Before you attack me, I have to admit that I didn't come up with this name.
It only came about in my mind when, after a long day of lounging around Central Park during a day off, a friend pointed at my shoulders and said, "Girl, you dead look like a tomato."
For a Gen Z crowd brought up around peers obsessed with non-veggie things called veggies (see: Lil Yachty's hit "Broccoli" and the all-seeing eggplant emoji), the comparison didn't shock me in the slightest. My shoulders did, in fact, look like a tomato—overwhelmingly crimson and slightly protruded. What surprised me was the fact my friend followed that up with, "Not you literally being in your tomato-girl era."
Every summer, it seems like TikTok chooses to hyperfixate on a specific fashion subject. The rise of the quiet-luxury, coastal-grandmother, vanilla-girl, balletcore, weird-girl, and cottagecore aesthetics and a multitude of other stylistic choices can all be attributed to the clock app. The look of the moment is for someone who wants to resemble Italian grandmothers' dinner tablecloths, has a penchant for Campari sodas, and can't get enough of the color red. (and, if you're like me, doesn't know how to use sunscreen properly).
Enter the tomato girl. She's is another iteration of the carefree, breezy coastal style we've come to associate with trendy travel destinations of the last few years—particularly, the Amalfi Coast and Sicily. Call it the White Lotus effect or one too many pairs of Robyn Italian Summer jeans sold by Lisa Says Gah, but the fact of the matter remains the same. Everyone wants to dress like pasta toppings now, and olives, anchovies, and tomatoes are all on the menu. After the California-based label released this year's version of its cult food print inspired by Spanish tapas, there was no stopping the tomato girl from taking over.
Although the foodification of high fashion is far from a new concept, the tomato-girl aesthetic takes it a step further. Instead of channeling the namesake vegetable (or fruit, if we want to technically be correct) through the use of color palettes, the tomato-girl aesthetic incorporates coastal, rustic motifs and food-related garments to add a bit of spice and flavor to everyday outfits. The typical tomato-girl outfit of choice? Cork sandals, a white maxi skirt, and perhaps a tank top that has a cooked and seasoned prawn on it.
While it seems like we're all overtly aware of how fast TikTok-derived aesthetics and trends come from, there's a particularly long-lasting feeling about a tomato girl. The style sometimes doesn't feel like a style at all. The easy, carefree fashion choices of a tomato girl often feel like they're coming from her laissez-faire attitude toward summer style rather than the need to look like the quirkiest girl in the room. With soft linens, colorful hues, and odd yet endearing accessories, the tomato girl isn't just a TikTok trend—it's a lifestyle.
Below, shop a few tomato-girl essentials along with a mix of eclectic finds and timeless summer staples I guarantee you'll reach for in the months to come. Just don't forget your sunscreen.