Fashion / Fashion Feature

TikTok’s weird girls want you to lay down the “core” trends and wear what you like

weird girl aesthetic

Earlier in May, Twitter account @kaiageber started a dialogue about the recent "weird girl" aesthetic infiltrating TikTok and our Instagram feeds. They asked questions like "does it only work on Bella Hadid?" and "is it anti-fashion?" Both valid in their own right, but from where we're standing we can comfortably say no.

For one, the weird girl aesthetic is for everyone, and we'll never subscribe to the school of thought that only some people can pull a certain look off. This way of thinking kills self-expression, and what is fashion without a little risk-taking? The other thing is that while on first glance the aesthetic looks like a form of fashion absurdism, which wouldn't be misplaced in our current milieu, it's in fact the opposite. Weird girls love fashion. Let us explain. But first, what is a weird girl?

 

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What is the "weird girl" aesthetic?

To the untrained eye, the weird girl aesthetic has no reason or rhyme and can come across as fashion gobbledegook. Which is how it got its name in the first place; only someone from the outside looking in could call it weird. To be fair, it's a pastiche of all the "cores"; clashing gorpcore with ravecore with goblincore with angelcore and always with the addition of something off-kilter – a piece that makes you double take. Or maybe it's not a blend of all the cores at all? Perhaps, like myself, the weird girls are tired of the arbitrary boundaries of "core" trends, and are choosing chaos instead. Either way, I'm on board.

Anyway, if we're sticking with Bella Hadid as an example, recently she wore knee-high gym socks paired with pumps. That is something a weird girl would do.

Maximalism is key for the trend. Weird girls love an accessory, be it arm warmers or ear muffs or ties – the more the merrier. They also love texture too, like knitted scarves or inexplicable layers. The look is heavy on nostalgic silhouettes like mini and midi skirts, cargo pants or skirts, track jackets, baby tees, vintage-era sneakers like Nike Shox or Adidas Sambas, chunky mary janes and heavy thigh-high boots. The body is a canvas and they are laying it on thick.

 

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Who is wearing the trend?

But, while many like to look to Bella Hadid as the matriarch of weird girls globally, I'd like to point out that your local weird girl was probably doing it first. Especially those who have a proven track record for loving throwback designer vintage and cult, what some would call "Instagram brands", like Maroske Peech, all is a gentle spring, Chet Lo or Olivia Rowan – basically anything you can find at Café Forgot in New York City or locally, Distal Phalanx. It's also a style that lends itself to thrifting. Throw in a couple of pieces from Marc Jacobs' Heaven line with a Hello Kitty motif or some Y2K styling, and there you have it. A recipe for the weird girl.

Aside from Hadid, other high profile weird girls marching to the beat of their own strange drum is actor Rowan Blanchard or Hunter Schafer. But you can find a whole community of them on TikTok under #weirdgirlaesthetic for inspiration.

 

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Origins of the weird girl aesthetic

To answer the question is: "is it anti-fashion?" At this point, it's evident that it just isn't. Weird girls love fashion so much, they want it all at once. But more so, because if we look at the early influences of the weird girl aesthetic, you'll find that it's so closely tied to the 90s and noughties street style found in Tokyo's hub of Harajuku. Led mostly by teens and street performers, the styles seen in Harajuku were largely documented in Fruits Magazine, a publication established in 1997 for that exact purpose. More importantly, this category of dressing has never been homogenous, with figures across all subcultures involved. In a lot of ways, it's the antithesis the cores we've been seeing crop up. It's so versatile and open to interpretation.

If there's a takeaway from the weird girl aesthetic, it's that it's okay not to define your style in any rigid sense. You can pull from all areas that fascinate you or oscillate between maximalism and minimalism. With a little creativity and clever styling, it's bound to work, and I stress, for everyone.

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