There was once a time that keeping up with fashion trends meant scanning the runways for key looks for the season ahead, but in the age of social media (and more specifically, TikTok), the way we shop has changed so quickly that trends can gain traction almost instantly, giving the runway no choice but to follow suit. With user generated fashion and styling content going viral on TikTok and filling our explore pages daily, it's easier than ever to get new inspiration from real women and not just designers. So, the next time you're wondering if you should spend your next paycheque on that Loewe bomber jacket, the chances are there's someone who's already tried, tested and reviewed it for you, and in a matter of weeks, leather bombers will be springing up everywhere.
At Who What Wear we like to stay ahead of the trends in a bid to weigh up which are the ones that are truly worth investing in, so when it comes to uncovering the newest, must-see looks for 2023, where better to start than TikTok. We've sat, scrolled, and put in the screen time to bring you the biggest viral trends currently dominating the app, and no matter your style, budget, or personal preference, we’ve rounded up an edit that has a little something for everyone.
So if you know your "Gorpcore" from your "Coastal Grandmother", or you're looking for the seasonal update to 2022's "Romcom-core" aesthetic, keep scrolling for some of the most popular TikTok fashion trends and aesthetics from 2023 that are sure to carry into 2024 and beyond. You heard it here first.
Style Notes: It's time to saddle up, there's a new style in town. Just when you thought the Hamptons-eqsue Coastal Grandmother aesthetic was as effortlessly stylish as beachwear could get, the Coastal Cowgirl has given warm-weather clothing a fashionable update. Trade your cardigans for fringed jackets, midi skirts for distressed denim, and sandals for cowboy boots–the only similarity between these two looks is the tonal colour palette of beachy beige, sky blue and clean, fresh whites, and according to TikTok, it's a universally crowd-pleasing style that's perfect for spring.
Style Notes: Striped shirts, cashmere turtlenecks and preppy blazers, the Old Money aesthetic is less about how much you've actually spent on your outfit, and more about tapping into the classic codes of the archetypal aristocrat wardrobe—if it would seamlessly blend in a country club or when riding a horse, it's Old Money-ready. Whether derivative of Gossip Girl's Upper East Side style or Princess Diana's off-duty wardrobe, this controversially-named trend takes inspiration from the kind of preppy signatures that Ralph Lauren, Brunello Cucinelli and Hermés are known for creating, only the look is being replicated IRL through smart high-street purchases and secondhand finds.
Style Notes: Bringing new meaning to the term "borrowed from the boys", the new blokecore look directly nods to lad culture. Sportswear and baggy jeans are paired with heels and mini bags (talk about high/low styling), and the freshest way to make this aesthetic feel bang-up-to-date is ironically with 90s styling. Retro football and rugby shirts, tracksuits and distressed denim are about to be your best accessories, and the perfect outfit for a night in the pub.
Style Notes: Although it may have started as an interiors trend, the Cluttercore movement is making it's way into our wardrobes and throwing the Marie Kondo rulebook out of the window. Maximalists will love the heady mix of print, colour and texture inspired by the chaotic interiors trend of layering up clashing items as an expression of personality and self-expression (just imagine the walls of your teenage bedroom for a better idea). While we might often champion the virtues of timeless monochromatic staples, there's a lot to be said about just how good a Cluttercore outfit will make you feel, after all, it's impossible not to feel instantly happier wearing this much colour.
Style Notes: Not a subscriber to the "more is more" mantra? Allow the Vanilla Girl aesthetic to be your palette cleanser. It might not be brand new for 2023, but its versatility is a testament to its longevity, and even when the similarly styled caramel and coffee versions come and go, tonal, cosy dressing in creams and whites always looks polished, just ask Rosie Huntingdon-Whiteley. While we wore the look in winter with chunky knits and wool coats, the spring/summer update is right on time, and we can't wait to get into cream denim and tank tops as soon as the sun decides to make an appearance.
Style Notes: If the breakout success of the Daisy Jones and the Six tv adaptation has taught us anything, it's eternal appeal of rock and roll. Although it's hashtag implies that the Rockstar Girlfriend is merely the sidekick to the main attraction–the rockstar, the truth is, it's the girlfriend's outfits that we remember the most. It's Kate Moss' street style, Pamela Anderson, Lisa Bonet, and Kourtney Kardashian (ahem, Barker). Leather trousers, baby tees, and the antithesis of the problematic "clean girl" trend that gained popularity last year, this is how to do grunge with a little more polish (although it's carefully constructed to look effortless). Wondering how to wear leather for spring? Or what shoes to wear with jeans? Look no further than the Rockstar Girlfriend for vintage styling with edge.
Style Notes: For Sungirls, every season is the summer of love. Beachy, undone and bohemian, this is a look that prioritises comfort, colour, and laid-back style with Californian cool (just don't expect to see her in Old Money tailoring or the simple Vanilla Girl palette). While most of us naturally gravitate to this look during summer, for some TikTokers it's a year round commitment, so if you're looking for pointers on what to pack for your next trip abroad, start with the Stargirl hashtag.
The antithesis of this early riser? The Stargirl. A blend of high-octane glamour, gothic references and plenty of embellishments, the Stargirl aesthetic comes into it's own after-dark. These magpies are drawn to satin, sparkles and sequins (with a dose of Y2K energy), and should you be looking for an occasionwear look that doesn't skimp on the drama, TikTok is all over the Stargirl aesthetic that blends Saint Laurent with 16 Arlington energy. Wallflowers need not apply.