Gen Z Fashion Aesthetics

Social media has inspired a lot of Gen Z to find their aesthetic and play around with different styles.

Social media has inspired a lot of Gen Z to find their aesthetic and play around with different styles.

Lancy Shi, Photojournalist

Aesthetics are different styles of dress that have been recently popularized within Gen Z. With the boom of social media, more and more young teens are trying to find clothing that fits their aesthetic while scrolling through inspiration on Instagram or Pinterest. Back in the old days, fashion trends consisted of mostly specific items, for example ruffled collars or wide hats. Nowadays with the rise of the internet, teens are more focused on the aesthetic of multiple articles of clothing blending in together to fit a vibe versus specific trendy items. Some people even categorize people’s personalities and interests into these aesthetics, so they are essentially  judging others based on their style of choice. 

One example of a popular fashion aesthetic is cottagecore, which is basically a romanticization of European farm life. Clothes in this category consist of light colors such as white, sage green, and beige. Basically, if you search up “cottagecore,” it is common to see pretty girls in silky white dresses carrying flower baskets. 

Another example would be the e-girl aesthetic, which is short for electronic girl. This style borrows from the anime aesthetic and has clothes such as black tank tops, chained belts, and platform boots. Makeup is also a huge part of what makes this style unique, as most people do dramatic eyeliner and overly pink blush to fully accentuate the boldness of this aesthetic.

On the opposite side of e-girl there is the soft-girl aesthetic, which uses clothing items with pastel colors such as baby pink and violet. The color is the most important thing if you want to dress in this style, as technically most articles of clothing can work as long as the color is soft and light. Appealing accessories are also important, as the focus of this aesthetic is cuteness.

Dark academia is an aesthetic inspired by English and gothic influences. People with this style often wear clothes such as knitted vests, beige pants, or dark brown overcoats. This is to recreate school uniforms of old British private schools, and the idea behind it is to look educated and preppy. The only way to differentiate this from light academia is by color, as they are both essentially borrowing from the same idea. 

There are many more examples like fairycore, goth, Y2K, grunge, and kid core, but they all have one thing in common. All of these aesthetics rely on the personality and vibe aspect to the actual article of clothing. Technically anything can work if you truly look at enough examples and understand the mood of the style. Aesthetics is more of a personal thing, which makes it all the more fun to talk about with other people. Ultimately, the most important thing is having fun. Your teenage years are your years of self discovery, and especially since Gen Z is the first generation to grow up with social media, it is way easier to find your own style and fashion while having interesting conversations with your friends about it. At YLHS, clothing and aesthetics are also discussed a lot. When asked about fashion, Libby Liberto (12) says that “No matter what you wear, someone is always going to hate it.” At the end of the day, just dress however you like.” At the end of the day, just do whatever makes you happy and explore different styles, then you will find what truly fits you.