Aesthetic: a set of principles underlying and guiding the work of a particular artist or artistic movement.
Have you ever been familiar with something without necessarily participating in it yourself? That’s how I am with fashion aesthetics. I don’t deliberately try to not have one, it just happens because I like too many things. It’s kind of crazy to think that if you dress a particular way and do certain things in addition to that, then you’re going to be classified in this category. But I guess that can be said for many things because everything seems to have a name.
Despite not subscribing to a specific fashion aesthetic, I am intrigued by them and that’s why I decided to do a little research. Some fashion aesthetics I already knew about like cottagecore and grunge but others were a nice surprise like the Art Hoe aesthetic. When you dig a little deeper, you start to uncover where these fashion aesthetics originated from and the meaning behind them. We aren’t digging that deep this time, I’m only going to speak on the fashion component, but it does make you think a little and ask where did this come from and why it needs a name. Here are the ratings for 12 distinctive fashion aesthetics from the girl who doesn’t have one.
I’m starting off strong with the Dark Academia aesthetic. I don’t dress like this and maybe that’s why I like it. I seem to like opposites. What drew me to this fashion aesthetic is how defined the look is. The patterns are kept to a minimum with plaid, houndstooth, and argyle and the colors are neutral. It doesn’t sound like much to work with on paper, but I feel you can do a lot with this aesthetic, especially during the fall season when dark academia seems to thrive.
Princesscore is like cottagecore’s twin sister, but they are also two separate people with similar interests. Cottagecore will make her appearance somewhere on this list, but princesscore is my favorite of the two. Princesscore features more frills and florals in a number of pastel colors like pink, lavender, and yellow. The puffy sleeves, the lace, the tulle, how can you not love the extravagance and dramaticism that comes with this aesthetic? I mean, I have a few princesscore outfits in my own closet, and I love them dearly.
3. Art Hoe Aesthetic
I cannot tell a lie, I like the name of this one: Art Hoe. The art hoe aesthetic is often characterized by the dominance of the color yellow, vintage clothing, and of course art. I like the different prints and patterns as well as the variation that can be found in this singular aesthetic. I know I said I was only going to talk about the fashions but did you know the Art Hoe aesthetic was started in 2015 through the Art Hoe movement by Mars and Jam? Don’t let what pops up on Pinterest fool you. The Art Hoe movement is all about providing a space for the artistic expression of PoC, especially black women.
This is probably one fashion aesthetic I’m actually familiar with. This mid 90’s to early 2000s style is defined by colorful sunglasses, iridescent and metallic materials, and baby tees. The colorful and bright nature of everything is what draws me in. It’s very in-your-face and I appreciate that. Another thing that I appreciate about this aesthetic is that it challenges a lot of the fashion rules. Double denim isn’t a stranger and the combination of tie-front tops and mini skirts throws that either legs or cleavage rule right out the window.
Grunge is often associated with outsiders, punk rock music, and a look that is considered “less polished”, but for me, it’s my number 5 fashion aesthetic on this list. I actually really like the grunge aesthetic. Not to sound cliche, but I enjoy the layering of accessories and the dark color combos the most. A plaid skirt paired with chunky boots is among my personal favorites. And then there are the sub-categories or shall I say sub-aesthetics? You have your classic grunge, soft grunge, and even fairy grunge and all can be worn with a dark lip and I love me a dark lip.
Smack dab in the middle of the list is princesscore’s twin sister, cottagecore. When I think of cottagecore, I imagine frolicking through the countryside in a flowy dress with a basket of fresh flowers. What I like about this aesthetic is that it seems almost whimsical, like if you dress this way, you’ll be transported somewhere no one can bother you and you’re free to do the things you enjoy most. It’s a softer aesthetic that is noticeable but understated. Even the accessories that are often paired with the ensembles are quieter which is interesting and not necessarily something I would choose myself.
7. Clean Girl Aesthetic
Now this clean girl aesthetic is not much to write about but I’m still going to write about it. I put this minimalistic fashion aesthetic as number 7 because sometimes less is more. I appreciate a simpler look every now and then, and I especially appreciate dainty jewelry and no makeup looks or “no makeup” makeup looks as those are two things the clean girl aesthetic and my fashion style have in common…..for now.
When it comes to fashion aesthetics, the baddie look is pretty well known. Everyone, including myself, has seen the IG baddie aesthetic pop up on their feed and that’s why it’s rated lower for me personally. I feel like you tend to see the same looks over and over again. What I do like about the baddie style is the glam aspect of it. Your makeup, your hair, your nails, everything is done and styled to perfection. I also love that this aesthetic loves accessories just like me so we have that in common.
9. Weird Girl Aesthetic
The weird girl aesthetic is all about mixing patterns, colors, textures, fashion eras, you name it. It strikes me as the polar opposite of the clean girl aesthetic because that one keeps it simple and minimal while the weird girl aesthetic throws everything at you all at once. Some outfits I don’t get because they are doing too much, and I get that’s on purpose but it’s not in a good way. It’s probably the dad sneakers throwing me off. You don’t have to get everything though and that is what I like about fashion. I do appreciate how daring the weird girl aesthetic is. It steps outside the box and gives you creative control when it comes to your style and I’m always here for that.
You only need one word to describe the barbiecore aesthetic and that is PINK. Pink dresses, pink heels, pink eyeshadow. I think it’s a cute aesthetic, but the sole focus on a single color makes baribiecore not one of my favorites. Obviously, there are a lot of different pink hues that you could mix and match, and I am intrigued by monochromatic outfits, so those two key factors make baribiecore a bit more interesting to me.
What characterizes the E-girl fashion aesthetic? Winged eyeliner, colorful hair, silver accessories, and platform sneakers are just a few items you can find in an E-girl’s closet. What I really like about the e-girl aesthetic is the contrast that can be found in the dark and bright colors. Other than that, this aesthetic doesn’t scream out to me as some others do.
12. Party Girl Aesthetic
When it comes to fashion aesthetics, the party girl aesthetic shines bright like a disco ball. I appreciate the sparkle and shine of the party girl, and I think it’s a fun aesthetic to dress up in, but it doesn’t really give me anything unique outside of this particular way of dressing and style having a name. That is why it is rounding out my ratings at the bottom.
Do you have a fashion aesthetic? If so, let me know in the comments or just tell me your thoughts on fashion aesthetics in general. I would love to hear them!
Photo by Spencer Selover