In every corner of visual self-expression, a full circle system is emerging. Music that was cool 10 years ago is back on trend, movies that hone in on nostalgia are beating the freshest franchises, and jelly shoes are somehow a thing again.
The nostalgia-infused pattern seeps into fashion probably most obviously, swaying generations of sartorial enthusiasts to rethink their avant-garde decisions before they've even coined a new term for them. And the newest term has just been coined: Menocore.
What is Menocore?
Coined by the savvy heroes at ManRepeller, menocore "pays long-overdue homage to an age bracket that is often ignored by the fashion industry." It's a movement that embraces comfort and security.
Gone are restrictions — creams, knits, spectacles and free-flowing shapes are in. Celebrate freedom, clashes and comfort, and if you want to add more patterns or wear loose on loose, welcome to the safe embrace of menocore.
Not actually on the opposite end of the spectrum to the neon, preppy, preschool chic, the very point of menocore is that it sits in the middle. It celebrates the outfits of those in-between days where cozy trumps catwalk. Don't turn to your grandma, just turn to your mom. Think yoga, wear linen, put the kettle on.
What is making menocore such a thing, so newsworthy, is that it's a trend that many of us have been following without even realizing.
A sub-conscious lifestyle choice
Harling Ross explains on ManRepeller that the secret to menocore is its simplicity:
"Unselfconscious-cool. Picture a 50-something-year-old woman who doesn’t care what other people think and just wants to be supremely comfortable."
There lies the difference with normcore, with minimalism, with chromatic dressing. Menocore doesn't ask you to strip down, to adopt a new style or to rationalize what's cool and what's not. Menocore is a trend that encourages dressing like your mom, it's a trend that is also just as encouraging as she would be, a trend asking you to do whatever you want with it.
My beach style is the real me pic.twitter.com/KMrUYVaq1w— Estée Lalonde (@EsteeLalonde) July 26, 2017
Think of menocore like the sartorial offering for Danish lifestyle phenomenon hygge which took over our lives even though we definitely already knew how to light a candle before. It may be stating the obvious, but what Menocore is achieving is pride and recognition for clothes we may usually hide from social media, within our very private
It may be stating the obvious, but what Menocore is achieving is pride and recognition for clothes we may usually hide from social media, within our very private hyyge lives.
Hygge and menocore complete each other in taking the cozy and making it cool, allowing your best self to be your comfiest. Passant Adel discovered her unintentional allegiance to the trend when it was christened on the internet. A long-time linen lover, she explains the brilliance of menocore's newfound celebration:
"The Menocore trend is not something new that we all feel just now; it was there since forever but now like everything else, we’re expressing it with no shame."
Menocore offers a trend that isn't asking you to change nor is it limiting what's cool and what's not. It sees your yoga pants and your mom's straw bag, and it says rock on.
It may seem like an unnecessary fad or a waste of breath to christen a fashion trend that seems more like anti-fashion. Like hygge, menocore is making a thing out of our hidden everydays — which we're all pretty good at already.
Do we really need to put labels on it? Is it teaching us anything at all? Perhaps calling Menocore a phenomenon is actually stripping its core of its humble origins by putting the cable knit in the spotlight. But as the gap between comfy and cool grows smaller — we're most certainly here for it.