January 25, 2022

“Bookcore” trend boggles; fashion fun?


An example of the “bookcore” trend. Photo by Andrew Neel from Pexels.

We were happily working away on some page proof, trying to remember the rules concerning the proper sequencing of front matter, when we received, out of the blue, a missive from a vigilant colleague alerting us to the rise of a fashion trend called “bookcore.”

Holy hoppin’ haberdashery! We quickly forgot all about front matter (well, not completely) and pivoted to this startling new development. The news came to us via a long and really rather delightful post on a blog called “Die, Workwear,” which is positively Sphinx-like only in its anonymity and bare-bones lack of context or identifying information. The author reports that they have “noticed something strange: many people considered cool in the online fashion community dress like the people I see at my local bookstore.” The writer goes on to define “bookcore” as

an amalgamation of the last five years of trends: normcore, gorpcore, dadcore, vintage, 1990s sportswear, American trad, Westernwear, Native American jewelry, pleats, dad caps, wide-legged trousers, oversized eyewear, Balmacaans, leather blazers, Patagonia, chunky sneakers, intentionally ugly shoes, etc. When rolled into one glorious outfit, this is the aesthetic of your bookstore regular.

Well then! The style, which one editor accurately characterized as being “as elusive as it is expansive,” seems to be right in our wheelhouse sartorially! A little more nosing around the Internet revealed that the writer’s name is Derek Guy and that to our chagrin we are a little bit late—fashionably late?—to the trend. No matter! Guy points out that the right tote bag, natch, is essential to proper bookcore, and I am sure we can all agree on that!

So can we expect to see this version of shabby chic on the runways soon? Not likely, says one of our anonymous sources. “This is cute,” our maven said, “but it’s probably a little prosaic in terms of the fashion world.” OK then! I guess we are in the right line of work after all. Now, about that front matter …



Michael Lindgren is the Managing Editor at Melville House.