My first introduction to the vast world of fashion aesthetics was back in 2014 as an high school freshman reading about Normcore in WhoWhatWear. As an aesthetic characterised by the bare bones essentials of plain white tees, worn-in blue jeans, solid neutral coloured hoodies and simple sneakers, it appealed to me while I attempted to navigate what to wear in a new school that didn’t have a uniform to take the guesswork out of getting dressed. Fast forward almost a decade, and the dregs of the Normcore trend that dominated the mid 2010s are still lingering in my wardrobe, now amalgamated over time with various other pieces that are louder and brighter as I realised my personal style couldn’t be defined by this single understated aesthetic.
The notion of “core” my have entered our lexicon with Normcore, but it hasn’t stopped there. It was born as a descriptive way to pin point a niche fashion trend and acts as a new way to embrace a certain subculture or identity, and thanks to platforms like TikTok; new ones are cropping up everyday. These hyper-specific internet aesthetics not only serve as a way for Gen-Z fashion enthused TikTokers to find a style community, but serves as a simple way to communicate complex designs and trends to make them easy digestible for a broader audience. Although I think this descriptive suffix is getting quite out of hand (see fairycore, royalcore, and cottagecore) It does make for an interesting way to not only communicate a fashion trend, but the attitudes and lifestyle around it. In celebration of that, I've chosen four of these aesthetics that I believe are here to stick around.
Blokecore takes inspiration from 70s, 80s and 90s football culture, as well as the nostalgic bygone era of Brit pop (think bans like Oasis or Blur). It’s an aesthetic characterised by vintage football shirts, Adidas Sambas or Gazelles, bucket hats, tracksuit bottoms and zip up sweatshirts. If you can replicate what a football crazed middle aged dad would wear you’re on the right track.
Named after your typical hiker's most beloved snack Trail Mix or (Good O' Raisins and Peanuts). It's a style focused around wearing utilitarian, practical and outdoors inspired gear, especially from gorp certified brands like Arc'teryx, Patagonia, Nike ACG and Salomon. If you're curious to know more about this aesthetic, we've written a whole blog post about it right here.
Chaos core can be defined in one word: Excess. This more is more approach to dressing owes its aesthetic to influences like gaming characters, avatar design and digital art as opposed to celebrities or high fashion runways. Although not my personal taste, I think there’s something refreshing about being unapologetically bold while paying no heed to brand labels or sartorial convention, especially in a world of carefully curated minimal looks that are solely intended to be worn within the confines of an instagram post.