Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014 06:23 pm est

Recycling fashion should be tasteful

Posted on April 2, 2014 | by Sam Del Rowe


With the rise of the normcore trend,  recycling fashion seems to have reached a high. Normcore can be summed up as taking fashion inspiration from the worst trends of the ’90s — ill-fitting jeans and white New Balance sneakers or Tevas. The term was coined on Feb. 26 in a New York Magazine article and has since been popularized through social media. There is something to be said for understanding fashion as an important  form of self-expression, yet there are still trends that should not be resurrected.

Think back one or two years to the unfortunate Cosby sweater trend that swept the campuses of liberal arts colleges and beyond. Rivaled only by the related ugly Christmas sweater trend, oversized thrift store Cosby sweaters were paired with skinny jeans for both men and women before the trend was swept up by the likes of Urban Outfitters. Many people agree that Cosby sweaters and ugly Christmas sweaters should be left in the past. While oversized sweaters may be comfortable, the irony that comes with replicating the ’80s and ’90s is best left on coffee mugs.

Of course, comfort is an important factor to consider when it comes to clothing. However, irony comes into play as soon as someone claims to be against current trends by attempting to revive past trends. The purposeful resurrection of unfortunate trends is undesirable. These styles were bad when they started and reappropriating them under the guise of irony may be even worse.

That said, some aspects of the normcore trend can be worn tastefully. Fleece is an acceptable option, especially in neutral colors such as black and grey. Loose-fitting jeans can also be incorporated into many outfits, as long as they are in dark washes. After all, sweatpants are currently ubiquitous in high fashion. The issue is not comfort. There are ways to wear loose fitting and athletic clothing while maintaining a put-together look. Check out the persistent sports luxe trend for inspiration.

Ironic clothing makes the wearer look silly and careless, on par with wearing an “I’m with stupid” t-shirt. Who knows, maybe those kinds of shirts will be the next big trend. But for now, leave the Cosby sweaters in the ’80s, Christmas sweaters at your grandma’s and dad clothes in his closet. And please, do not bring back the fanny pack.

A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, April 2 print edition. Sam Del Rowe is a staff writer. Email him at


  • rrrj

    get ur facts str8. normcore was coined by khole like last year duh. also, if youre going to offer bad to mediocre fashion commentary/advice, at least know what youre talking about

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Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

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News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


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Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

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Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

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