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Sade Adu: get to know the woman behind the ‘Sade Girl’ aesthetic

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

The aesthetic of the moment trending on social media is the Sade girl. A term attributed to the singer Sade Adu, leader of her eponymous band. If you love makeup and are part of the TikTok fashion world, you must check out the new aesthetic inspired by an icon from the ’80s and ’90s.

Sade is known for her velvety voice and clean beauty aesthetic. A combination of red lips, low-cut hairstyles, gold hoop earrings, and a smokey eye. It is a style that harkens back to the past and stays in the present with classic and wild card pieces that will never go out of style. This trend has been looked at with a discreet, minimalist, and modern approach.

Sade’s core style:  elements that you can use for this trend

  • Gold hoop earrings;
  • High-waisted pants;
  • Bold red lips;
  • Hair in a ponytail or braid;
  • Casual and clean looks;
  • Clothes with a back neckline;
  • Monochromatic looks;
  • Oversized clothes;
  • Colors: cherry, black, brown, white, red and lots of jeans.

Why does Sade Adu’s style transcend generations and become a viral hit?

She’s a trendsetter.  Sade “introduced” the minimalist style in the fashion world, which was rare. All of that is because her music is just a mirror of her style and how she sort of had this cool elegant minimalistic approach. The 1980s was the era of extreme maximal fashion, but Sade was someone who had a more minimal approach to fashion, but at the same time, it was still very 80s.

That’s why she stood out with her style. It was different from what most people were wearing at the time, like bright colors, puffy sleeves, and lots of prints. Sade opted for understated, uncomplicated, and cool glamour. This difference became a hit and made the star’s style an influence until nowadays.

The core, the essence, and the whole philosophy behind her style are things that can be replicated decade after decade. In addition to all these factors that made Sade Adu a great representation in the 80s and 90s – and today through trends and aesthetics- that reproduce more than clothes and make-up, it represents a behavior and a story about her, who is also a huge inspiration and a major representation for black women and immigrants, who inspires, influences and enchants. 

Get to know more about Who is Sade Adu

Helen Folasade Adu is a British singer born in Nigeria on January 16, 1959. Influenced by artists such as Marvin Gaye and Nina Simone, at the age of 24, in 1980, she formed a band called Sade. When the album Diamond Life was released the band achieved worldwide success with the song “Smooth Operator“, which I’m sure you or your parents have already heard.


Folesade Adu, better known as ‘Sade’ is the singer of the band with the same name. Sade was born in Nigeria and moved to the UK when she was four. Here she is performing at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1984. #or7ngecollective #music #sade #smoothjazz #jazz #montreuxjazzfestival source: Archives World Music

♬ original sound – or7nge collective

Sade had a unique, calming, relaxing, smooth voice and her music was sort of this beautiful combination of Soul Jazz. She is one of the most successful British female artists and made herself in the fashion world and in the music industry.

She studied Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins developing the ability to reinterpret iconic fashion ideas, injecting a personal and modern touch and fantasy inducers into her clips, stages and shows, making her a complete artist and a very inspiring influence.


The article above was edited by Malu Alcântara.

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allana ostan

Casper Libero '27

Estudante de jornalismo da Cásper Líbero. Apaixonada por moda, esportes e viagens.