If you've been starting to see bows everywhere online, you can thank the internet's latest (and cutest) obsession: the coquette aesthetic.
Coquette is a beauty and fashion trend that unapologetically embodies a feminine, ultra-girly style. The term "coquette" refers to a "woman who flirts," but the trend leans more into incorporating playful, romantic, and dainty details into everyday style and decor.
@heureuxlip / Via tiktok.com
When it comes to hair, makeup, and nails, the coquette trend often features pink, pastel colors, and of course, the signature accessory: bows.
In terms of clothing, the look is a mixture of the balletcore and other romantic trends. You'll often see ballet flats, Mary Jane shoes, slip dresses, mini skirts, tights, lace, ruffles, florals, and more. Designers like Sandy Liang are the epitome of this style.
Just a quick search online, and you'll see just how big the aesthetic has become — especially among Gen Z. There are nearly five billion views on the hashtag #coquetteaesthetic on TikTok. On Pinterest, searches for "bow outfit" have surged by 190% in January. In fact, Pinterest predicted "bow stacking" as one of the biggest trends for 2024, with millennials and Gen Z'ers adding bows to their hair, clothing, shoes, and jewelry.
Lately, there's a particularly viral coquette trend where TikTokers have been using Lana Del Rey's "Let The Light In" as a sound and uploading videos where they randomly put bows on anything and everything — from ice cubes to bunnies.
TikTok user @kennarwoodhilarious had a cheeky take on the trend and put bows on her giant tub of Aquaphor, which gained over 12.6 million views, showing just how unbelievably popular these videos have become.
@kennarwood / Via tiktok.com
While influencers have been all over this aesthetic, it's also been seen on various celebs on the red carpet over the years, like Lily-Rose Depp, Zendaya, and Sydney Sweeney.
Now, of course, the coquette aesthetic isn't a new concept. We've seen variations of feminine style become increasingly popular with the rise of several Gen Z aesthetics, including the soft girl aesthetic, quiet luxury, and cottagecore.
In an interview with People, LA stylist Marisa Ledford described coquette as "Gen Z’s take on flirty, soft, hyper-feminine style" with references to the "Victorian Regency era." Ledford said the trend rose to popularity in the 2010s, especially on Tumblr blogs that featured coquette fashion and inspiration from Lana Del Rey's style and music.
The article also mentions that the coquette aesthetic is reminiscent of longtime trends like Japanese Lolita fashion, a subculture that rose in popularity in the '90s and is influenced by styles from Victorian clothing and the Rococo period.
But you might be wondering: Why has the coquette aesthetic gained so much popularity lately?
Social media marketer Mya Shell (@myashell_) shared her perspective in this TikTok, explaining how the coquette aesthetic has allowed women to bring a sense of "childhood" and "girlhood" into their adult lives. "It's been a really fun way for women to get back in touch with that side of themselves and put it out there into the world," she said in the video.
@myashell_ / Via tiktok.com
Mya also added how 2023 had been dubbed "the year of the girl" with women dominating pop culture throughout the year — from Greta Gerwig’s billion-dollar-earning Barbie movie to Taylor Swift's sold-out, wildly successful Eras Tour.
@avocadale / Via tiktok.com
So, long story short: we're just girls, and we're having fun. We're embracing womanhood in all its glory. And with lighthearted trends like the coquette aesthetic, it looks like we'll be having fun in 2024 as well. 🎀 💕 ✨
What do you think of the coquette trend? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!