Posted on: January 5, 2024 Posted by: Comments: 0

Are you a Lana Del Rey fan who lives for ultra-romantic fashion pieces and clings to trends that involve ribbons, lace, and Bridgerton-esque motifs? Then the coquette aesthetic is most definitely for you. But what is a coquette exactly? I read The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene cover to cover a few years ago, so I have a bit of an educated idea.

In the book, Greene breaks down multiple archetypes, describing them as characters we can play in life and love, and he includes historical examples along the way. He compares the coquette to the relationship between Napoleon Bonaparte and Joséphine de Beauharnais—her theatrics, vanity, and narcissism drew him in. Even though the coquette is known for being extremely adept at any aspect of traditional femininity, a big part of the archetype in the book I read is independence, so don’t forget that as you don your pearls and lace. 

As for understanding what being a “coquette” means when it comes to fashion choices, I spoke to three Gen Z creators about this aesthetic. It seems that they all agree that, in the world of social media, the coquette aesthetic refers to a style that emphasizes a playful and flirtatious attitude, often characterized by dainty and delicate elements such as ruffles, bows, and pastel colors. Devin Apollon said it best: “Girlycore with a mix of sultry Old English elegance.” Below, find the 15 pieces that they suggest you shop to get in on the aesthetic.

How would you define the coquette aesthetic? The coquette aesthetic is the ultimate definition of girlycore with a mix of sultry Old English elegance. This aesthetic has emerged so much because we see that everyone is putting their own twist on it. In a way, it mixes in with balletcore and lace blouses, silks, and a soft touch. What are your favorite things about this trend?  A few of my favorite things about this aesthetic are the endless bows, gold jewelry, and vintage touch to every outfit. This aesthetic is one of my favorites because, with how each person perceives it, it is truly timeless and so feminine. 

“Sandy Liang has mastered bows. I have tapped into bows so much recently because, even with my more laid-back style, it adds the perfect girly touch and uniqueness to any outfit. I love this hair accessory because it is so unique and easy to throw on with basically anything.”

“There is something about the iconic Vivienne Westwood necklace that will never go out of style. It is so coquette and badass at the same time. Pearls can go either very girly or more punk in a sense. Any piece that has this much versatility is a win for me.”

“Any vintage designer corset is just a work of art. It doesn’t necessarily have to be designer because the silhouette of a corset itself just is so beautiful and adds to any look. I love corsets layered lately on top of a white button-up.”

“Lace is the key element to a cool-girl ‘fit. A lace maxi skirt with Adidas sneakers is even a chef’s kiss. It is the perfect balance to any outfit, and I think [styling it] very [casually] is so special.”

“Ballet flats are my go-to right now. Ballet flats with jeans or even a cool set going into spring… There is just something about it. A classic pink, off-white, black, or patent red is a must while exploring the coquette aesthetic.”

How would you define the coquette aesthetic? Through my eyes, the coquette aesthetic celebrates femininity, romance, and the beauty in how small details like ribbons tied into bows, lace, frills, and delicate patterns can be such a sweet, simple pleasure to have around. What are your favorite things about this trend?  For people like me, it’s an ode to connecting with our younger selves. As a kid, I loved pink, ballerinas, princesses, and “coquette” everything! Now that I’m in my 20s, when I reflect on my childhood, I remember a time when I suddenly rejected all of that because I wanted to be more grown-up as I was becoming a teen. Fast-forward to now, I’ve been able to reconnect with myself by taking inspiration from my younger self when decorating my first apartment and through my personal style. I can feel how it’s brought me back to my center to honor the things I love in this world rather than hide them away for the sake of being taken more seriously. The romanticization of our lives is such a beautiful way to remind ourselves of the good around us. Beautiful things don’t ask for attention, but even in the smallest details, we can find pleasure and thoughtful sentiments. Trends like this are truly so much more than a trend for so many people around the world!

“One roll of ribbon can take you so far! For me, all of this started with leftover ribbon from a handmade gift I put together for a friend. I realized I had so much leftover that I didn’t know what to do with it until the idea hit me. ‘Tie a bow onto literally everything,’ my brain said, so I listened! I tied bows onto my journaling pen, headphones, desk drawer handle, purse, flower vases, etc. It gives such a dainty feel to whatever you put it on, and it feels good to be so unapologetically girly.”

“The thrift store will be your best friend! Grandmas around the world donate the perfect coquette items all the time. I’m convinced that their taste plays a part as a muse of this trend. You can find vintage gold-gilded picture frames, mirrors, ruffly pillows, dainty catchalls, and rare clothing items that can give your collection a perfect personal touch!”

“When buying clothes, I always look for simple items with lovely, small details—for example, things like lace, unique buttons, interesting silhouettes, pleasing textures, things of that nature. Small details allude to the thoughtfulness and love that’s put into a piece. So the next time you’re searching for the perfect top, dress, or bottoms to add to your wardrobe, remember that the sprinkle of uniqueness that you’re looking for might be all in the details.”

“My heart locket is definitely my go-to necklace. It’s such a romantic thing to have not only a delicate heart around your neck but sentimental photos inside as well! The most important thing to remember if a trend catches your eye is [it’s] the personalization of it. There’s a special energy that comes with spinning something to make it your own. Indulge in being yourself by using your experiences to shape your style.”

“I love the look and versatility of a low-waisted midi- to floor-length skirt, whether it’s made of denim, lace, or flowy fabric. I admire the duality of how they can be styled in a casual or elevated look. The energy of these skirts comes off as effortlessly chic, romantic, and feminine. Personally, it’s a genuine must-have for any wardrobe!”

How would you define the coquette aesthetic? I would say the aesthetic includes pointelle lace, satin, and light pastel colors (like baby blue and pink) that make you think of florals or spring. The aesthetic brings out one’s most divine feminine energy, whether it’s through a dainty barrette or romantic soft curls. I like to think of the “Dior lip oil” girlies that just smell nice and have their priorities together and focus on themselves.  What are your favorite things about this trend?  Combining soft makeup with delicate fabrics gives off such an ethereal yet effortless look. I love how romantic the coquette aesthetic is with a pink-and-white-focused palette. It’s an excuse to buy luxurious pieces for yourself to feel girly and graceful. The best part is that you can find pretty nightgowns and slip dresses at your local vintage/thrift store without giving up too much of your budget. Drinking tea and eating a buttercream-frosted cake are all a part of the “aesthetic” and can be incorporated into your lifestyle without having to forcefully fall into the trend.  

“A scrunchie with eyelet lace, gingham, or even a plain one in pastel pink is the perfect excuse to add a feminine touch. I think the coquette aesthetic doesn’t always need to be about having a face-card photo, because an elevated hairstyle can really make an outfit. Good Squish and Home of Hai are perfect for the upcoming spring season.”

“A comfy pair of flats can instantly dress up a pair of baggy jeans or complete a girly head-to-toe look. My favorite shoe colors come in black (because it matches everything and won’t look dirty), silver (to make an outfit look a bit edgier on the streetwear side), and anything that’s pastel + satin (just to make a miniskirt look a little more extra). The most important thing is to find something that suits your personal style.”

“I’ve seen it on just about everything—shoulder bags, hairdos, shoes, ankles, AirPods, duffel bags, etc. A roll of ribbon can go a long way and make a sustainable tote look purposefully decorated. It’s reusable, adjustable, and so pleasing to look at.”

“Your mind equals your space. A good book and a warm candle can start the joy of having a nightly self-care ritual. Embracing these wind-down moments can help one tap into their goals for the next day: How do I want to be that girl and put myself into that mindset? My Diptyque and Maison Louis Marie candles brighten up my room and have different layers of smells the longer they burn.”

“Cou Cou Intimates has cosy yet light undergarments to throw on before bed. I love wearing a pointelle lace top with a comfy cardigan/bolero or pairing it with a miniskirt—a total must-have that would never go out of style.”

Next Up: 13 Elegant Pieces That Will Make Your Wardrobe a More Luxurious Place

This story originally appeared on Who What Wear US.

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