I don't know about you but all of a sudden my somewhat-drab and dreary wardrobe is back in style, perhaps even considered high fashion in some circles nowadays.
The trend toward bland average-looking attire - whether from an upscale department store like Bloomingdale's or Nordstrom, or from the big-box stores like Walmart and Target - is suddenly all the rage and no doubt causing some concern among fashion designers world wide.
The buzz words 'Normcore' and 'Avant-Bland' are all over the place to describe this new fashion phenomenon. Of course, it's yet to be determined if these are real and sustainable trends or if it's just some kind of imaginary hype and babble from the low-end manufacturers and retailers. In either case, there's a subtle difference between the two terms to begin with.
Normcore seems to refer to our everyday blue-collar work attire (the Jerry Seinfeld look), plus the creative street wear that young people come up with all the time.
Avant-Bland on the other hand gives the appearance of Normcore upon first glance. But closer inspection reveals it to be a high-fashion design from a well-known designer, cleverly disguised and jumping on the current, trendy bandwagon of Normcore.
My friend Linda in New York is known to show up at the TV studio where she works in jeans and tee shirts from Old Navy, and a pair of sneakers.
Miss Helen is known to run around her chic Washington neighborhood in old designer jeans and a pair of comfortable but scuffed-up black high heels.
Since the divorce things have gotten more lax around here and I myself show up for work in 501's, sneakers and a polo shirt - but from Brooks Brothers, I might add.
So what are we? Normcore or Avant-Bland? How about a new fashion category altogether: 'Just Shut Up'.
The whole issue will probably settle out as merely another semantic battle between the haves and have-nots, a temporary consumer rebellion against the ruling 1%. But I think the have-nots are gaining some ground here - which is to say, it's okay to be Normcore in this life, regardless what the Fashionistas have to say.
Thanks for dropping in tonight.