Image-based social networks such as Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, We Heart It and TikTok have had a tremendous impact on modern fashion, but the concept of ‘aesthetic’ transcends fashion choices. In fact, aesthetics more often than not bleed into people’s lifestyles and personalities. If one of the following is calling to you, look no further than the social media apps mentioned earlier for tips on how to implement them in your wardrobe – and lifestyle!
1. The Cottagecore Aesthetic
In large part born as a reaction against hustle culture, this aesthetic romanticizes an idyllic rural lifestyle in the heart of nature, away from the stress and overwhelm of city life. The atmosphere depicted in cottagecore moodboards is light, airy, peaceful, and simple and it features things with a quaint feel to them such as lace, flower fields, picnics, and, of course, cottages.
Cottagecore fans might even take it one step further and learn homesteading skills like baking, embroidery, and gardening. During the COVID-19 pandemic, cottagecore has seen an exponential increase in popularity – most likely as a result of young people seeking comfort in activities like cooking, baking, embroidery, and DIY projects, as well as fantasizing about a peaceful escape from the terrifying and unprecedented times that we live in.
Read more about cottagecore and its appeal here!
2. The Dark Academia Aesthetic
The dark academia aesthetic is consists of the romanticizing of scholarly pursuits, such as classic literature, poetry, and the arts. The main color scheme is, as the name suggests, a dark one – muted browns, grays, and blacks abound. Despite its apparent pretentiousness, committing to this aesthetic is actually pretty affordable! It doesn’t cost much to wear simple beige blazers and to read the classics in your spare time, as opposed to the costs of committing to the cottage come aesthetic. Many dark academics are fans of authors such as Donna Tartt, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Bram Stoker, Agatha Christie, and Mary Shelley, and enjoy movies like Kill Your Darlings and Dead Poets Society.
Read more about dark academia here!
3. The Light Academia Aesthetic
Light academics have dropped the ‘dark’ in ‘dark academia’ in favor of a lighter, more cheerful approach to things – but the idealization of scholarly life at a prestigious university remains a core aspect. The light academia aesthetic has an airier, softer vibe and a more positive outlook on the world than its darker counterpart, and this is reflected in the fashion choices of light academics. If you are drawn to both cottagecore and dark academia, light academia might be just what you’re looking for!
4. The Y2K Aesthetic
If you cringe looking back at what people used to wear fifteen years ago, you might be shocked to discover that all of those questionable trends are making a comeback. The Y2K aesthetic is all about bringing back trends that used to be all the rage in the 00’s – layers, glitter, hot pink, low-rise jeans, Juicy Couture tracksuits, all that stuff. Despite the ’00s being remembered as an embarrassing period in fashion, some people actually pull off the Bratz doll look really well!
5. The E-Girl Aesthetic
The much more polished successor of the emo and scene trends of the ’00s. You will recognize E-girls by their heavy and over-the-top make-up (they go really heavy on the blush!), hair dyed in bright colors, distinctive pigtails, band shirts, chains, and fishnet stockings. Many of them are gamers or are otherwise associated with gamer culture; other geeky interests common among E-Girls include anime, manga, cosplaying, and alternative music.
6. The Pastel Aesthetic
People who are drawn to this aesthetic like to incorporate pale shades of their favorite colors in all of their belongings, resulting in a very cute and soft look that’s easy on the eyes. It has strong ties to kawaii culture, and it’s all about evoking feelings of calmness and nostalgia. Pastel aesthetes also like to include lots of heart shapes in their fashion choices.
7. The VSCO Girl Aesthetic
The photo app VSCO gave birth to this preppy but laid-back aesthetic. VSCO girls are recognizable by their scrunchies, messy buns, oversized T-shirts, shell necklaces, Hydro flasks, Polaroid cameras, Vans, Crocs, and Kanken backpacks. Phrases like “sksksksk” and “and I oop” are commonly attributed to them. VSCO girls are also known for caring about the environment!