Fashion / Style

The kidcore trend is here to disrupt your monochrome, colour-starved wardrobes in a storm of OTT charm

kidcore trend

We'll forgive you if keeping up with the trends right now feels an unending cycle, but that is the beauty of the industry and the nature of trialling new looks and ensembles you would otherwise leave untouched. For today's session of trending aesthetics, we're looking at kidcore, the unabashedly playful and eclectic trend encouraging us all to embrace our inner child and with it a more-is-more ethos to our wardrobes. So throw on our loudest, most oversized garms and settle in to learn about the kidcore trend and the pieces to shop today.

What is the kidcore trend?

Kidcore is the embodiment of its name – childish, fun and an embracer of colours and prints. If cottagecore evoked a sense of wanderlust for a countryside cabin or an escape to the woods, kidcore is the rainbow-fueled trend often toy-inspired and encouraging us to immerse ourselves in a wash of more-is-more clothing.

Kidcore has emerged in the post-pandemic world, appearing on runways an in street style outfits, even seen at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week. You will have seen it on kidcore aficionados Dua Lipa and Bella Hadid, and occasionally on Harry Styles. When thinking of kidcore, think crocs, beaded necklaces and patchwork knitwear.


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Where does kidcore sit in the trend lexicon?

With the vast array of trends thrust in our faces every week – balletcore, twee aesthetic and feral girls to name a few that have emerged in the first half of 2022 – each aesthetic has begun to intermingle with one another, even if only fleetingly. For kidcore, we see an overlap with 90s style, the Y2K revival that continues to permeate collections and trends and a nod to 80s style that has emerged in recent months. The key difference with kidcore, setting it apart from the rigid confines of the aforementioned, is that it embodies carefree fun an comfort, taps into childhood nostalgia and is characterised by playful, unabashed pattern clashing.


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What are the staple items of the kidcore trend?

With the principles and underscoring themes of kidcore down pat, the all important staple looks of the trend are where we narrow our focus. If Y2K is about slinky, barely there silhouettes, kidcore is innocent and cheeky. Oversized ensembles harking back to childhood dress ups in parents clothing, hand-me-downs too big for you, wearing practical garments to wreck havoc in the playground. These are the overarching looks inherent to the kidcore trend.

You want to look ‘cool,’ through the eyes of a child. Rainbow everything, pink considered a neutral hue, it rekindles a sense of joy wearing your favourite garment or accessory brought you in your early years. A pair of sequinned, floral ballet flats were a go-to accessory of mine, helplessly crying when a hole tore in the soul and they were sent to the bin. Unpretentious and inclusive, cartoon graphic tees, mismatched prints, tie dye jeans and bright knitwear are the fundamentals of the trend, alongside beaded jewellery and micro bags.

What brands are embracing kidcore?

Particulalry popular with independent brands and Depop sellers, the aesthetic has become more prominent with high fashion across the last three years in both overt and subtle pepperings. Moschino is a notable celebrator of typical kidcore aesthetics with its iterations of the kitsch items that are staples in the life of a child: McDonald’s chips, lunchboxes, Spongebob, the Flinstones and more.


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Outside of the overt campness of Jeremy Scott’s Moschino, typically neutral-hued brands like Gabriela Hearst have also dabbled in pieces that sit under the kidcore umbrella, namely the loose-fitting tie dye and crochet pieces found at her Spring 21 RTW show. Comme des Garçons has also referenced Mickey Mouse in its collections, and Gucci’s Disney collaborations certainly count as being kidcore.


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A post shared by Gabriela Hearst (@gabrielahearst)

Independent brands like Lisa Says Gah, Offe Market and Damson Madder are key labels producing kidcore products, ranging from OTT printing to matching sets awash in eclectic hues. Even to an extent the fabulous, upcycled pieces of Australian brand Prawn Cocktail appeal to those embracing the kidcore trend through its use of vibrant colours and unique printing across one-of-a-kind pieces.

Shop our favourite kidcore-inspired looks.

Gabriela Hearst Tamara Crochet Knit Dress 

kidcore trend

Lisa Says Gah Leti Button Up 

kidcore trend

Moschino Sequinned Hamburger Cross Body Bag 

kidcore trend

Zig Zag Goods Nightcrawler Booties

Prawn Cocktail Softie Bag


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Image: Instagram