That Spring Look | No Obsolescence

Normcore IV

If you ask me, this would be my take on Normcore. If you haven’t heard of Normcore (it’s a supposed trend where people wear 1990s basic clothes to attempt to appear plain or normal – at a time when so many are attempting to set themselves apart as individuals). It’s conformity packaged as non-conformity wrapped up in bike shorts and goofy relics from Seinfeld. While all that seems interesting for a minute, I’m slightly more interested in looking good for the longer terms. At the heart of my approach to long lasting stylishness is the concept of buying (and wearing) clothes with no obsolesce. The only exception in this rig here is potentially that Leica, since it is digital. This look is more about the virtues of long lasting icons and the simplicity of having a “uniform.” I don’t need a trend or a desire to be noticed to dictate how I dress myself. I dress more for the the idea that I want to be able to look back at my style thirty years from now and be as relevant then as I would be now. That’s it, pure and simple.

Some would look at this and think it is beyond “basic” to the point of being boring, to me it hits just the right note. All of these items individually look inconspicuous, but each is a wonderful example of the power which sits at the intersection of understated and refined. This look reminds me of something my friend Arnaud in Paris would wear. It wouldn’t be these pieces exactly, but this vibe for sure. Every time I see him he’s wearing a basic white shirt, clean classic sneakers and other simple items that round it all out. Sometimes the sneakers are swapped out for dress shoes, occasionally there’s a cashmere sweater in the mix and other times he’s wearing a simple pair of raw denim jeans. This look may seem haphazard, but it’s choreographed perfectly and expertly selected. And just like Normcore, dressing like this is all about hiding in plain sight.

More item specifics after the jump.

Comments on “That Spring Look | No Obsolescence

    Mark Paigen on March 10, 2014 4:17 PM:

    Normcore may come and go, but the idea of clothing with no obsolescence is nail on the head. I couldn’t agree more. It means looking twice, buying once. Fewer purchases of higher quality goods. It is what Osmium is all about. A ‘Quiver of One’ mentality. A subversive concept in the world of fast fashion. Less trend and more style.

    GOOG on March 11, 2014 10:33 AM:

    I like this look. So did JFK on a crisp sailing day.

    Thom on March 11, 2014 11:10 AM:

    Replace the sweatshirt with a Loopwheeler and the chinos with some selvedge and you have my general look all the time now. No regrets.

    Ray Hull on March 11, 2014 3:17 PM:

    Hmm, there is something NEW there: an IWC featuring a BRONZE case. I’ll stick with my round titan GST but wonder how green one’s wrist might get with bronze?

    Unloaded my entire Leica M-series kit about 4 years ago and haven’t looked back courtesy of Olympus OM-D pro line (now an E-M5). It has FIVE-axis image stabilization in the BODY; Leica hasn’t included any IS yet, so hang onto your tripods.

    CeeEm on March 11, 2014 5:44 PM:

    Slim fit/Low rise pants will become sort of obsolete sometime soon. There’s a lot of people out there looking quite ridiculous in their tight little trousers.

    Gary on March 11, 2014 5:52 PM:

    I’m thinking JFK and Steve McQueen. Very classic, very cool. Not normcore.

    TJ on March 12, 2014 2:03 AM:

    Love it. Minimal and understated.

    OLD MAN FANCY on March 13, 2014 12:11 PM:

    Hey Michael, do you think growing up in the suburbs of Cleveland had a normcore impact on your general style vibe? As a fellow Clevelander, I feel like that city had more to do w/ me dressing simple and nondescript, although I’ve since swapped over-sized Champion heather-gray sweatshirts and K-Mart trousers for sh-t like The Elder Statesman cashmere crews and Cucinelli pants. I’ve always dealt w/ the Old Man comments on my fashion sense (Hence my moniker), but this is where I felt, well, normal. When I look back at pictures of me in the 80’s-90’s, I’m relieved I never chased trends and stuck w/ tried-n-true basics. I also think N.W.A and West Coast Latino culture (Colors, American Me anyone?) shaped my choices…crisp khakis, white shirts, black nylon baseball jackets. Great article.

    iblamesummers on March 20, 2014 1:35 PM:

    i’m sick of beards & ironic haircuts & expensive skinny jeans & band/graphic tees & hoodies & dirty chucks. gaudy logos & big ponies. labels. “streetwear.” luxury brands. expensive “vintage” watches.”streetwear”. the kids & clueless plebes can have that shit. this is the GAP all day. JC Penney Stafford button oxfords. baggy Duck Head or Haggar khakis. Fruit of Looms or Hanes or Champion sweatshirts & underwear. army surplus. dickies & carhartt. k-swiss tennis shoes. this is about function & utility. it can be modular. maybe a pair of Payless boaters one day or Wolverine boots the next. a long sleeve Izod polo. a white tee & baggy khakis & a pair of cheap Reeboks. if your outfit cost more that $100 YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG. get a Ford Taurus wagon & you are good to go my friend.

    ArtSnob on March 27, 2014 9:44 PM:

    Less is always more in my book. Being fashionable has its just rewards, but being trendy is a time consuming headache. Timeless, classic and tasteful are lovely words when you have a life and things to do, other than rummage through a constantly outdated treasure chest of trendy fools gold!
    Find a UNIFORM – Gain a LIFE.

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