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

If you’re someone like myself who spends copious amounts of time endlessly scrolling through fashion TikTok (For inspiration for those fire campus fits of course, not at all because you’re procrastinating the new semester) you must have heard of the term Acubi fashion or simply seen the super aesthetically pleasing Acubi outfit videos. I can’t lie, those videos have been dominating my For You page lately too.

But what is Acubi fashion?

And why is it suddenly gaining so much traction amongst all the other popular fashion subcultures that are currently trending?

Upon some pretty basic research, I think we’ve all noticed the re-emergence of Y2K fashion trends right now and Acubi fashion takes plenty of inspiration from Y2K fashion’s popular silhouettes. Acubi fashion also takes notes from the Subversive Basics subculture otherwise coined on social media as “Apocalypse-core”. You know that trend where everyone was cutting up old stockings to make it into tops and wearing dresses as skirts? That would be Subversive Basics.

Acubi fashion finds itself somewhere in between the two vastly different aesthetics, forgoing the rhinestones and velour typical of Y2K fashion and adding a touch more minimalism to the intensely maximalist Subversive Basics style. Acubi style does maintain many of the silhouettes typical of Y2K trends as the low-rise pants and the tiny baby tees and also maintains similarities in layering styles to Subversive Basics.

However, this style offers a bit more coverage than Y2K usually would thanks to its distinctive layering style which makes it a great option to play around with if you’re someone who prefers more coverage. Shout out to my fellow Muslim girls out there who sometimes struggle with finding styles that suit our style choices!

The style is known for its somewhat understated colour palette sticking to mostly black and white with the occasional neutral tone like beige or grey or subtle pop of colour. It involves lots of layering too which also makes it a pretty stellar Winter style option but can also be fun for Summer too even though Acubi fashion is all about layering.

A staple few items characteristic of the style is the humble bolero jacket and wide-legged pants combination with the majority of the Acubi fashion style featuring these two items or some variation with alternating options for tops. You’ll also find that accessories such as arm warmers, leg warmers and of course, the chunky black platform boot are also staple items. Don’t be afraid to check out Pinterest and TikTok for some inspo. Like I said, I swear Acubi fashion is all over TikTok right now.

Now you might be wondering where the term Acubi even comes from, Acubi is the English romanisation of the Korean word “아쿠비”. The term originates from the store: “아쿠비클럽” or Acubi Club. This store prides itself for its somewhat kitsch but still casual style which is aimed mainly towards younger demographics. This store is thought to be the origin of the subculture hence the name Acubi fashion.

The brand is well-loved in South Korea and has become the pioneer of a global fashion trend. To this effect, the online store ships worldwide if you’re looking for some inspo or even wanting to purchase, check them out: http://acubi-club.kr/

However, Acubi style is pretty easy to replicate with local clothing brands available to us South Africans as well and even with clothes you might already have in your closet thanks to all the recent fashion trends!

Nuhaa Isaacs is a Cape Town born and raised student at the University of Cape Town. She is currently studying toward a BA triple majoring in English Literary Studies, Media and Writing as well as Gender Studies. She has been a staff writer for Her Campus UCT since 2021, and a current member of the Social Media Sub-committee at Her Campus UCT. Sappy romantic fantasy novels and incredibly specific Spotify playlists are everything to her (as well as her three cats: Zuri, Shelley and Peanut). You can find her on Instagram (@nuhaa_i) or Tiktok (@nuhaaorwhatever) probably posting silly little outfit videos. Get in touch via email for any formal inquiries: nuhaa.isaacs@gmail.com.