27.03.2018

7 Style Tribes You Need To Know

... and how to get their looks

Words: Nhlanhla Masemola | Illustrations: Eva Faerch 

If someone had to ask me to describe which fashion posse I blend into best, I'd answer that I'd be a cross between "gender-bending goth" and "minimalist kawaii person." I consider myself a multitudes kind a gal, dressing for the mood of the day. When trends come fast it makes it tricky, in my experience, to stay wholly devoted to one look or scene for an extended period. But there's something to be said for those diehard fans who'd rather lose a limb than dress outside of their chosen cliques. 

These mini aesthetic movements or 'style tribes' show their membership of a group without all the ceremonial pomp. As humans we like to belong to things. And there's no better way to feel included than to be a part of an impeccable collective with impeccable ideals. But with the rise of street fashion, deterioration of high culture and ease of appropriation this trend 'free-for-all' is where the current state of fashion is at. And that's okay. They are the product of a unified state of style, current zeitgeist and need to belong. 

This guide highlights the most conspicuous style tribes to watch out for out there in the fashion jungle, and proffers tips on how to steal their style.

Post-normcorers

Post-normcorers

What's the deal?

"Normcore", as it was dubbed in a 2013 report by New York-based trend forecasting agency K-hole, captured hearts with its offbeat subversive take on fast fashion. This micro trend championed the "dressed up to look dressed down" look inspired by Jerry Seinfeld and 90s nostalgia. Post-normcorers have done away with looking average and opt to build extraordinary looks using fashion basics instead. 

Supporters: Zoe Kravitz. Rihanna. Willow Smith. Jaden Smith. 'In' people. Lotta Volkova. Miroslava Duma.

Get the look: Wear your normcore staples like dad jeans with unfinished hems. The trick here is to exaggerate common wardrobe items such as XXXL hoodies, Thrasher sweatshirts, slides with socks and logo T-shirts. An unconventional approach to nineties dressing is key.

Man Repellers

Man Repellers

What's the deal? 

Style goddess Leandra Medine began her little blog in 2010 and once described her style as that of a person who dresses for themselves, or other women, rather than for men. The name stuck and fashionable women finally had a word that defined their style. The blog was a sensation and Leandra cemented herself as a bona fide trendsetter.

Supporters: Leandra Medine (obviously). Alexa Chung. Solange Knowles. Kristen Stewart. Young Thug.

Get the look: Devotees tend to cover up traditional "sexy" zones and wear highly fashionable items ahead of the game. Shift dresses, quirky socks and palazzo pants help the cause. Layer high street items with designer garb and vintage pieces. 

Non-binarians

Non-binarians

What's the deal?

Updated androgyny or gender fluidity have been major talking points for the past few years and as people get more comfortable with gender and sexuality, this sort of agender dressing has been on most people's mood boards. Kinda with the mood of the times, these followers dress with a certain nonchalance when it comes to masculine or feminine clothing distinctions.

Supporters: Bryanboy. Ruby Rose. Amandla Stenberg. Violet Chachki. Ellen Degeneres.

Get the look: This is not wearing your boyfriend's blazer. The brief is to look as gender neutral and comfortable in gendered clothing across the spectrum.

Rick Owens disciples

Rick Owens disciples

What's the deal? 

This trend doesn't only encompass the group of all-black-wearing individuals who attend every Rick Owens show. This also includes the people who were once goth or grunge, and have evolved their wardrobes accordingly. Garments are ripped, unravelling and accessorised with thick leather bracelets and silver piercings.

Supporters: Zoe Kravitz's dad. Rick Owens. Michele Lamy. Rooney Mara. Marilyn Manson.

Get the look: Wear black. A lot of black. Head-to-toe if you can. But keep away from prints and logos and wear distressed items wherever possible. Wearing grey head to toe is also welcomed. Remember, this is elegant zombie dressing.

Gucci mains

Gucci mains

What's the deal? 

These are the disciples of the new Gucci. Alessandro Michele's Gucci. Embroidered tigers, OTT shades, loud jewelry, clashing prints and seemingly garish colours are paramount to this group's existence.

Supporters: Petra Collins, Adwoa Aboah, Hari Nef, Beyoncé, A$AP Rocky. People with no taste, who've temporarily acquired taste.

Get the look: Clashing is crucial. "More" is not more enough. Wear embellished pieces and massive jewellery in gold. Wear ruffles and other feminine textures. Pleated skirts? A must. Furry slippers? Absolutely. What you also must do is wear more than one print in a single outfit. Two is great, but three is the way to go. Keep things unapologetic and playful at all times.

That blouse girl

That blouse girl

What's the deal? 

Oh, you know the one. She's the girl who's dragged herself across every blog wearing that epic ruffled blouse that makes you go "gah!" This style tribe's modus operandi is the bigger-than-life blouse you can wear with everything. Styled up, styled down if they can't wear a blouse with it, then it's not in their wardrobes.

Supporters: Influensaz. Leandra Medine. Solange Knowles. Zendaya. Tamu Mcpherson.

Get the look: Wear your favourite fashion blouse with a great pair of skinny jeans or cropped straight leg jeans. The blouse is crucial to get this look right. Big bell sleeves, statement silhouettes, striped prints, denim. That's the picture.

Athleisurites

Athleisurites

What's the deal?

This trend has swept across Instagram, lifestyle blogs and the wardrobes of fitness freaks galore. It practically had 2017 in its toned jaws and is still fervently chomping down on 2018. More a holistic lifestyle trend than a clothing trend, athleisure prides itself on health, exercise and running around in hip gym wear. It's the culmination of the big health craze of 2015 and combines "athletic wear with business casual."

Supporters: The Hadids. The Kardashians. Gym bunnies. Life coaches. Your friend Julia. Anyone one who wants to look fit without the hassle of exercise.

Get the look: The best way to get with this style tribe is to incorporate athletic wear elements into your wardrobe. Leggings, active hoodies and colourful trainers are perfect. Wear with cropped knitwear or pair tracksuit trousers with a sequined camisole to make it more fashion.

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