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Image / Style / Fashion

‘Normal People’ 2 years on: How the TV show influenced pandemic fashion (and not just the GAA shorts)


By Sarah Finnan
21st Apr 2022

Daisy Edgar-Jones / instagram

‘Normal People’ 2 years on: How the TV show influenced pandemic fashion (and not just the GAA shorts)

'Normal People' celebrates its two-year anniversary this week which prompted us to take a look back on how the hit series influenced everything from GAA shorts to feathery fringes in our lockdown year.

Forgive the nostalgia, but marking the anniversary of our favourite will they/won’t they onscreen couple feels absolutely necessary. The series that saw us through many of the highs and lows of lockdown #1, Sally Rooney could hardly have predicted the hold that two teenagers from the west of Ireland would have on the world… Gucci even released their own €550 take on GAA shorts, such was the show’s hold on pandemic culture.

In actual fact, the book and subsequent TV show’s title become all the more poignant when set to the backdrop of the past two years – 2020 and 2021 were many things, but normal was not one of them. If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us though, it’s the unifying nature that a new TV series can have and with everyone from Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber to Kourtney Kardashian proclaiming their love for Connell and Marianne, it’s clear that this is certainly true of Normal People

Finding enough to fill an A-Z list of trends picked from the show proved difficult (is there clothing that starts with an “x”?!), but we did manage to round up 10 of the best, and below you’ll find some of our favourite Normal People-inspired fashion moments. Granted, many of the featured items’ fame can’t be attributed solely to the series, but we won’t dwell on whether the chicken or the egg came first here. 

Silver chains 

Silver chains, or gold for that matter, will always come tops on any Normal People-related list… and for good reason. Relatively unimportant in relation to the general storyline, Connell’s chain as it’s now famously known, grew legs and quickly became the must-have item of the season. So much so, that it even has its own dedicated Instagram account

Feathery fringes

The temptation to cut and style our hair (or at least attempt to), was never stronger than during lockdown… a desire that only intensified after watching Normal People and seeing Marianne’s feathery fringe follow her around Dublin. Resisting the urge to pick up the scissors and give it a whirl is still one of my proudest achievements to date. 

Normal People
Enda Bowe/Element

Ear bling

Knowing that we’d all undoubtedly be paying very close attention to Marianne’s fringe, the series’ costume directors made sure that her ear bling was always on point too. Often seen sporting long dangly numbers, she’s about the only one that could make us stray from our usual small, silver hoops. 

Normal People
Enda Bowe / BBC

Slouchy dungarees

Anything that allows us to look “put together” without putting in too much effort gets a big yes from us. Dungarees have long been a favourite in the comfy homewear department and Marianne’s undone yet somehow still stylish take on the classic made us rediscover our love for the one-piece denim wonder. 

Normal People
BBC

Spaghetti strap dresses

The epitome of chic summer attire, spaghetti strap dresses have become synonymous with picnics, bike rides and long strolls in the Italian countryside for me… and once again, Marianne absolutely nails it. Dainty, elegant and incredibly chic.

Normal People
BBC

Luxe headbands

India Mullen, who plays Peggy in the series, doesn’t get the recognition she deserves in my opinion – especially pertaining to her fashion choices which are always enviable. The queen of luxe headbands, I credit her with many of my fancy headwear purchases over the past few months. A great way to disguise hair in need of a wash too, FYI. 

Normal People
BBC

Airy kaftans

Another of Peggy’s signature looks, I have no doubt that the red kaftan she dons while at Marianne’s Italian villa features on many a lust list. We may not be able to lounge around the pool in one just yet but it’s a definite upgrade to our usual back garden attire. 

India Mullen / Instagram

Winter coats

More specifically, faux fur winter coats à la Marianne in Sweden. We’re keen for the good weather to continue so I won’t dwell on winter wear long, but if you’re going to invest in a warmer jacket, take inspiration from her brown suede beauty.

Normal People
BBC

GAA shorts

Arguably one of the series’ more notable style choices, Paul Mescal turned the fashion world onto GAA shorts in a big way. Moving from the football pitch to the runway, Gucci looked to Connell’s club colours when designing their summer shorts offering, but at over €500, they were a little out of budget for most. 

Normal People
Gucci

Velvet blazers

Blazers have been having a moment recently and while the current trend seems to encourage opting for oversized silhouettes, Marianne’s burgundy version makes a convincing argument in favour of smaller, more fitted vintage styles.

Normal People
BBC

In other good news, the highly-anticipated screen adaptation of Conversations With Friends will hit TV screens next month, so we’ll be spoiled for Sally Rooney content. More on that here.