Just look at this massive line outside the first ever permanent Everlane store in NYC! It filled a whole city block. I really wanted to go inside but someone in the front of the line told me she waited 45 minutes. I don’t have the patience for that! I’ll try coming back when it’s less crazy and report back to you guys.
I went down a rabbit hole reading about anti-trend aesthetics yesterday. It felt like I was reading a manifesto in some ways. I think a lot of blogs (like mine) are talking more about “basics”, “classics”, and “essentials” but when you take a closer look there are subgenres within that with slightly different ethos and functionality.
The first anti trend aesthetic observed was “norm-core“– which sort of says ‘I’m not cool, I’m not special, and I don’t need to stand out’. Normcore is also hardcore in the sense that it’s still looks put together; there’s an edge about it seen in subtle details and the quality of the garments. Some people think norm-core is the Seinfeld look, but it’s much broader than that because it isn’t exactly early 1990s and doesn’t speak to a specific era. So when someone dresses like Seinfeld intentionally, I think it ceases to be norm-core and is just another form of hipster-style.
Then there’s “Gorpcore” (gorp means trailmix) which is kind of like norm-core but focused on functional clothing for the outdoors; think windbreaker jackets from Patagonia, Nalgene water bottles, and Teva sandals. We dress this way for bad weather, with no intention of going hiking, in lieu of purchasing more proper clothes like trench coats and big golf umbrellas.
[outfit: patagonia water proof fisherman jacket, everlane shorts*]
And now there’s “Meno-core“, coined by Man Repeller. Think elevated basics by Eileen Fisher, elasticated wide leg pants, linens, flowy tunics, light neutrals, etc. Elizabeth Suzann would fall under this category too. It’s when young millennial women dress like 50 year old women, like someone who finally has her life together, who no longer cares much about impressing men. She simply wants to feel comfortable in her clothes. Amen.
There’s also the workwear trend. Or as I like to think of it: Socialist style. Think masculine heavy weight cotton canvas, army greens, navy blues, with numerous big pockets. Carhartt is one example but there are plenty of Etsy shops selling farm-chic work cotton canvas work tunics with big pockets. Elizabeth Suzann Clyde work pants and the Harper Tunic are two other more elevated examples.
I wonder how much the anti-trend is reflective of the dire socio-economic climate millennials were thrusted into, when they graduated from college and dumped into the recession. Millennial women are a well informed sensible generation, who feel the environmental and financials costs of getting dressed acutely, but who are still the arbiters of style; I think a lot of us want to lay our heads low, be humble, and get on with life without the fuss of unnecessary embellishments, and so we shift between these anti-trends without even being conscious of it.
Moving on to life updates. I’ve been cooking more at home lately at the advice of my personal finance coach. I mentioned this mushrooms tacos recipe from New York Times before but it was so damn good, it’s worth mentioning here again. I made it 3 times already. I tweaked it a little by substituting regular onions with seared chopped Mexican green onions, but either version is good. It’s an easy recipe and you can put all the ingredients on a big chopping board for serving and people can simply build their own tacos.
I also started oil painting again. Because I’m trying out a new technique I decided to keep things simple and went back to basics with still life. My process is 100% non-toxic, so that I can paint indoors in my small NYC apt, with no ventilation, safely. To avoid toxic paints with solvents, I’m learning how to mix colors from a limited color palette with non toxic paint that dries all at the same rate. This method cuts down on the cost of buying a ton of different colors, gave me more control, and in the end, it produced a more cohesive picture. Very similar to the benefits of a limited color palette for wardrobes. Mixing your own colors is challenging but worth it. I spent 3 hours mixing these colors, and only about 1 hour actually painting.
I painted “a pair of pears” (and then ate them!)
And lastly, I decided to put up my APC ankle boots for sale in exchange for these No. 6 Store slingback clogs. They won’t be practical for the winter, but will work nicely with certain pants that I wear for work during the autumn months and will transition well into the spring.
I’ve only worn them once so far and absolutely love the style.
I have to say they were a bit slippery and I fell down the stairs on my way to work in them! I’m OK, thank god. They feel comfortable for a heel but I found that my feet kept sliding forward in them and at the end of the day my toenails were oddly sore. I don’t think the sliding would be a problem without socks, but I need socks because it’s 40 degrees here, so I ordered a pair of yoga socks with non-slip grips on the bottom to see if that would fix the problem. Gel inserts wouldn’t work because they take up too much room and these shoes are already snug. I having a similar problem with my Everlane heel boots too. They fit fine lengthwise, but because my feet slide forward with socks, my toes end up hurting by the end of the day. Has this ever happened to you?