COVID-19 sparked a running list of concepts that went from obscure to much too familiar (think face masks, travel restrictions, and so on); and, when it comes the way we dress, the Covid-induced pivot to a digital-first society has us all rethinking our sources of inspiration. Rather than getting outfit ideas in-person from coworkers or your friends at dinner, many began to initially look to social media (or streaming hits, see our blog posts on that here and here) as the most immediate and consuming source of fashion.
With that, online aesthetics and trends dubbed as "cores" began to arise and have remained a staple in our style vocabularies. From "Regencycore" sparked by the buzz of Bridgerton at the end of 2020 to the current infatuation with "Indie Sleaze" that's been furthered by celebs like Olivia Rodrigo and Machine Gun Kelly, these are the most notable online aesthetics sweeping socials – and e-commerce.
"Indie Sleaze" is undoubtedly the buzziest online aesthetic of the moment. This trend encompasses the popular "Tumblr girl" aesthetic of the 2010s, the start of quintessential "hipster" style, and pop punk nods à la Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker. When it comes to everyday style, Olivia Rodrigo is a muse to watch; she's known for it-girl style with an edgy spin. While items like plaid skirts and leather jackets fall into this category, Rodrigo has surely furthered the interest in combat and lugsole boots, too. According to StyleSage data, the sold-out rate for this boot trend has increased 45% from December 2020 to December 2021.
"Cottagecore" originated at the start of this "core" era when we were quarantined inside dreaming of, well, a simpler life in a cottage off somewhere far away from reality. Nonetheless, this "core" has stuck around and has been a driver of the dresses category. Dresses that fall within this aesthetic have increased their sold-out rate by 30% from December 2020 to December 2021. This look also leans into buzzy brands like Reformation, LoveShackFancy, and For Love & Lemons.
While fashion inspiration coming from Copenhagen has been around for a minute now, it's officially been dubbed as "Copencore". In fact, Vogue Scandinavia themselves did a feature on it. "She [EIC Martina Bonnier] was speaking of how a dress was paired with Adidas superstars. How silhouettes were just a hair oversized. She was speaking of the wide-shouldered coats and the high-waisted trousers. Of the khaki, beige and brown," says the publication. Basically, an effortlessly cool aesthetic. The best representation of this? The relaxed, monochromatic suit – plus, it was a SS22 runway favorite. It's seen an astounding 360% increase in sold-out rate from December of 2020 to December 2021.
The New Prep
This may be coined as "Princess-Diana-core" to some, but this aesthetic goes even further than that; in fact, signature streetwear labels like Aimé Leon Dore are introducing a preppy spin into their collections these days. But, on a styling note, it's important to ensure it's all about juxtaposition; take a preppy piece like a polo paired with contrastingly baggy jeans and sneakers as pictured above. This trend transcends gender, especially through reimagined polo and rugby tops, making it a great indicator of the "cores" importance. For example, polo and rugby tops have welcomed a 130% increase in sold-out rate from December 2020 to December 2021.