This passing post branches from a few questions I’m constantly asked by fellow University students (in their New Balance and cropped chinos, no less): What does one wear to pass as somewhat style-conscious during the Winter months? How does one wear a tracksuit to class without people passing judgement? What do you wear to the library? How cold does it need to be for me to wear UGG Boots out of the house? What do you think about Normcore? Don’t your feet hurt wearing heels all day? Do you think you’re mega-cool, drinking soy chai lattes? Why do fashion people take themselves so seriously?
That, and the fact that I just spent my entire day (save Day 2 of my 30 Day Bikram Yoga challenge) sitting on my backside with my nose in a Property Law textbook, and my face all up in my laptop.
I get it. The last thing you want to do when the going gets cold at the crack of dawn is to think about what the hell to put on your body, let alone crawl out of the toasty burrito that is your bed, and deal with all of the fools who choose to drive at such an ungodly hour.
Fashion does not actually take itself as seriously as one might assume – the illusion is cast to keep the club looking glamorous, while the heels come off under the table, and the image is cropped at the ankles. It’s an industry of businesses. People work damn hard. Work does not happen if you’re not comfortable. Comfort is as much a right as WiFi.
Not – and I repeat, not – to be confused with Normcore.*
While VOGUE has already declared the anti-fashion movement to be done and dusted, the same was so declared for Sports Luxe, which didn’t go anywhere for a full four seasons, and has yet to be purged completely from the high street (I, for one, never want to see a leather baseball cap again). Indeed, the trends do have their similarities – primarily vested in their seamless hybridism with sleepwear, sweatwear, and housewear (I’ll agree that there is something deliciously sinful about wearing a sportsbra with stilettos), and both are a radical-libertarian feminist’s societal dream. Where Sports Luxe holds is ground is in those stilettos, or a dress with sneakers – the sexy is not yet lost. Meanwhile, as much as your boyfriend will tell you he likes you better in pyjamas than a bikini, there is no sexy in Normcore, save the vague reference of your jersey sweater to being in bed, and your crotch dropped so low that you could fit a baby in there, as my Mother so generously put it when she saw my study outfit du jour.
So here’s the key: invest in anti-basic basics that would still pull their weight in a more sartorially focused ensemble, like this skivvy with a skirt, these trousers with a dress, and these ace flats with anything ever. Embrace the fluffy, the wool, no stilettos, yes, but, as Sports Luxe taught us, never underestimate the power of leather, patterned coffee cups and couch handbags. Right-click-save the look and wear it sparingly, as long as the UGG boots and tracksuit stay in bed together.
And, yes, that’s a soy chai latte.
And, yes, it was damn tasty.