You're never too young to look old: style it like Nan & Grandad
Dredging your grandparents' attic is nothing new here at Rokit, where we’ve been rummaging through the sartorial archives since 1986.
Looking to the past is always at the core of our inspiration and with normcore’s continued reinvention, where better to delve than the mecca of mundane, your grandparents wardrobe!
Where it all started
Normcore has been around for a while, turning up around 2014 as an intended antidote to pretentious hipsterism. It was all about rejecting tribal styles and just dressing like a ‘normal’, an everyday joe with Jerry Seinfeld at the top of the moodboard. Normcore was not about dissing fashion entirely but more about recognising the inability to stand out in a world of nealy 8 billion. It’s an acceptance not a challenge and in many ways a reaction to the painfully try hard looks of the 00’s street style. Normcore didn’t mean you’d given up, but you were smarter for not trying. The uniform was unisex, practical comfortable, and bland. The anti fashion movement somehow became fashion, with the inversion of cool bearing ugly cool, and the (sometimes) ironic celebration of no taste, no effort, thrift shop style. The parallel rise of skate culture bore a hybrid ensemble of basic casuals mixed with work and utility wear.
Skip a few years and in comes Dadcore swiftly followed by gorpcore (an ode to all things outdoor). Dad style takes a 90s spin on practicality with a nerdy twist. Baggy jeans, chunky trainers, tucked in t shirt, sports anorak and cross body bag. The off duty Dad uniform was quickly pillaged by designer’s, with Balenciaga the leaders of luxury banal.
From Dad to Grandad
Practical goes up a notch and turns to brands for performance, reliability and trust. The trusty Levi’s 501 never fail, and are joined in high waisted joyous comfort by good old chinos and cords. In cold weather Dad would wander out in a thin outer layer but Grandad doesn’t take any chances. He’s got a Patagonia polar fleece, North Face jacket, non-slip New Balance trainers and a beanie or sports cap to keep the heat in.
When it’s not so cold, grandad can be found mooching around the shed in a vintage Carhartt jacket or dungarees, or out fishing in a utility vest, padded Dickies shirt and cargo pants. And if he’s not a fishing type he’s off to the country club for a spot of golf in more chinos, argyle knit and harrington jacket. Under the car bonnet for an unnecessary oil check? He’s got an old boiler suit for that.
Remember, waste not want not. Fast fashion didn’t exist not so long ago. Nan & Grandad didn’t throw things away and their wardrobe is a time capsule of style and brands. Expect to find tailoring and classic knitwear alongside vintage sports and leisurewear: Vintage Adidas track tops, Vintage Nike jackets, tennis gear, golf gear and retro brands like Diadora, Umbro, Puma and Champion. Then there’s a shirt for every occasion, cord or flannel for laid back Sunday’s, Ralph Lauren for you can take the man out of the office but….. smart casual vibes. Then there’s cruise wear when there’s no option other than a loud and proud- i’m hitting the bar and it’s just gone 11am- Hawaiian shirt.
Perfecting the style
Trends moved slower back then and purchases were big investments. There’s no better sartorial diversity than a hoarders closet, especially one that’s been around for half a century. Nan’s wearing an 80s pussy bow blouse with 90s pastel slacks, comfy shoes and a fuzzy cardigan. Grandad’s gone for a polo shirt tucked into old work trousers, his favourite 70s leather and a souvenir trucker cap circa 1985. Pick at random, it’s a look.
Then there’s the rules: none. You want socks and sandals? Why not? A trackie top with tailored trousers? They’re both clean. A windbreaker over a dress.? If it’s dropped below 21 degrees. The best thing about being old is not giving a ****.
Following fashion doesn’t come close to keeping warm and you’ve seen so many styles go in and out none of it matters anymore.
The key is to mix and match across eras and dress codes.
Blend smart with casual- layer an oversized blazer with a novelty sweat or tourist tee. Stay cozy in a 70s sleeveless vest paired with a 90s leather and your most comfortable jeans. Don’t bother at all in a faded ¾ zip sweater and lounge lizard slacks. Or make an effort in your best ensemble from back in the day, but wear it with sensible shoes. Granny might dig out that old skirt suit but she’s not wearing heels. And she’s certainly not wearing spray on skinny jeans. Trousers need room to move, practical is always a golden girl's best friend.
If you need a prescription go bold with the specs. Or if you’re 20/20 (for now) fake it with statement vintage glasses or sunglasses, and why not add in a chain a la Gucci for added awkward specs appeal.
If you want to make granny proud, don’t show too much flesh. Wrap up in layers, opt for a loose tailored fit, and be ready for all eventualities, come rain or shine, unlikely torrential downpours and even unlikelier gale force winds.
To do their style with swagger, keep it relaxed, always nostalgic and above all, worn with the air of nonchalance in true grandparent style.
For some added inspiration we asked our staff to celebrate their grandparents.
Here’s an ode to the Rokit Nan & Grandad’s.
Social media manager Fia and grandad Alfredo Del Prado.
Covent Garden Supervisor Nicky & Grandad Fran
Photographer Lucien's grandmother