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The “Coconut Girl” Aesthetic Trend Is All Over TikTok, But Probably Not For Long

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Y2K meets surfer girl vibes meets how you dressed when you were six years old: the “coconut girl” aesthetic trend is all over TikTok, and it couldn’t be more nostalgic.

Remember the VSCO girl aesthetic trend from a couple of years ago? Think of the coconut girl aesthetic trend as like the new 2021 version of that. This new summer aesthetic includes floral and hibiscus prints, halter tops, bright pops of color, glittery dolphin tattoos (yes, the kind you got when you were seven at the local county fair), funky jewelry, and surfwear. The aesthetic is reminiscent of carefree and relaxing vacations to sunny beaches, taking participants of the trend back to simpler and easier times similar to that of their childhood. It also takes major inspiration from 2000s movies and TV shows set on the beach, like Blue Crush and The O.C., as well as mermaid classics Aquamarine and H2O: Just Add Water.

In a way, the aesthetic almost offers a dreamlike escape from the crazy turmoil of the past year and a half (because really, we could all use a little escape right now). One TikTok user describes the aesthetic as “what [she] thought being a teenager on holidays [felt] like as a kid.” 

The real origin of the coconut girl is a bit unclear, but Y2K-inspired trends have been all over TikTok for the past couple of years, so its emergence is not much of a surprise. Nylon reports that the trend can even be traced back to 1920s Hawaii when the hibiscus flower pattern emerged as a fashion staple. Despite its murky origins, the coconut girl aesthetic has now surged in popularity with over millions of videos about the aesthetic trend on TikTok, including an array of how-tos on achieving the look. Some TikTok users are even going as far as to claim that the aesthetic is not just a trend, but a “lifestyle.” 

However, as with all trends, the coconut girl aesthetic will likely come and go. Fashion Magazine warns that although the coconut girl aesthetic is cute and incredibly popular right now, it is also a micro trend, meaning that the hype will likely only last a few months and can ultimately “contribute to overconsumption, as people often stop wearing the clothes once the trend cycle ends.” 

If you want to achieve the coconut girl look but also do your part in helping to avoid overconsumption, try to work with what you already have — you probably already have a lot of these items in the back of your closet. Sift through your wardrobe and look for floral sundresses, bucket hats, flowy silhouettes, and fun colors. Using items you already own is the most sustainable option, and the most cost-effective. 

Thrifting is also an affordable and sustainable way to find pieces that fit the coconut girl aesthetic, as a lot of the style is Y2K-inspired and stems from the early 2000s. Go to your local thrift store and keep an eye out for bright colors (especially rainbow sorbet-inspired shades and cobalt blues), funky sunglasses, beaded jewelry, and crochet bags.

If you do want to purchase a couple of coconut girl pieces to add to your summer wardrobe, remember to shop consciously! Jane Dottie Vintage, a sustainable Black-owned business, has some really cute halter tops like this blue one that totally match the coconut girl vibe. Colorful knit dresses like this one from Beginning Boutique are a great option as well and are super cute to throw on over a swimsuit or to wear on its own with a pair of chunky sandals. Awoke Vintage, a small vintage boutique based in Brooklyn, also has really cool and unique pieces like this summery floral dress. Etsy is a great place to look for beaded and shell jewelry from small businesses, like this pink plumeria necklace. Cute swimsuits like this green floral one and this rainbow sorbet-colored swimsuit from PacSun are also staples of the trend.

When in doubt, try looking for ideas on Pinterest, TikTok, and other forms of social media. You can search on Pinterest and type in “coconut girl aesthetic” to get inspiration and find new small boutiques and businesses to support.

Although I’ll be taking part in the coconut girl trend by incorporating some of the styles into my everyday looks, I’m definitely not going to revamp my entire wardrobe for it. This trend is here for a good time, but not a long time.

Zoë is a writer and recent graduate from Loyola Marymount University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in English. Formerly, she was an associate editor at Her Campus, where she covered Gen Z pop culture, beauty and style trends, and everything in between. When she's not writing or editing, Zoë can be found reading, sipping coffee, and exploring new places in California.