The world of fashion ‘cores’ goes beyond just clothing trends. Built around specific visual aesthetics and often birthed by social media, it’s no longer just about what you’re wearing but the attitude you adopt, the persona you put on (you know, authentic). Not only do these subgenres offer a set of guidelines, style elements and a range of brands to shop from but are also a gateway into certain communities. Over the past few years, we’ve seen the rise of cottagecore, regencycore, normcore etc that have become fairly recognisable, but there are multiple new aesthetics that are influencing the way the world is dressing up in 2022. From barbiecore to night luxe, here are 10 such fashion aesthetics you should know about to switch up your wardrobe or simply just brush up on your internet vernacular.
Fashion Aesthetics For 2022
1. Night Luxe
Party girl but polished, the Night Luxe aesthetic brings the opulence of the roaring twenties to the season. Centred around luxurious urban nightlife, it urges you to dress up, put on that glitter eyeshadow and hit the town. Think chainmail dresses, rhinestones, shimmering heels, champaign pops, sparkling city lights and flash photography.
Inspired by the performance costumes of ballet dancers, this hyper-feminine aesthetic immediately brings to mind Carrie Bradshaw’s iconic tutu skirt. Theatrical energy meets comfy fits comprising bodysuits, wrap skirts, leg warmers, ballet flats, wrap tops, turtle necks, pearls, pastel hues and an abundance of tulle.
3. Coastal Grandma
No, you don’t need to have grandchildren to achieve the coastal grandma aesthetic. Rooted in minimalism, the aesthetic is based on the classic style of wealthy middle-aged women living in luxurious oceanfront properties. A coastal grandma would wear cashmere and linen, take leisurely walks to the farmers market, have a keen interest in gardening and simple cooking, and love to cosy up with wine and a good book. White, tan and shades of blue and green are the primary colours in their wardrobe and their go-to accessories are a stack of gold jewellery and a straw hat.
Emitting an ‘old money’ vibe, the preppy aesthetic is inspired by the uniforms of young adults in ivy league schools. From Blair Waldorf to Chuck Bass, the aesthetic is comprised of polished pieces like white shirts, pleated skirts, knee-high socks, argyle patterns, mary janes and sweater vests. It’s classic with a side of luxury.
With the hype around Valentino’s Fall 22 collection coupled with the nostalgia of the Barbie live-action movie starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling— it’s evident that it’s Barbie’s world, we’re just living in it. Hot pink hues are taking over the fashion world along with mini dresses, sky-high heels, tiny bags and blonde or pink hair.
6. Clean Girl
Inspired by off-duty model style, a clean girl is the one who looks effortlessly put together. She’s well-groomed, but not over the top— her makeup is dewy, lips are glossy, brows are fluffy and manicure is fresh. She journals and meditates every day, drinks green juice, takes her skincare routine very seriously and has her life together. Elevated basics is her fashion mantra encompassing neutral colours, minimal gold jewellery and a mix of sporty and preppy silhouettes.
7. Indie Sleaze
A non-airbrushed version of Night Luxe, Indie Sleaze rejects perfection. From stringy necklaces, smudged mascara and messy hair to grunge-like apparel, low-res flash photography and mismatched fits, the aesthetic is making its return from the early aughts. Characterised by the influences of angsty Tumblr girls, excessive smoking, and of course the indie music scene after which the aesthetic is named, Indie Sleaze is bringing rebellious energy to the forefront.
Ushering in some ’90s nostalgia, Kidcore involves highly saturated primary, pastel and rainbow colours, classic cartoon references, smiley faces and retro patterns. Inviting you to embrace your playful side, the aesthetic comprises denim overalls, crocs charms, butterfly hair clips, graphic t-shirts, patches on jeans, stuffed toys and more to transport you right back to your childhood.
She’s sexy and she knows it! The baddie aesthetic is all about highlighting your confident, bold side who isn’t afraid to speak her mind and take control. Her powerful personality shows through her clothes that include everything from flattering cutouts, short dresses, strappy heels and chunky jewellery to cargo pants, crop tops, oversized tracksuits and retro sneakers. Megan Fox and Dua Lipa frequently embrace the baddie aesthetic in leather sets, cutout tops and mini skirts.
10. Weird Girl
Taking a page of out Japan’s Harajuku style, the kitchy Weird Girl aesthetic is about mismatched patterns, clashing textures, fuzzy accessories and a DIY vibe. The look isn’t attached to any one particular decade although influences from the ’90s and Y2K can be seen. Ruled by the theme of wearing whatever you want, it encourages you to mix and match the pieces in your wardrobe. Want to pair your rainbow beanie with a patchwork skirt? Throw in a beaded choker necklace and an animal print bag too!