you think Normcore is dull, allow our essentials to convince you otherwise. 

Discover the functional premium basics from SANVT and become a Normcore anti-trendsetter!

Photos by Aziz Lem

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