Normcore for Pakistan

What started as the pseudo word by a trend-forecasting  agency ‘K-HOLE’ has ended up being the most googled trend in 2014. Normcore is “the anti trend” trend to the novice or the Average Joe look characterized by wearing minimalist pieces that are both non-descript but also inconspicuous.normcore pakistan aamiriat

Think Jerry Seinfeld or your Nazimabadi Uncle stuck in his 80s fashion. Throw in some “Athleisure” pool sandals or some Bata footwear and voila there you have it NORMCORE. It’s the conscious effort to look effortless, rather than striving to look different and authentic Normcore dictates looking like everyone else.

Normcore-trend-Jerry-Seinfeld-fashion-inspirationBut as we are bombarded by myriad of lawns in coming days I wonder would the western imagery of embracing sameness via Normcore still holds true if people here start donning loose heather grey t-shirts, mom jeans and Birkenstocks?  How would a Pakistani embrace Normcore or dressing normally?

With a staunch consumer preference for prints and ostentatiously worked bridal joras for ladies and meticulously detailed menswear, Normcore here would walk a fine line between embracing fads (like long Malai lawn shirts with tights for women and colored loafers for men) and inculcating comfy minimalism into our wardrobes.

It is more or less the need of the hour for  an informed Pakistani fashion consumer because no one   should be spending exuberant amounts on a limited edition Sana Safinaz or Khaadi lawn prints when  they know that hundreds and thousands of copies will hit the grey market in less than a week. Lawn as a whole with its subliminal product differences has rendered the whole concept of exclusivity and avant-garde fashion into toasted peanuts sold on the street.

So why not liberate yourself from buying the latest piece from that popular high-street brand and rather opting for a plain polyester-cotton tunic to wear with a comfy shalwar and brown kolhapuris instead. Spend more time doing stuff and less time buying stuff.norm core color pallette

it’s an equally tricky minefield for men as they have to a disengage from sartorial details (of the cuffs, contrast colored inlays  and collar shapes) to more relaxed and exhaustingly plain Bonanza khakis and Gulahmed grays,  the Cambridge crewnecks and the Servis shoes. Which is quiet depressing to write(and probably read) as all of the aforementioned brands offer incredibly normal and bland looking clothes?

But before you plan to take a head on dive into this trend, tread carefully! Normcore is only good for individuals who are impeccably groomed. As the lack of effort on extra ostentations is made for by neatness of the body itself. Shaggy appearance and unkempt hair would make you go from being chic minimalist to looking down right homeless. Also our  predominantly darker skin tones mean that we have to opt for pieces that contrast a bit while being unimposing at the same time. Too much grey and beige from head to toe will render your complexion washed-out. It is not for every one of us out here.shalwar kameez real men normcore

In an effort to look normal I would reassert the very subjectivity of term “average-looking”. Remember preconception changes perception, Normcore is only a little different from being a lazy minimalist.

The article originally appeared in Hello Magazine Pakistan
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