Fashion / Trend

It’s officially ‘Brat summer’, and here are the Charli XCX-approved essentials to help you dive right in

charli xcx brat summer essentials

Since Megan Thee Stallion’s song Hot Girl Summer became the slogan of the first post-pandemic summer – an anthem, vibe and way of living that conjured up freedom, fun and, later, even the way one would walk – it seems we can’t escape an annual theme to celebrate the turning of the season. There’s been everything from tomato girl summer to feral girl summer in the years since, and, now, it appears for 2024 we’re officially entering brat summer. (The 'girl' is dropped — thank god). 

When Charli XCX announced the name of her new album – Brat – alongside its lime green artwork, the British musician subsequently initiated a change in mood. In the months leading up to its release, she shut down New York City with an impossible to get into Boiler Room DJ set. Popped up barefoot on top of cars to sing and dance with the crowds that immediately formed on the streets of L.A. and New York. And released singles like the undeniable banger Von Dutch and 360, which came complete with an internet-breaking music video full of It girls. Throughout, Charli caught the attention of Gen Z by posting and engaging on TikTok in the candid, funny and unfiltered way every millennial musician (or their management) wishes they could, while keeping her longtime fans satiated through posting teasers of songs and exclusive content to her private finsta, @360_Brat (named such long before the album title was conceived).

Soon it became clear that Charli – and her upcoming album –was all anyone on my corner of the internet could think or talk about. 

@charlixcxBRAT WALL 4EVER♬ 360 - Charli xcx

Now that Brat has been released to the world, all the pre-game has culminated in not only the musician’s biggest debut yet, but in a change in attitude felt across the internet. Brat isn’t about just being bratty – and by no means does this mean rude to servers, or anyone undeserving – but about being unapologetically yourself and reveling in the complexities of being a woman. By Charli’s own admission in the song Girl, So Confusing, "It's so confusin' sometimes to be a girl.” Brat encourages the listener to embrace every different personality and mood, rather than pigeonholing ourselves into one aesthetic, as has been the recent social media trend. Being in one’s Brat era means understanding that some days you’ll feel hot and others you’ll feel vulnerable. Sometimes at this age all you’ll want to do is go to the club (Club Classics), and others you’ll be worrying about whether you’re missing your chance to have a baby (I think about it all the time). Sometimes you'll be in sweatpants and a hoodie, others you'll be in a girly summer dress, and others you'll serving c*nt in blacked out sunglasses and knee-high boots. 

Participating in Brat summer may be something achieved on vibe alone, but the aesthetic does have its visual signifiers. There's the overarching aesthetic of looking undone, but somehow still hot. Charli gave us visuals of such in 360 with the likes of Alex Consani, Gabbriette, Rachel Sennott, Julia Fox, Chloë Sevigny, and Emma Chamberlain starring in the video and references to the dead-eyed stare Amelia Gray and Gabriette are famous for in its lyrics. Brat can be slightly messy, dirty, or trashy: hoodies with micro shorts and slogan tees. But it can also be polished in an edgy or bitchy way: if you're in your Brat era and you're dressing up, it's the likes of Saint Laurent or Balenciaga paired with strong eye makeup.

In an interview with BBC, Charli was asked what the Brat summer essentials were with the host noting he saw her on a speedboat, which feels "very" Brat summer, posting about how a "big part" of the aesthetic was "having a reluctant BF who's frankly over it". “Yeah, it can go that way, kind of luxury,” she replied. “But it can also be so trashy. Just like a pack of cigs, a Bic lighter, and a strappy white top with no bra. That’s kind of all you need.” 

 

@charlixcx8 DAYS!♬ 360 - Charli xcx

In honour of the changing of the seasons, and a Brat summer (or winter in the southern hemisphere – same mood, just an added oversized bomber!), we’ve rounded up all the essentials you need. 

 

TOTEME White Scoop Neck Tank Top

BALENCIAGA Women's Palazzo Cat Sunglasses

Vaquera Camo Dress

HELMUT LANG Black Cowl Neck Tank Top

PRAYING I Love Men Tee

THE ATTICO Yellow Ester Heels

JEAN PAUL GAULTIER Black 'The Iconic' Minidress 

Entire Studios Micro Shorts

ALEXANDER WANG Silver Heiress Flex Bag 

ALL-IN Black Level Boots 

WITH JEAN Sabrin Dress

 

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