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A Dive Into the Different Clothing Aesthetics

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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CNU chapter.

Each generation had their style. The 70s had bellbottoms laced with tie-dye peace signs, while the 80s brought big hair and leather jackets to the top. The 90s had scrunchies and tube tops. We choose to forget about the silly bands and Justice wear of the early 2000s. But in our modern day, we don’t have just one way of dressing, we have many! Many adaptations of style have sprung up in the media over the past few years. Different intricate aesthetics have carved their way into our lives. This is a clothing breakdown with some easy tips to enhance your style closer to your preferred aesthetic.

Cottage Core

Grow some mushrooms because we’re talking Cottage Core! Cottage Core is the perfect aesthetic for someone who enjoys nature. They always have stickers and pins of animals and plants that live in a forest. The biggest aspect of dressing in Cottage Core is flowy dresses. You could wear heels, boots, sandals… they don’t care! As long as you have a whimsical dress to run through the woods in. Sometimes, you may see a mix match of long skirts and a pretty top. If you’re the type of person to live in a far away cottage with trees hanging around outside your window, Cottage Core is most likely for you.

Here are a few outfits to spark some inspiration:


This aesthetic goes by many names: goth, grunge, punk, etc. Even though there are differences, they are all more or less intertwined with their love of everything black. Black shoes, black pants, black shirt, and even black socks! If you’re going for this aesthetic, get some black in your wardrobe. This aesthetic is usually accompanied by big silver chains and lots of rings. Patches of bands or symbols of protest are sewn to their baggy pants. Don’t forget the chunky shoes! The bigger the better. Confidence is key in these looks because some people don’t like the all-black look, but if you wear it proudly, then their opinions will mean nothing. If you enjoy wearing dark colors and accessorizing, this is the aesthetic for you!

Here are some dark outfits that will awaken your inner badass:

Soft girl

In contrast to Alternative, Soft Girls wear all things bright and pretty. A lot of pastel hues with cutesy jewelry finish off any Soft Girl outfit. Soft Girl outfits are fitted and focused more on the pretty and the delicacy of femininity. Floral patterns and pink are the perfect touches to this aesthetic. They also love a good plaid skirt. If you love to show off your feminine side with light colors and knee high socks, this will definitely be your aesthetic.

Here are some adorable fits:


As one of the more laid back aesthetics, Streetwear is a mix of casual with cool undertones. It seems like an outfit you would just slip on, but is actually stylish. Baggy pants and cool sneakers are the go-to’s of Streetwear. And the tops can be mostly up to you; most people throw an oversized graphic tee over it and call it a day. There aren’t many accessories with Streetwear, which adds to its relaxed look. It is more than a slip on outfit, even if it looks otherwise. So if you like a comfortable and baggy looking clothes with cool shoes, this is very much for you.

Here are some inspirations for your comfy, cool fit:

Academia (Light & Dark)

Academia’s aesthetic is exactly what it sounds like: dressing academically. But what does that mean exactly? Its style is very preppy and professional, like a school uniform but chic. There are two types under this clothing aesthetic: Academia Light and Dark. Dark Academia uses dark colors such as browns and blacks, while Light Academia uses more whites and tans. You’ll see a lot of Academia outfits in coffee shops or libraries. This is for lovers of poetry, learning, and quiet time to yourself. If you like dressing nerdy and cute, then this is your aesthetic.

Dark Academia inspirations:

Light Academia inspirations:

Zoe is a Psychology major with a Writing minor. She enjoys learning about human development, especially when it comes to child development. Zoe loves writing in her free time and creating stories. She wants to eventually be a Child Therapist/Psychologist and write on the side.