“Blokecore is trending on TikTok, but I've got one big problem with it”

Written by Naomi May

Blokecore – the proliferation of menswear-inspired pieces – is one of the most problematic trends to emerge from the TikTok ether in recent years. 

The Oxford dictionary defines a “bloke” as being a “a man”, but ask a handful of Brits to describe the word, and the responses may vary.

Being a bloke might connote ideas of somebody that’s “laddy”, loves football and downs pints of beer like a fish. “Blokes” idolise the Gallagher brothers and listen to Britpop music on a loop. Their words are monosyllabic and their attitudes largely right-wing. Chances are, you can conjure up some sort of image of a “bloke” that you either know or have encountered.

Of course, this is entirely subjective. Not every self-identifying “bloke” is the same, just in the same way that not every man is the same. But the connotations of being a bloke within popular culture leave little to the imagination. 

It’s of little surprise then that, given TikTok’s propensity for all things ironic and idiosyncratic, the term “Blokecore” has been coined. Not only has the hashtag amassed more than 26.9 million views on the video-sharing app, but it’s also gained a legion of fans, eager to showcase their “blokey” aesthetics.

For anybody scratching their heads as to what exactly “blokecore” is, TikTok user @stringbeanboy13 is among the creators leading the charge. In one video, which has been viewed over 500,000 times, he wears a vintage Manchester City top and sups from a pint as he shows off his outfit.

The caption reads: ‘Blokecore is here for 2022. Link the boys and head down the boozer, pick up a couple packets before heading down the club to pull a couple richards, choong tings only though.’ 

TikTok is awash with blokecore devotees extolling the virtues of dressing like dads, grandpas, brothers and “real men”. Retailers and brands have even joined the charge, Asos and Etre Cecile among them, by selling football-inspired jerseys that lean heavily into the trend.

The styles that define the blokecore trend are football shirts, slouchy jeans, tattered trainers. It’s decidedly androgynous, which – unless my mind is deceiving me – has become de rigueur for fashion of late. So, why the regression to defining clothes by gender, which any body, regardless of gender can wear?

It’s not for anybody to dictate what and what not to wear, or which genders wear what. In fact, it’s the segregation of gender that creates fault lines in the industry at large. What makes a football shirt “blokey”, when we are currently in the midst of the women’s Euros, during which the Lionesses are shining? What makes baggy jeans “blokey”, when a buffet of brands and women have championed them since their revival at the turn of the 2010s?

The progress of the gender-neutral industry is proven. Recent data by student discount website UniDays found that 79% of Gen Z shoppers often buy clothes assigned to the opposite gender to which they identify, which defies the core tenets of blokecore. Blokecore could just as easily have been galcore, or femmecore, because women like to wear all of the pieces that have come to define the TikTok-lead charge.

To blokecore devotees the world over, there is one key message to takeaway: wear what you want and how you want to wear it, just don’t define it by gender because anything “blokes” like to wear, women do too.

Image: Josie Hall & Roxy Lee.

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