You’ve probably heard the term, “normcore” being tossed around from time to time in the past twelve months- maybe over a rye whiskey or while scanning the latest Urban Outfitters catalog. The first time I heard it was after visiting Dr. Kenet‘s office where his wife explained to me that their teenage daughter was on the forefront of the minimalist, dare I call it, trend. The name “normcore” is the combination of “normal” and “hardcore.” From what I gather, it’s the art of looking aggressively normal.
After a bit of research, it became clear that normcore is more than just a fashion movement, it’s an actual mindset. When you are walking around and you spot mom jeans on a girl whose reproductive organs probably just started functioning, you may feel a little confused, but don’t. You’ve just spotted normcore. The “movement” began in a fit of defiance against the fashion industry. People wanted to make it clear they weren’t buying into the trends or falling victims to the hype. In theory, that’s great, but once you make a statement against a statement, you’re making a statement. The irony, for one, is lost on me. To me, normcore is the new wave hipster. I’m more of the mindset that wearing what looks good on your body and makes you feel fancy is always on trend- and there’s nothing wrong with that. In the off chance you’d like nothing more than to look like Jerry Seinfeld or Monica on season one of Friends, here are some normcore essentials to get you started. Full disclosure, I own my very own pair of Stan Smith’s.
Nike Benassi Rubber Soles, Frame Denim Le Boyfriend Supima Cotton Jersey T-Shirt, BDG The Mom Jean, J. Crew Collection Cashmere Sweater, Adidas Stan Smith Leather Custom Shoes
In case you haven’t heard (or read WhyDid in the the last 6+ moths), the 90’s are having a renaissance. And with the revival of 90’s trends like babydoll dresses and brands like Birkenstock, 90’s musicians are also feeling a lift in their royalties. I understand that stores like Urban Outfitters and Forever 21 shill out shirts with graphics of “vintage” bands emblazoned on them and some of you have only heard of these bands during drunken stories told by your nostalgic “older” friends or when a song comes on in a dive bar and all the “middle aged” patrons go wild. Well, here’s a pro-tip (talking to you children of the 90’s): be sure you know something about the vintage band t-shirt you are wearing because people will ask you about it- much like the friendly man who checked me out at Nob Hill. Fortunately for me, I was schooled, partially by osmosis- partially against my will by my older brothers who wore weird clothes, had long hair, and played their instruments at ungodly hours at decibel levels usually reserved for freight trains in the guesthouse above our garage.
I don’t think any of us will soon forget the roadtrip from Monterey to Los Angeles that nearly came to bloody blows when I demanded in my pouty teenage cheerleader way that we listen to Backstreet Boys and my metal loving brothers were more inclined to jump out the windows of the moving vehicle before allowing their eardrums to be tainted by such pop hypocrisy. I don’t actually recall who won, but I do love my poor damn dad for dealing with all of us without wrecking into a guardrail in the midst of the melee. I believe we ended up taking turns, but I have to take a moment and thank my brothers for their efforts in a musical intervention. You saved me from myself… and the Backstreet Boys.
In my tradition of nomadic travel (meaning I am incapable of booking roundtrip plane tickets and prefer to take things as they come), I didn’t pack enough clothing for my extended stay. However, I enjoy raiding the closets of those that I’m visiting and incorporating their wares into my gypsy wardrobe. This is when I stumbled upon my father’s 1971 military fatigues (which he has informed me as I write this were referred to as OD, olive drab). What a perfect way to top off my Metallica tee and maxi skirt while watching the sun set on a sunny day in Monterey.
earrings: Soho street find (similar here), jacket: Dad’s (similar here), t-shirt: Bravado, skirt: Brandy Melville (similar here), bag: Amrita Singh, boots: All Saints (similar here)
Sleep with one eye open.
photos by Richard (Dick) Smith
I love winter shorts, but this is yet another style gamble that you can lose the house on. When executed properly, the look is young, playful, and a great way to get more wear out of your favorite shorts. However, when you roll the dice and lose, the stares you’re going to get on the street won’t be those of admiration. They’ll be looks of horror, possibly pity, and most likely secondhand embarrassment. You know, the same look you had when you informed the girl seated at the table next to you that she had a toilet paper tail. Oh, that was just us? Anyway, many moons ago, I put together some winter shorts guidelines that still hold true to this day. So, go ahead and hold off on stashing your short shorts for just a little while longer.
hat: Urban Outfitters, t-shirt: American Apparel, sweater: Henri Bendel (similar here), shorts: c/o Cult of Individuality, tights: HUE, bag: Alexander Wang, boots: All Saints (similar here)
Photo Credit: Michael Stiegler
Before there was a Christian Louboutin next to the deli on my block (before a bag of chips cost $10), there used to be an art gallery with big glass windows. Inside this gallery was a huge neon sign, a beacon of glowing red ligt in the night, that said, “Love Me.” I wished so badly I had the wall space and cash to acquire this piece of art that’s basically my life’s motto. Little did I know, this was from the same street artist who has made his mark all over New York, Los Angeles, and Tokyo with his signature, “Love Me” campaign. You may have seen it scribbled on everything from the side of a building to the side of a meat truck. The man behind this beautiful mantra? Curtis Kulig. Not only is his message beautiful, he’s not too bad to look at, ladies.
But alas, as all artists know, these bills won’t pay themselves. His “Love Me” logo gained so much momentum that everyone from Vans to Urban Outfitters has tapped him to add a little love to their products. And just in time for Valentine’s Day, he’s also teamed up with Smashbox, which may seem like an odd collaboration, but might be the most fitting as makeup application is actually a form of art. These are the perfect little items to treat yourself or a friend to for Valentine’s Day and, of course, to spread a little love.
Love Me Paint Pen Eyeliner, $24, Love Me Eyeshadow Palette, $34, Love Me Be Legendary Lipstick, $19, Love Me Blush, $28,
You know you love me.
Everyday around the same time, a flock of birds shows up at this little bird bath. I’m not talking like one or two. I am talking about ten to twenty at a time. It’s like birds gone wild at spring beak (too many fowl puns?). Something about this little bird bath seemed very French to me. I’m not sure why. Do they even have birds (les oiseaux) in France? Doesn’t matter. It seemed like a perfect place to put on one of my favorite knit dresses with wedge booties and beret and channel my inner French girl. While it’s been abnormally warm, the air does start to chill when the sun goes down. That’s why it’s imperative to always have a jacket and scarf on hand. Cherry nails and lips are the perfect accents for an all black and white ensemble.
dress: Zara, jacket: Andrew Marc, cashmere scarf: Nordstrom, hat: Urban Outfitters, shoes: Franco Sarto, bag: Kwigy Bo, nail polish: Essie Lacquered Up
1. Dolce Vita Bayley Dress, $176, 2. Bark n Bag Monaco Pet Tote, $48, 3. Cooperative Woven Wedge, $109, 4. Members Only Sylvia Leather Jacket, $140, 5. Wyatt Black Wool Cashmere Knit Hat, $85, 6. John W. Nordstrom Cashmere Scarf, $56.90
And I never leave home without my best accessory… Smitty.