Aesthetic Emergence in Pandemic Life

While the pandemic has taken many things away from what we’d like to call our normal lives, one thing I’ve noticed after living vicariously through the internet is that the fashion industry is still going strong. I’ll admit - I don’t know a lot about fashion. I am sitting here writing this in my sweatpants after all. But watching young people over the past year find themselves and their aesthetic through fashion has been all too satisfying to watch. 


I’ve made a list here of some of my favorite old and new aesthetics to have made a resurgence in pandemic life that I wish I had the guts to wear outdoors - along with an ever-fashionable mask of course.

  1. 1. E-Girl

    Tennis skirt outfit

    Ah, the ever-popular E-Girl. I really do like this aesthetic. As an emo middle school kid who never got to dye their hair when they were thirteen, this one really speaks to me. I’m still working on my winged eyeliner, but man, I love the way E-Girls wear their blush, it’s just so cute. Once I own enough black tennis skirts and perfect my eyeliner, it’s over for y’all. Maybe I’ll be an E-Girl one day. Maybe.

  2. 2. Light and Dark Academia

    fashionable woman

    I couldn’t decide so I included them both. I understand that they’re both very different, but if I just want to wear a sweater vest and some corduroys, I couldn’t tell you if I belonged in the light or dark category. I really just like how professional everything in these aesthetics looks, from the flowy skirts to the collared shirts. It’s really the perfect versatile aesthetic for taking you from work to a date, to any situation you might need.

  3. 3. Cottagecore

    Girl in white puffy-sleeved dress

    Some weeks I just want to wear dresses every day, and if I were more Cottagecore, I could do that. I think every dress I own is a floral print, so I think I’d fit right in with this aesthetic. It’s just so wholesome and bright, and who doesn’t love frogs? The only thing I need to add to my wardrobe is a picnic basket and some gingham, and I’m ready for my cottage adventure. Who’s with me?

  4. 4. Pink Grunge

    Not unlike the E-Girl, Pink Grunge is all I wanted to be in middle school. I didn’t even know this aesthetic was an option until very recently. I thought when going goth or punk, you had to go all the way with dark colors, but pink - my favorite color - is literally in the name of this one. It’s perfect, I love it, and Chrissy Chlapecka is an icon.

  5. 5. Boho

    Girl Looking Down

    Last but not least we have Boho. I think Boho is really classic; going back to the seventies, bell-bottom jeans look good on everyone, end of discussion. I’ve loved seeing Boho come back and encapsulate a whole bunch of other aesthetics too - the brightness of Cottagecore, the class of dark and light academia. It’s so carefree with fringe and lace and stabilizes the myth that fads never really go out of style.

These five aesthetics just barely scratched the surface of what other subcategories of fashion aesthetics are out there. Which ones did I not mention that is your favorite to wear out? Tweet at us at @hcappstate!