14 Different Fashion Aesthetics To Master the OOTD Game

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Ready to know the different fashion aesthetics of this generation? 

For the past couple of years, newer fashion aesthetics have emerged, some of which aren’t new but are revivals of past trends. 

Thanks to TikTok and Instagram, anyone can finally differentiate which aesthetic is which and what vibe people of that aesthetic are going for. 

Two stylish young women in denim shorts and sunglasses posing for a photo on a pink bakcground

Think #cottagecore, #vscogirl, or #softgirl. These are just some examples of the famous different types of aesthetics today. 

And the best part? There’s truly something for everyone’s preference and style. 

There are many ways to showcase your personal style with clothing that matches your vibe. Fashion is that fun; you can experiment from one style to another or mix two or more styles to create your unique look. 

We’ve made it easier for you by gathering and rounding up the different clothing aesthetics today. You can also get new fashion inspo from this list too! 

What Does Aesthetic Mean? 

Aesthetic refers to the visual appeal of beauty and taste in general. It concerns what people consider beautiful. 

Historically, the “aesthetic” word came from the Greek word “aisthēsis,” which means perception or sensation. 

Its original meaning is the study of beauty and the nature of art. Alexander Baumgarten coined the term in the 18th century to describe the study of sensory experience and perception. 

In urban language, the aesthetic is now used as slang by Gen Z. Credits to Tiktok, Instagram, and Pinterest. 

It is mostly used to describe what people like to see. 

In short, “aesthetic” means the overall vibe or mood that a particular style or item evokes. It refers to the categorization of your style and principle of taste. 

And with different aesthetic styles, people can express their preferences and vibe. 

What Are the Different Fashion Aesthetics Today?

In the past few years, we’re seeing the comeback of Y2K, the soft girl era, and nostalgic, childlike looks. 

Fashion aesthetics are now bigger than ever, and we are obsessed with each of the different clothing aesthetics. 

Here are the different categories of aesthetic clothing that you can refer to when searching for your aesthetic or when you just need a quick inspo. 

Thank us later! 

VSCO Girl 

Coined from the photo-editing app (pronounced “visco”), this aesthetic is heavily influenced by VSCO filters and originated in TikTok in 2019, quickly spreading to Instagram and YouTube. 

The VSCO app lets you create and add filters to your photos so your Instagram feed looks organized and nostalgic. 

Think Polaroid photos, the laid-back vibe of an effortless California girl, or jeepneys. 

That’s the energy that the VSCO girl is going for. 

Besides their enthusiasm to make their feed look great, they tend to be environmentally conscious and like lighter color palettes. 

You would see them wearing Vans slip-ons, Birkenstocks, or Crocs; Nike socks; high-waisted denim jeans or shorts, sometimes tucked in; and oversized tees or tube tops. 

Their hair is typically tied up with cute scrunchies or worn in messy beach waves. They add humble trinkets like seashell necklaces or charms to achieve a lowkey and effortlessly chill vibe. 

Makeup is kept natural and minimal. They’re frequently seen with Hydro Flasks, instant cameras, metal straws, and environmentalist merch.

Business Insider calls this style a crossover between ’90s fashion and surfer aesthetic.

Soft Girl

This aesthetic style is like VSCO girl, but it is all about bright hair barrettes and pastel colors. Inspired by the Japanese kawaii aesthetic, it emerged sometime in 2019 and was popularized by Ariana Grande.

Soft girl aesthetic is often described as hyper feminine, cutesy, and romantic. People with this type of aesthetic usually opt for baby pink, lavender, baby blue, or mint green. 

They usually wear tennis skirts, florals, frills, and knitted vests. And, of course, we can’t forget about knitted cardigans. 

They also sport cute accessories like hair clips, ribbons, cartoon animal designs, and heart-shaped sunglasses.

Some soft girls style their outfits with platform shoes or boots to add a little edge to the softness, and we are obsessed with that look!

This aesthetic can also be defined by a person’s particular attitude, like showing kindness, empathy, and sensitivity. 

Soft girls are often portrayed as sweet and innocent, focusing on loving themselves and caring for their mental health. 

To sum it all up, the soft girl aesthetic combines delicate, cute, and feminine. 

Grunge Aesthetic

Whenever you hear the word “grunge,” what comes to mind in a snap is “dark and edgy.” 

Grunge, one of the aesthetic trends that persisted for about three or four decades, is characterized by a raw, rebellious, and non-conformist look emphasizing a worn-out and thrifted style.

This aesthetic brings back the ’80s and ’90s when rock bands such as Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Foo Fighters, and Creed reigned. 

It has been a core aesthetic ever since.

This style is a big fashion flashback, especially with the flannels being a staple in almost every grunge outfit. 

It also includes mesh, plaid, mixed prints, denim, and sneakers or combat boots, and they are usually accessorized with chokers. 

The color palette is often dark and muted, with blacks, grays, and earthy tones being common.

Layering is also the key to this aesthetic — with oversized sweaters, tucked T-shirts, slip dresses, and flannel shirts worn together for a casual yet edgy look.

They’re also associated with vinyl records, vintage cameras, cigarettes, earphones, and sometimes skateboards.

Cottagecore Aesthetic

Imagine walking in a dreamy meadow filled with flowers and mushrooms. You can hear the leaves rustling, and a small cottage sits in the background, smoke billowing out of its chimney.

That’s the vibe of the cottagecore aesthetic. 

Unlike the clothing aesthetics listed here, cottagecore is about romanticizing simple living in the countryside. 

Its core inspiration is from European pastoral scenes, which were idealized even earlier by ancient Greek literature and William Shakespeare himself.

The term “cottagecore” as an aesthetic emerged on Tumblr in 2018 and gained massive popularity in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic brought economic challenges and forced people to leave their jobs and stay home. 

Due to the quarantine and resource scarcity of 2020, people began to try gardening, baking, knitting, and crafting — all of which are part of what cottagecore is all about.

People dreamed of escaping into the whimsical and rustic lifestyle evoked by cottagecore to forget about economic worries. 

Cottagecore fashion features floral prints, puffed sleeves, gingham, ruffles, milkmaid tops, aprons, button blouses, knitted hats, corsets, and long, flowy dresses. Its color palette usually leans on soft colors and earthy tones

Dark Academia

Picture this: you’re in a centuries-old library, a pipe organ softly plays in the background, and rain patters on the windows as you read a leather-bound book. 

Sounds like a dream, right? 

That’s the aesthetic that took over Tumblr in 2015.

People often describe the dark academia aesthetic as “preppy with a dark twist.” To describe it briefly, this style gives Harry Potter vibes and romanticizes education, literature, and mystery.

This aesthetic is an offshoot of preppy fashion, which is inspired by private British and American boarding schools and Ivy League colleges, but dark academia adds a Gothic twist to it, hence the darker vibe.

It’s like recreating the fashion of old institutions such as Oxford and Cambridge.

But you add a human skull, candles, dried flowers, and illustrations of insects and human anatomy on your desk, and Gothic interior serves as your backdrop.

The fashion revolves around wearing black, gray, or other muted neutrals without the slightest hint of bright colors. 

Dark academia’s type of aesthetic clothes includes crisp button-ups, knitted vests or sweaters, plaid patterns, turtlenecks, mini tweed skirts, chunky shoes, loafers, stockings, long socks, coats, scarves, berets, and schoolgirl blazers. 

Makeup is in dark and/or warm or neutral colors, while accessories involve round eyeglasses, watches, satchels, and books. 

Y2K

Y2K is making a comeback, and everyone is obsessed with this nostalgic style.

Out of the different fashion aesthetics, this is where you could see bright and bold colors and layers, like a lot of layers. 

Y2K fashion aesthetic refers to a visual and cultural aesthetic that emerged during the late 1990s and early 2000s, particularly around the new millennium (Y2K refers to the year 2000). 

People often describe it as a “cyber-inspired aesthetic” or “retro-futurism” because it combines vintage styles and a modern edge. 

This aesthetic is like seeing Britney Spears, Spice Girls, Paris Hilton, Christina Aguilera, and TLC in their heyday. 

A Y2K wardrobe has pastel-colored camisoles, tight crewneck shirts, low-rise flared jeans, colored sunglasses, holographic or translucent bags, and tiny accessories. 

Hair and makeup include thin eyebrows, pale eyeshadow and lipstick, pigtails, space buns, zigzag hair parts, spiky buns, and baby braids. 

Gen Zers and millennials didn’t have the chance to explore the Y2k aesthetic during their childhoods, and now that they’re in their 20s and 30s, they’re freer to revisit, reinvent, and experiment with the trends they grew up with.

E-Girl 

The e-girl aesthetic is a style that popped up on social media platforms, particularly on TikTok, and is often associated with internet culture and online communities. 

E-girls mix mall goth, emo, and scene fashion with anime-inspired looks and K-pop styles.

What makes them stand out is their brightly dyed hair and unique online persona. The letter e in “e-girl” stands for “electronic”; after all, implying that they spend most of their days online and in their bedroom.

This fashion aesthetic involves exaggerated winged eyeliner, cute tiny drawings on the cheeks or around the eyes, heavy eye makeup, fake freckles or pink, highlighted noses, pink blush, overlined lips, pigtails, and/or curtain bangs. 

E-girls often wear oversized graphic tees, striped long-sleeved shirts underneath, oversized sweaters, plaid skirts, tennis skirts, cargo pants, mesh pieces, stockings, striped socks, and sneakers or boots.

They love to accessorize with chokers, silver chains, and hair clips, indicating a childlike yet suggestive appearance. 

Model Off-Duty

The “model-off-duty aesthetic” describes the style of models when they are not working on the runway or in front of the camera. 

You can see this style in celebs like Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and Kaia Gerber. (You can look them up for fashion inspo!)

But many credit ’90s supermodels for inspiring today’s effortless yet chic model off-duty aesthetic, owing to icons such as Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, and Tyra Banks.

The styling formula of this aesthetic is a classic white shirt, cropped tank top, or plain long-sleeved tee paired with curve-flattering jeans, an oversized blazer or coat or jacket, or a coordinated two-piece set, and trusty sneakers or simple boots. 

Makeup and hair are kept subtle, minimal, and natural, sometimes sleek and clean. Accessories include a trendy yet simple handbag and a pair of sunglasses.

Because of the accessibility and simplicity of this aesthetic, you don’t have to be a model to pull off this trend! 

Kidcore

The name is exactly what it is called: kidcore. 

This style has a sense of innocence and childlike whimsy. Imagine the colors and outfits you see in toys or day-care centers.

Inspired by the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and sometimes the early 2000s, this aesthetic is all about reliving the current generations’ childhood through wearing clothes with primary colors. 

Despite its retro theme, this style took off in late 2020.

This clothing aesthetic includes childlike, bright, and colorful clothing, denim overalls or shorts, graphic cartoon tees, accessories with storybook themes, and children’s hairstyles. 

Kidcore is about playfulness, nostalgia, comfort, and embracing your inner child.

Baddie

Baddie aesthetic screams confidence, sassiness, empowerment, and fierceness. Baddies embody a personality that doesn’t give a damn about what other people think. 

With its aesthetic style, you can easily channel your inner badass and independent woman energy. Yas, queen! 

Baddie girls know that they look good and that all eyes will be on them once they walk into a room. 

This trend began on Instagram and YouTube in the 2010s and is heavily influenced by the Kardashians, Jenners, Cardie B, Fashion Nova, and Forever 21.

You can achieve this baddie energy by dressing up in bodycon dresses or jumpsuits, your favorite designer pieces, faux fur coats, bodysuits, tracksuit pants or ripped jeans, and high-heeled stilettos or chunky sneakers. 

Accessorize with hoop earrings, rhinestones, beanies or bucket hats, and chokers. Hair is styled in braids, high ponytails, or large loose waves.

Lastly, makeup is a huge part of the baddie aesthetic. Today’s eyebrows on fleek, contouring and highlighting techniques, plump lips, and fierce eye makeup started when the baddie look rose to fame.

Don’t forget to take a selfie with a baddie pose!

Goth

If Wednesday Addams was an influencer, this would be her aesthetic. 

The goth aesthetic is a style that features dark, dramatic, and often unconventional clothing and accessories. 

This style started in the music scene from the late ’60s to early ’70s as an offshoot of punk and post-punk.

It has diversified into many fashion subgenres since, all drawing inspiration from the dark vibe of Gothic literature and architecture.

A goth girl’s wardrobe includes predominantly black clothing, fishnets, mesh, lace, boots or chunky shoes, leather, velvet, and silk. 

Accessories are inspired by themes of death, horror, the occult, and the macabre, such as crosses, skulls, coffins, and moons.

Hairstyles vary depending on the subgenre; traditional goths sported mohawks like punks, while newer goth subgenres feature anything from rockabilly bangs and long straight hair to pigtails, spiky buns, and blunt bobs with bangs.

Makeup is extremely dark. Think dark eyebrows, dark eyeshadow, and dark lipstick.

Barbiecore

Can we all agree that this trend gives us just the right amount of playfulness, nostalgia, and flirtiness? 

Barbiecore aesthetic style is among the latest trends making the rounds.

This aesthetic is inspired by the iconic doll Barbie of the late ’90s and early ’00s and combines elements of excessive and hyper-feminine. 

Alongside the obvious character inspiration, Barbiecore also includes the same girly trends of other pop culture icons from those decades, including Bratz, Lizzie McGuire, Winx Club, and Sharpay Evans.

If you want to achieve Barbiecore, you have to wear bright or pastel colors, glitter, holographic apparel, and a lot of pinks. Yes, wearing pink is a must! 

You can make it more Barbie-ish by accessorizing yourself with butterfly clips, scrunchies, and hoop earrings, as well as clothing items such as mini skirts, crop tops, and platform shoes.

Makeup is reminiscent of those eras: sparkly eyeshadow, falsies, and lip gloss.

Balletcore 

This aesthetic is undoubtedly taking the internet by storm. The balletcore aesthetic originated from a ballerina’s outfits backstage. 

It is described as feminine, soft, and sweet — almost similar to the soft girl and Barbiecore aesthetic, except that it’s sweeter, more elegant, and slightly more conservative. 

This aesthetic is all about pastel pinks, muted lilacs, and pearly colors, with a delicate shimmer and hints of frosted textures. 

To achieve this aesthetic, invest in bodysuits, dresses or skirts with tulle, corsets, satin ribbons and satin skirts, pale stockings or loose socks, and ballet flats or any strappy shoes that resemble ballet slippers.

Hair may be styled in sleek buns like ballerinas or decorated with headbands, flowers, or ribbons.

Boho Chic

Boho is more than a fashion aesthetic; it’s a lifestyle. 

It is all about being free, artistic, eclectic, creative, and sometimes spiritual. The Boho aesthetic originated from the culture of Czech migrants who arrived in France after the French Revolution.

These Czech migrants dressed eccentrically in the eyes of the French and were at first disparagingly compared to nomads and gypsies.  

However, the Bohemians’ lifestyle and fashion soon became a source of inspiration and influence for poor French artists as a rebellion against the rigidness of Victorian social standards.

It became synonymous with a carefree, nonconformist, artistic way of life that celebrates individuality.

This artistic movement then took center stage in the hippie culture of 1960s America and has been revived again and again by celebrities in the 2000s and the 2010s, where it started picking up cowboy boots and cowboy hats.

A Boho chic wardrobe features loose, flowing garments made from fabrics such as cotton, linen, and silk and may showcase colorful tribal prints and patterns as accents or as the outfit’s main design.

Boho fashion typically includes cozy elements, such as fringes, tassels, knits, weaves, lace, fur, and embroidery, accessorized with layered jewelry, seashells, feathers, and beadwork.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Incorporate a Specific Aesthetic Fashion Type Into My Modern Wardrobe? 

With lots of different types of aesthetic clothes, finding your aesthetic can be a little tricky. Most of us have been there. 

First things first, select an aesthetic that suits your personality and lifestyle. 

Fashion is fun, so you can experiment with the styles mentioned above. You can also follow fashion icons from social media for style inspiration. 

And once you’ve found your preferred style, you can start adding accent pieces or new outfits that match the style into your wardrobe. 

Don’t be afraid to mix and match the pieces with what you already have to create new looks. 

How Do I Find My Aesthetic Style? 

Finding your aesthetic can be difficult as it involves lots of “getting to know yourself.” 

But here are some tips that may help you discover your style quickly. 

Consider your personality, interests, and lifestyle when determining your aesthetic fashion type. Or start by exploring different aesthetics. You can look for style inspiration on TikTok, Instagram, or even Pinterest. 

Choose the colors, patterns, silhouettes, and overall vibe that interest you. 

How Many Aesthetics Are There in Fashion?

There is no definitive answer for this as fashion constantly evolves and diversifies yearly.

You can refer to the ones mentioned above, or you can be a trendsetter and combine different aesthetics to create your style. 

Have You Chosen Your Aesthetics in Fashion?

Out of the different fashion aesthetics discussed above, which do you think you’ a’re going for? 

Here’s a PSA that everyone should be reminded of: your aesthetic style may evolve and change over time, and that’s perfectly fine. 

Fashion is all about self-journey and exploration, after all.

The key to finding the perfect aesthetic for you is to be open to experimenting with various styles while staying true to yourself and your personality. 

We hope you have fun discovering your aesthetic and fave fashion icons! 

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Author

  • Stephanie Martin

    Stephanie Martin blends her beauty industry background with expertise in communications to lead in the fashion and beauty world. As a fashion and beauty editor, she is known for engaging and informative articles. Her lifelong passion for fashion, makeup, and hair shines through her work, earning her widespread respect among readers and clients. Stephanie's style, a mix of classic and contemporary, makes her a dynamic and influential figure in the industry, inspiring others with her knowledgeable and approachable insights.

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