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'Menocore' Is The 'Anti-Trend' Trend We've Been Waiting For

by: Lucy Jones | 2 years ago | Features

A strong menocore lewk. Image Source.

I’ve recently been giving some thought to the question: what would we all wear if we lived in a feminist utopia? Heavy stuff, I know. My guess goes something like this: linen pantsuits in Earth tones of sand, burnt orange and sage, straw slides, giant floppy hats, loose t-shirts in the softest organic cotton, and arty necklaces made from shells or pieces of wood that we’d foraged from the surrounding beaches and forests. This utopia is obviously located on a tropical island where we’d lie in hammocks all day reading books and sipping cocktails out of handmade clay mugs. On cold nights, we’d wrap shawls around our shoulders and go for long walks on the beach. Ah, what a life we’d lead!

This look is unisex, comfortable AF and just a little bit extra. It is the kind of thing that fabulous divorcees have been wearing in rom-coms for years (think: Diane Keaton in every Diane Keaton movie ever). Your ‘cool aunt’, the one with the thick grey streaks in her hair and a way better record collection than you, is also a big fan of the aforementioned look. In their fawn-coloured caftans and floppy white hats, these ladies always look effortlessly cool.

When shopping, these women put their own comfort first — they opt for big billowy shapes, soft breathable fabrics and elasticated waistbands. They pair these relaxed styles with unique pieces that are full of personality: beaded necklaces, bright red reading glasses, weaved straw bags. When you spot one in the street, you can tell that they know about art but you can also tell they’d be happy to share that knowledge with you over a cup of chamomile tea. Intimidating, yet approachable, these are the women you admire and the women you want to be.

You don’t have to wait till you’re in your fifties (or until the feminist utopia arrives) to embrace this style. Start living the fantasy today by investing in a lot of linen, anything beige, blazers, white button-down shirts, chunky and/or geometric jewellery, and colourful bags and shoes (preferably red). 

Man Repeller writer Harling Ross coined a term to describe this style: ‘menocore’ (as in menopause), otherwise known as the desire to dress like Diane Keaton in Something’s Gotta Give.

“Under the umbrella of menocore exists two archetypes: On one side of the spectrum, there’s the very neutral, head-to-toe white linen, rolled-up khaki pant cuffs, life-on-the-beach vibe propagated by middle-aged style icons like Diane Keaton, Whoopi Goldberg and Lauren Hutton,” Ross explains.

“On the other side of the spectrum, there’s the tropical print, silk cargo pocket, plastic bead jewelry, clashing print, cerulean satin jogger pant, waistless kaftan-wearing vibe espoused by the likes of Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, Miuccia Prada and Lucinda Chambers.”

Man Repeller founder, Leandra Medine, describes menocore as “dressing like a retired masseuse”. Accurate.

Menocore is inspired by menopausal women — aka mature women who’ve figured out a thing or two about life. One realisation they’ve had over the years is that mainstream fashion — with all its speed, newness, trends and ideal bodies — isn’t for them. So, they reject trends in favour of timeless, simple and deeply personal dressing. The older I get, the more this style approach appeals to me. I’m only 26, but I already feel tired just thinking about the perpetually turning wheel of the trend cycle. The tiny sunglasses and cropped blouses that fill my Instagram feed today will be replaced by something else next month, and so and so forth ad infinitum. Maybe that’s why trends are getting so silly these days (see: bum bag slides and t-shirt shirts), maybe they are aware of their own mortality, of the pointlessness of it all. That's why an anti-trend trend like menocore speaks to me so much. 

It might be my age talking, but I’d happily wear a flowy white linen top and drawstring pants for the rest of my days. It’s only a matter of time before I come around to quirky jewellery and patterned scarves too. 

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