The 12 TikTok Aesthetics That Defined 2023

Peak: Autumn 2023, coinciding with the release of the NYCB X Reformation and NYCB X J.Crew collaborations.

Patron saint: NYCB X Reformation collection, Sandy Liang resort 2024, ballerinas real and imagined.

How real is it?: Sandy Liang’s been championing the look for a long time, but brands like Miu Miu, Christian Siriano, and Maison Margiela have also brought in ballet influences in recent collections. According to the Instagram account @databutmakeitfashion, positive mentions of balletcore have increased 55 per cent this year.

Photo: Courtesy of Hailey Bieber/@haileybieber

Photo: Getty Images

Tomato-Girl Summer

Definition: One of the more ridiculous names on this list, tomato-girl summer is about dressing like a woman who eats copious amounts of fresh tomatoes (and pasta, red wine, Aperol, and olives) without getting a single speck of red on her white linen ensemble, rather than someone who dresses like a tomato. It’s an irreverent, youthful rebranding of la dolce vita – a bit more fun, a bit more relaxed. It’s a headscarf, a fitted dress, a slip skirt, bold prints, and, yes, the colour red.

Peak: Late June and early July 2023, when everyone and their mother (except you) jetted off to Italy.

Patron saint: Hailey Bieber, this specific Lisa Says Gah dress, Sophia Loren.

How real is it?: A summer fling in every regard, it did not last or make a considerable impact. But it was still fun.

Sydney Sweeney attends Venice International Film Festival, September 2022.

Photo: Getty Images

Kylie Jenner in Paris, May 2023.

Photo: Getty Images


Definition: What Americans wanted to wear to fit in on their European vacations, real or imagined. Generally marked by feminine dresses, linen, bikinis, and full skirts, but anything vaguely “European” will do. Like tomato-girl summer, one did not have to actually be in Europe to participate in the trend. Instead, it’s a way to bring a carefree, yacht-lounging, pizza-eating attitude to your everyday life via your wardrobe.

Peak: August 2023, when everyone was on or dreaming of far-flung vacations.

Patron saint: Grace Kelly on a yacht.

How real is it?: With 3.3 million views under the hashtag on TikTok and a Target edit on the trend, it was a major aesthetic of the summer but not of the year. It peaked quickly and sharply on Google Trends and never recovered.

Angelina Jolie attends the Academy Awards, March 2000.Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Succubus Chic

Definition: A ghoulish, sexed-up Morticia Addams look. It’s as much about beauty as fashion: hollow cheeks, dark eyes, pale skin, all-black wardrobe, and thin or invisible eyebrows.

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