Entertainment Style Kirstie Clements: The ‘normcore’ style message is in the male

Kirstie Clements: The ‘normcore’ style message is in the male

Normcore Shia LaBeouf
Shia LaBeouf is the patron saint of normcore fashion, but even he looks confused by it. Photo: Getty
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I have managed so far to still have a bit of a grip on what’s in fashion for women, even though I don’t exactly care. I just whipped around David Jones and noted that linen is big and florals are huge and sneakers seem to be the answer to everything, but I have lost touch with what is cool for young men.

Being the owner of a pair of 24-year-olds, I check in with them on occasion to see what’s happening in the world of menswear, as I do not trust myself to make a purchase on their behalf any more.

Menswear is so subtle, that logos and labels mean everything, because an oversized hoody is an oversized hoody, but there is a vast difference between Everlast and Balenciaga.

The twins are headed to the US, so I offered to buy them some warm clothes for Christmas, stressing that they needed to show me exactly what, as I was bound to get it wrong.

My phone pinged and I saw a link to a standard blue polar fleece hoodie at Patagonia, which is not exactly Gucci.

“This is what you want?” I said.

“Yeah, it’s the Shia LaBeouf look,” said my son, mentioning the US actor. “He looks fresh, he’s such a great dresser.” 

Shia LaBeouf, the unlikely style icon. Photo: Getty

I’d clearly missed this style phenomenon. My son sent me references. Apparently he is some sort of “normcore” style god, who wears what appear to be jeans, army boots, T-shirts. Baseball caps. And polar fleece sweatshirts. Like any other guy.

I dove deeper into the paparazzi pics. He has also been photographed with a long rats tail and on, occasion, he is wearing socks with Crocs and cut off shorts. The penny dropped. Irony. It’s so ordinary it’s completely great!

He gets the fit right and then just wears whatever. My son then nominated another, to my mind, unlikely style icon. Jonah Hill.

“You haven’t seen him wearing that Suns jersey?” I googled. It was the world’s ugliest singlet tucked into what look like bus drivers’ pants and belted. With black leather slip ons. Props to him.

Style is attitude and it’s often innate, which is why all the money in the world is not going to make you a snappy dresser. Fashion is also not something we need to live or die by, which is why it is great to see humour and irony involved.

The millennials are great at dressing using in jokes, buying vintage pieces like T-shirts featuring random WWE wrestlers or now defunct hip hop artists. It makes me happy to think that I don’t really know what’s cool to them, that’s how fashion should be.

If dressing like Russell Crowe at a Rabbitohs game is a thing, so be it. There is clearly some intellectualism behind their normcore preferences, so I will just have to suffer through the polar fleece and Dr Martens and NBA singlets. At least Christmas will be less expensive.

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