Experimentation: Dressing Down

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Usually I’m in some form of #menswear, whether it is a suit or a blazer.  However, there are a few days when I’m actually dressed down.  I’ve always been a fan of normcore and certain types of streetwear, and I’m always looking for an opportunity to show it off, even if it is a rare occassion.  What do you think?

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I wore this outfit for this past 4th of July.  Things haven’t been to great for me lately, so I didn’t really feel like dressing up.  Plus, I was asked to help my friend Jon Hwang film a roof top party in South LA.  I’m not really into carrying production gear while wearing a suit!

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The theme of normcore is inherent in the name: the pieces are “normal”.  They aren’t formal attire or worn to the gym, they’re just clothes.  In fact, I find it a little funny since normcore definitely sounds like satire to me; the progenitors of the movement must have been selfaware.  To some people this may not be a “fashion look”, but to me these choices are definitely intentional, since I don’t normally dress in this style.

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Denim jackets are a great layering piece!

While these clothes are “normal” and are not normally tailored, fit is still king.  My jeans are very slim (and hemmed to the ankle) and the denim jacket and crew neck sweater is flattering without being too tight.  If the pieces were baggy, too fitted or even too “loud”, I believe that the normcore vibe would be lost.  Personally, I find that normcore is a great blend of plain, comfort, and casual style.

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I gotta say that my favorite piece from this outfit is the sweater.  The sweater was on sale at J. Crew for only $20 bucks,so I copped it!  It’s faded and garment dyed, featuring the classic “V-Stich” at the collar and  large ribbing on the hem and sleeves.  It’s a throwback to the old school college sweaters!  The entire outfit is almost like a 1990’s college casual look with an updated 2010s fit.

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These beige Vans old skools are actually my first pair of fashion sneakers and were bought way before I got the killshots  and the onitsuka tigers.   I don’t wear them too often, since I find that these Vans are too plain while the killshots and tigers work for more preppy and streetwear looks, respectively.  However they are a great match for normcore outfits like this one!

Cap from Urban Outfitters, Sweatshirt from J. Crew, Jeans from Pacsun, Vans Old Skools

Overall, the night was pretty cool!  There was free food and an (extremely) short concert by an up-and-coming 1960’s folk singer.  The party host is his mentor and this was the singer’s first performance, which was why they hired Jon  to film.  While a few guests did bring fireworks, people all around LA were already shooting off their own; it was great to be surrounded by the exploding lights!  Here’s some shots I was able to take!

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Jon plays with his new mirrorless Sony camera and Ronin. 

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Cool gear.


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Oh and I was able to meet internet sensation Tay Zonday!  He asked for our business card, so I hope me asking for his picture didn’t ruin a potential relationship with a client!

I’m sure you all are asking the same question: why don’t you dress like this more?  Honestly, there’s a small part of me that doesn’t feel like my true self when I dress like this.

Even though  I’ve always been fascinated with streetwear and normcore, I find that it’s a bit repetitive.  If you compare it to my previous look  this outfit is very similar.  Its sockless minimal sneakers, cuffed/cropped jeans, a solid top, and a baseball cap.  Sometimes I feel that this formula is repeated with this type of style.  A great example of this is this guy on instagram.   Its such a contrast compared to my typical sartorial style, which incorporates different patterns and pieces all at once.

I’m a beginner, but I’ll admit that it was a bit refreshing to change up my style!  As I move forward I will definitely add some more casual pieces to add to my dressed down outfits.

Please let me know if you have any advice!  What pieces worked for you? What else should I add to my normcore outfits?

Always a pleasure,

Ethan W.

Street x Sprezza

Photography by Jon H. and Ethan W. 

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