WHAT IS AESTHETIC IN FASHION?
The word aesthetic, according to the famous Merriam-Webster, means “pleasing in appearance : ATTRACTIVE.” In the fashion world, aesthetic refers to a specific style of dressing. If someone wears small gold hoops, claw clips, neutral colors, and Aritzia jeans, they are choosing to dress in the “clean girl aesthetic." This aesthetic is characterized by looking put together, more minimalist, fresh-faced, and wearing neutral tones. Other examples of aesthetics include the Y2K, E-girl, VSCO girl, preppy, grunge, and cottagecore aesthetics.
WHY WE FEEL THE NEED TO CONFINE OURSELVES TO A SINGLE AESTHETIC
I’d like to begin this section of the blog post by highlighting a personal experience. Growing up, I LOVED examining and analyzing the outfits characters wore in tv shows and movies. Since most shows are exaggerated depictions of reality, the “goth” character would be hyper-goth, always donning black clothes and heavy makeup; the “sporty” character was only seen wearing sneakers and t-shirts, etc. In these fictional friend groups, each character would have their own unique, exaggerated sense of style that they would never stray from. I always admired the idea of each friend having a signature look. I love experimenting with my style, but even now I find myself getting caught in the trap of wanting to be defined by a single aesthetic like the characters I looked up to growing up.
Social media has also conditioned us to believe that in order to be fashionable, we need to pick a lane and stay in it. If we try out too many different looks and aesthetics, social media deems us “lost” and having no original sense of style. TikTok especially preaches style as maintaining a consistent aesthetic day in, day out.
PROBLEMS THAT ARISE FROM STICKING TO ONE AESTHETIC
HOW TO BREAK THE HABIT OF STICKING TO A SINGLE AESTHETIC
One way to get out of this one aesthetic mindset is to try out all the aesthetics that appeal to you. Keep track of which elements from each aesthetic you like and don’t like, compiling a list. For example, you may love fairycore’s flowy maxi skirts but hate the green and brown color palette. Take this information and apply it to your own personal style and way of dressing.
Another tip for breaking out of the one aesthetic mindset is to dress for your mood. Some days you may feel grumpy and tired, donning all black and comfy sweats, while other days you feel sexy and want to wear a two-piece going out set with cutouts. Matching your outfits to your mood rather than an aesthetic gives you more room for creativity and exploration.
It is also important to remember that fashion is supposed to be fun! Limiting yourself to dressing in one style is not fun.
Next time you are on social media and see a post about “finding your aesthetic,” remember that confining yourself to a single aesthetic is a curse. Dress in whatever makes you feel happy and the most you, don’t be afraid to experiment, and always remember that fashion is fun!
SEE YOU NEXT SATURDAY WITH ANOTHER FASHION POST.
hey it's Steffi, and this is my website where I post fashion, travel, and lifestyle blog posts. Enjoy!