In the beginning it was known as normcore – a crasis of normal and hardcore – and it defined a fashion trend characterised by the obsession for normal-looking clothing, which had to be worn if you wanted to be special. That kind of irony now also goes for adult fashion, with the new menocore trend, now in the limelight thanks to the blog Man Repeller, which described the trend as wanting to dress like Diane Keaton in Nancy Meyers’s film Something’s Gotta Give.
In the film, Diane Keaton plays the part of Erica Jane Barry, a successful playwright and divorced, single woman aged about fifty, who usually wears classy but sober cream-coloured polo neck sweaters and plain coloured trousers.
Harling Ross, author of the article published on Man Repeller and the first one to identify the trend, describes it as “a look inspired by the aesthetic of a middle-aged woman on a low-key beach vacation. You know: lots of linen, tiny spectacle sunglasses, maybe a bucket hat, cosy knits, everything super flowy…”
“Maybe that’s why I keep dressing like a retired masseuse”, says Leandra Medine, creator of Man Repeller. “Drawstring linen pants, open button-downs… Every time one of us walked into the office wearing an outfit resembling that of a mom in a Nancy Meyers movie or an eccentric ceramicist exiting her beach house studio or Blythe Danner on a solo bird-watching expedition in 1997, someone would inevitably say, ‘Well, well, well. Aren’t you looking menocore today?’”
These are the key features of the menocore look: comfortable, flowy, easy. Better still, if paired with some subtle elegance and a healthy dose of irony. A look that allows women to focus on their feelings rather than feeling what they are wearing. Bottom line: a relaxed and unwittingly cool look. Picture a 50 year-old woman, who doesn’t care about what other people think and simply wants to feel at ease. Menocore considers comfort a need, not a luxury.
Aside from the look, however, what is the real asset of menocore? The fact that it has transformed the word menopause (which has carried negative nuances for years and has often been used to reject, mock or insult women) into a fashion statement that cannot be ignored.