Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

The wonderful world of TikTok fashion subcultures

Like 500 million other people, I am on TikTok. I fall into the category of probably 90% of users in the sense of being quite basic in my style and clothing. However, my For You page, which is based on content that I watch and engage with, is full of incredibly stylish accounts.

If like me, you want to try a new style and spice up your outfit this winter, I hope my interlude into the different styles that have emerged in TikTok provides you with a bit of inspiration. It’s also worth noting that they aren’t specific to TikTok. You can see any of these styles across social media apps and just by walking down the high street in Leamington Spa. While there are many different aesthetics on TikTok, these are the ones that I see most frequently.

We start off with an aesthetic that has become synonymous with our generation’s dependency on social media – the e-boy/e-girl. An e-boy is typically defined as a shy guy who just wants to watch Netflix and cuddle with his significant other,  the “soft boy” phase of TikTok if you will.

Their style could be described as a modern, stylish version of the Avril Lavigne look

E-girls are way edgier. They usually have incredible makeup, including colour eyeliner and complicated eye shadows based on TV shows such as Euphoria. Their rooms are a reflection of their styles, involving lots of posters and lights. Their style could be described as a modern, stylish version of the Avril Lavigne look, with a touch of manga, K-pop culture and the ‘90s. They have many different hairstyles but just a few to mention are curtain bangs and pastel highlights.

Iconic outfits for this e-boy/e-girl style include sweatshirts and plaid overshirts as well as turtlenecks underneath a short-sleeved t-shirt which usually has a vintage logo. You’ve probably seen some variation on these looks around Warwick, considering this has been cited as the style of 2020.

Then we move onto the alternative community of Tik Tok, which unsurprisingly is quite diverse. They wear outstanding outfits which often destroy gender stereotypes. Guys wear skirts, dresses, nail polish and eyeliner. Girls wear baggy outfits, but also provocative outfits and they absolutely rock it. Everybody looks incredible and this aesthetic is one of the boldest ones. Jewellery is utilised heavily by the alternative side of TikTok and we can see this kind of style perfectly encapsulated in the outfits worn by Harry Styles.

We can see different forms of the dark academia style emerge every few years

Moving on to a TikTok style trend that is probably most resonant to our lifestyle as students. Dark academia is a derivation of the preppy style, originating in the 1940’s aesthetic. People who enjoy this aesthetic like to hang around in libraries, drink copious amounts of coffee, fill their rooms with candles and always be carrying a book. They read Shakespeare, Fitzgerald and any kind of poetry but only if they’ve bought the books from antique bookshops.

In terms of clothes, they wear muted colours like brown, black and white. The must-haves of this trend are trousers, sweater vests, skirts, raincoats, blouses, turtlenecks. They love to accessorise their look with scarfs, berets, thin glasses and bow ties.

We can see different forms of the dark academia style emerge every few years, but it is often based around old, traditional universities such as Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh. That doesn’t mean Warwick students can’t take to the cosy depths of the university library and enjoy making our rooms feel like we’re studying at Hogwarts.

TikTok is a place that has a vibrant diversity in aesthetics, styles, fashion and scenery

Finally, we look at an aesthetic that is typically associated with the beauty of spring. Cottagecore includes a variety of things but most frequently home décor, lovely outside views and sweet clothes.

As a modern version of the aesthetic you can find in Little House on the Prairie, people that dress up in a cottagecore way can be described as classic, romantic and dreamy. Some of their activities are often manual like knitting, embroidering and gardening. It can be seen as wanting to go back to simpler times but also as a certain way to escape reality. They love anything related to flowers and pastel colours. The best way I can describe this aesthetic is wanting to be Keira Knightley in Pride and Prejudice.

Ultimately, TikTok is a place that has a vibrant diversity in aesthetics, styles, fashion and scenery. Whatever you like and however you like to dress, you can most likely find inspiration on the app.

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