The A-to-Z of Online Aesthetics: A Comprehensive Glossary
It seems like every day another new online aesthetic comes along to proclaim its relevance. Some have achieved mainstream awareness (Barbiecore, Cottagecore, Coastal Grandmother Aesthetic), while others could be considered more niche (Whimsigoth, Clowncore, Corecore), but all are designed to easily telegraph an identity. We might be living in the golden age of self-identification, but how is the average person supposed to keep up?
We've put together a handy Online Aesthetics Glossary, a comprehensive, frequently updated guide to the majority of new TikTok aesthetics or “cores.” If you're in need of a new way to express yourself online or IRL or you're just curious about what something like Coastal Cowgirl Aesthetic could possibly mean, keep scrolling.
A is for
Invented by creator @AliyahsInterlude, the look is best described as a mix of Alt Girl and Y2K. Fuzzy boots, miniskirts, earmuffs, ripped tights, and lots of faux fur.
Emo but elevated. Offbeat dyed hair, thrift store clothing, and music you've never heard of.
B is for
Inspired by ballerinas, dance moves optional. Pink, tulle, tights, leg warmers, leotards, dainty warm-up gear, sleek buns, and twirly skirts.
A celebration of bright pink and overt femininity, partially spurred by the Barbie movie buzz and Valentino. The pinker the better.
C is for
Cinnamon Girl Aesthetic
Think if fall were a person and they had a lot of feelings. Dark brown and camel tones, candles, brown sugar scrub, journaling, and Lana del Rey.
Clean Girl Aesthetic
Effortless beauty without a hint of flaws. Perfect skin, slicked-back hair, “no makeup” makeup, and casual yet polished clothing.
A rebellion against cold, minimalist homes. Having lots of things and displaying them proudly.
Kind of exactly what you would expect: a lot of clothing inspired by clowns. Many devotees also enjoy cosplaying as clowns.
Christian Girl Autumn
Based on the meme, a celebration of being basic in the fall—PSLs, skinny jeans, riding boots, oversized sweaters, beach waves.
Coastal Cowgirl Aesthetic
Cute and flirty with a Southern twist, think Stagecoach festival. Cowboy boots, puff-sleeve dresses, knits, and denim vests.
Coastal Grandmother Aesthetic
Like you are the main character in a Nancy Meyers movie. Cream sweaters, wide-leg pants, palatial vacation home, lots of white wine.
Overly girly and romantic celebration of frill, sometimes with a kawaii twist. Bows, Mary Janes, lace, heart prints, and anything cute.
Core-ception. KnowYourMeme explains it “plays on the -core suffix by making a ‘core’ out of the collective consciousness of all ‘cores.’” Right on.
A near fetishization of the art of picnics, puff sleeves, prairie vibes, embracing a “simple life.” DIY, baking bread, quilting, and ponytail ribbons.
D is for
A devotion to literature and ivy-covered campuses, with a vibe to match. Dark wood, chic glasses, lots of books, emblems, argyle, classical music, and bourbon, if you're fancy.
1990s grunge chic but with a Gen Z twist. Plaid, long red nails, big headphones, strappy dresses over tees, maybe-real love of record stores.
E is for
The original TikTok aesthetic for men, characterized by goth and punk influences and gender fluidity in clothing. Think Chase “Huddy” Hudson.
One of the first big aesthetics for women, as a counter to VSCO girls. Female gamers, drawings on eyes, Manga influence, creativity with hair and makeup.
F is for
Leaning fully into your Sarah J. Maas phase. Long skirts, crochet tops, Doc Martens, headpiece for special occasions, cosplay.
Frazzled English Woman Aesthetic
Kate Winslet in The Holiday and Bridget Jones. Messy hair, long scarf, chunky sweater, not a ton of fashion sense as it pertains to material things, but a lot of gravitas and natural beauty.
French Girl Aesthetic
A très chic appreciation for French street style. Vintage jeans and bags, dark sunglasses, red lips, croissants for breakfast.
G is for
Goblincore or Gremlincore
The earthier, less feminine alternative to Fairycore and the darker version of Cottagecore. Earth tones, love of moss and plants, brown leather belts, thrifting.
You spend your weekends camping and have a premium membership to AllTrails or you want to look like you do. Patagonia, Nalgene, Tevas, REI.
L is for
The sunnier sister to Dark Academia. Books displayed whimsically, plaid skirts, bows, Oxford shirts, Belle from Beauty and the Beast energy,
M is for
Fuck boys, stay away. Female empowerment in the style of Jennifer's Body with femme fatale charm. Leather red and black (blood optional), and manipulation.
Millennials, this is for you. A Gen Z spin on the goth trend we all knew and loved back in the ’90s and ’00s. Hot Topic, chain accessories, bright red hair, tights as sleeves.
Just in time for the Little Mermaid movie. Beads, seashell accents, long maxi skirts, aquamarine, beachy waves and braids.
O is for
Old Money Aesthetic
You have a trust fund but you're not showy about it, or you want to look like you do. Stealth wealth, the Kennedys, the Roys, no obvious designer labels, luxury fabrics, The Row.
P is for
Pink Pilates Princess Aesthetic
You're living your best life through wellness. Matching athleisure sets, pink cardigans, at-home workouts, green juice, and early wake-up calls.
Pays homage to New York City’s stereotypical rich Upper East Side women and girls—think Blair Waldorf and Serena Van Der Woodsen, Manhattan socialites, Bunny McDougal, and Eloise, the fictional six-year-old who lives on the “tippy-top” floor of the Plaza Hotel. Chain-strap bags, low heels, and lots of tweed.
The TikTok definition of preppy is all about bright colors, smiles, and fun. Telegraphs money, hard work, inclusivity.
R is for
Spurred by Bridgerton mania, think corsetry, leg-of-mutton sleeves, jeweled chokers, ruffles, pastels, damask wallpaper, general regalness.
If you had it your way, you'd live in Versailles. An appreciation for dressing up like a princess, both literally, and inspired by. Lots of tea.
S is for
Soft Girl Aesthetic
A dedication to self-care, self-love, and only doing things that don't require too much effort. Body scrubs, cozy clothes, peace, living your truth unapologetically.
Soft Boy Aesthetic
A male celebration of pastels, sweaters, and cuteness. Florals, traditionally “feminine” colors, good vibes.
Star Girl Aesthetic
You come alive in the nighttime. Silver accents, glitter, black camis, love of cities, clubs, and partying.
T is for
Tennis skirts, varsity sweaters, polos, visors, summers on the cape. It's giving old money.
An embrace of the patriarchy. Traditional gender roles, housedresses, children, home-cooked meals, bad vibes.
You're living your best life because you put in the work and everyone wants to be you. Wellness, cool clothes, self-care, a clean house, a five-step skin care routine, self-actualization.
V is for
Vanilla Girl Aesthetic
You're clean, you're cozy, you smell like cookies. Gold jewelry, white knit sweaters, vanilla candles, bouclé chairs, throw blankets.
The OG. Hydroflasks, scrunchies, long T-shirts, Brandi Melville, Carmex, youth.
W is for
You were a witch in a past life, specifically, Sabrina. Velvet, lace, long skirts, celestial accessories, spooky vibes.
Originally Appeared on Glamour