Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Style > Fashion

Sade Girl: what’s behind TikTok’s new 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.

With the growth of TikTok in the last years, aesthetics dominated the lives of many people, who, when searching for identification between these fashions and lifestyles, were influenced by the combination of old and new trends.

Due mainly to the fast fashion market and the action of fashion influencers on social media, Aesthetics go from peak to forgetfulness in a matter of months, which creates an unbroken cycle of trends that, quickly, come and go. Therefore, after the Clean Girl Era, TikTok opened up space for other fashion trends, one of them: the ‘Sade Girl’.

Origin & music influence

In the old days, before social media and the existence of digital influencers, the ones who carried a significant role in the fashion industry were artists, and, especially, singers, by captivating the public not only through music but also through expressiveness over apparel.

Those icons became figures of inspiration by turning clothes into a tool of identity and connection between people. This process was equally present in the career of Sade Adu, a singer and songwriter who became recognized not just by her voice, but also for her elegant and ageless style.

Helen Falassade Adu, known as Sade Adu, is one of England’s most successful female artists for her countless contributions to the music industry. The singer, born in Nigeria, moved to England when she was only four years old; there she graduated in fashion and design at St. Martin School of Art.

After joining the band PRIDE and gaining a lot of attention even as a back vocalist, Sade, at the age of 24 years old, enlisted her bandmates and formed the band SADE. She was the lead singer of the smooth jazz and soul band, and producer of several notable hits, such as “Smooth Operator” and “By your side”.

With her success, she became known as the queen of jazz and an icon in the 80s and 90s for, besides her hypnotic voice, presenting a very characteristic style, which, nowadays, has become extremely popular, mainly among TikTok and Instagram female followers.

sade’s style

Sade presented a minimalist overall style, but with essential pieces that formed her effortless, sexy, and elegant signature look. 

She mainly wore basic pieces, with solid colors and always with a great cut, fit, and good fabrics, such as white shirts, long and mid dresses, and blazers that were always very well structured. High-waisted pants, denim or tailoring have also always been present. The singer also used pieces considered too masculine to embrace her outfits, such as oversized t-shirts, jackets, and polo necks.

Besides clothing, Sade used makeup, hair, and jewelry to compose her outfits and achieve her strong identity. Golden jewelry, essentially chunky hoop earrings, was essential for a more elegant look. The “pop of red” was found on her lips, with an opaque and bold red that, combined with a smokey eye, delivered impeccable beauty in a minimalist and powerful way. 

At last, one of the most important and also memorable steps was Sade’s hair; the slicked-back hair, in a low ponytail, bun or braid, made her look mysterious and sensual at once, but always showing sophistication and simplicity.

impact today

Due to the growth of this aesthetic on social media, numerous people became interested in the style, increasing the demand and consumption of pieces similar to those used by the artist.

In several articles published by VOGUE regarding the trends of 2024, much evidence of the impact of this aesthetic is found; “The Key Spring/Summer 2024 Trends To Know Now” mentions pieces such as polo shirts and high-waisted pants – defined as “seasons silhouette”, and also neutral colors. Ellie Pithers, the writer of the article, affirms:

“discreet chic is back […] cool-headed minimalism seems the only suitable sartorial response. Seek out camel pencil skirts, gray tailoring, white shirts and boyfriend-style jeans […]”

Also published in Vogue, the article “Gold Jewelry is forever – Shop Bold Chains, Stackable Rings, and More” reveals some jewelry essentials, and obviously, earrings are on the list: “Gold statement earrings are trending. Whether you choose a hoop or abstract drops à la Khiry, you’re sure to be on-trend.”

The expansion of this Aesthetic is seen all over social media, not only as a way of dressing but also as a lifestyle and personality. The majority of people who adhere to it seek to convey sensuality and mystery, demonstrating security and comfort, as well-resolved people.

On account of the use of primarily basic pieces, it is possible that Sade Girl, unlike other aesthetics, will not go out of trend, as the classics never go out of style.


The article below was edited by Bruna Blanco.

Liked this type of content? Check out Her Campus Cásper Líbero for more!

Isabela Melo

Casper Libero '27

Student at Casper Libero University and majoring in Journalism.