10 Ways to Embrace the Soft-Girl Aesthetic All Summer Long
Popular with young TikTok users, the soft-girl aesthetic is seemingly everywhere. Drawing from the Y2K revival, '90s trends, and the cottage-core movement, the subculture is defined by a hyperfeminine sensibility that manifests itself in pastel colors, fluffy accessories, and playful separates with charming heart, cloud, or floral motifs. Many celebrities have stepped out in looks that fit the soft-girl theme — Sydney Sweeney's pink Miu Miu ensemble at the 2022 MTV Movie and TV Awards, for example, featured a low-rise skirt and a crop top that exuded the dreamy, romantic vibes associated with the trend. Vanessa Hudgens also embraced the aesthetic at the same event, donning a light-blue floral minidress to channel the character of Cassie Howard in HBO's "Euphoria." Indeed, Cassie's costumes and beauty looks provide plenty of soft-girl inspiration: she often wears girly cropped cardigans and skirts in soft shades, usually paired with heavy blush and a pink or nude lipgloss. Another recent example of the soft-girl aesthetic is Kate Middleton's midlength Emilia Wickstead dress at the Platinum Jubilee event. The pastel-yellow hue would be featured prominently on a soft girl's mood board.
If you want more ideas, you can turn to TikTok star Nava Rose, who's considered to be something of a soft-girl-trend expert. In a viral video that received more than a billion views, she showcased several soft-girl-aesthetic outfits that you can try for yourself. It's clear that the soft-girl aesthetic resonates with many fashion-conscious consumers.
If it sounds like your vibe, read on to learn how to achieve the soft-girl aesthetic.
What Is the Soft-Girl Aesthetic?
The soft-girl aesthetic is a lifestyle trend that promotes femininity and an affinity for the softer things in life. The fashion pulls nostalgic elements from the Y2K and '90s eras, including cropped cardigans, slip dresses, pleated skirts, and bucket hats. Pop icons like the Bratz dolls embody the fluffy vibe of the trend, and brands like LoveShackFancy and Lisa Says Gah cater to soft girls.
Soft-girl-aesthetic outfits are defined by feminine and dreamlike pieces, including milkmaid dresses, crop tops, denim jeans, pleated skirts, tie cardigans, and floral or heart prints. The soft-girl look pairs well with chunky white sneakers, retro bucket hats and beaded necklaces. Take the delicate and hyperfeminine feel to the next level with a baguette bag, and you'll be well on your way to mastering soft-girl style.
Soft-Girl-Aesthetic Outfits: Emma Mulholland On Holiday Mesh Tank Top
Meet your new go-to summer top: the Emma Mulholland On Holiday Mesh Tank Top ($140). With its striking blue-and-pink-checkered print, fitted yet stretchy fit, and flirty side ties, it perfectly captures the soft-girl aesthetic. Wear it with blue jeans and kitten heels for a look that goes from the office to after-work drinks.
Soft-Girl-Aesthetic Outfits: Emma Mulholland On Holiday Vacation Slip Dress
Lightweight, summery, and playful, the Emma Mulholland On Holiday Vacation Slip Dress ($175) will quickly become your favorite getaway dress. The butterfly print and color palette nod to the soft-girl aesthetic, while the fit and ease of wear make it a style you'll wear year-round. Finish with slide sandals and a baguette shoulder bag.
Soft-Girl-Aesthetic Outfits: JW PEI Lily Shoulder Bag
Made from recycled plastic bottles and inspired by the '90s, the JW PEI Lily Shoulder Bag ($69) makes for an eco-friendly and decidedly stylish choice. Designed in a timeless silhouette, the elegant style accessory will look great with a milkmaid dress or a tie-front cardigan and jeans.
Soft-Girl-Aesthetic Outfits: LoveShack Fancy Leslie Mini Dress
This LoveShack Fancy Leslie Mini Dress ($295) exudes a carefree femininity characteristic of the soft-girl vibe. Style the rainbow mini with strappy heels for date night or wear it over your bathing suit for an elevated beach day.
Nasty Gal Pleated Mini Skirt
Tennis, anyone? Upgrade your sport uniform with this Nasty Gal Pleated Mini Skirt ($26, originally $52), which offers a colorful take on the traditional style. It comes in a few other pastel shades and packs plenty of versatility. Take it from the court to brunch, or wear it to the beach with a tank top, a bralette, or a cropped cardigan.
Soft-Girl-Aesthetic Outfits: Nasty Gal Ribbed Tie-Front Cardigan
The early 2000s called, and this Nasty Gal Ribbed Tie-Front Cardigan ($22, originally $44) delivered on the nostalgic yet practical vibes. Pair it with straight-leg jeans or a pleated plaid skirt — it will look effortlessly cool for any occasion. Worn with a matching slip dress, the cropped style will exude sophistication for a daytime wedding or a cocktail party.
Soft-Girl-Aesthetic Outfits: Urban Outfitters Mini Flower Clip Set
Soft girls know that hair accessories are key to achieving the aesthetic. Consider styling a low ponytail or loose curls with this charming Urban Outfitters Mini Flower Clip Set ($10). It includes five pieces in solid-pastel colors that add color and texture to any look.
Soft-Girl-Aesthetic Outfits: PacSun Logo Cardigan
On chilly summer days, nothing will feel more comforting than this eye-catching PacSun Logo Cardigan ($46, originally $66). The knit style features a soft, multicolor palette; a button-down front; and convenient patch pockets. It's designed for a slouchy fit, so you'll love throwing it over everything from a slip dress to a tank-top-and-pants combo.
Soft-Girl-Aesthetic Outfits: H&M Knit Halterneck Dress
Wearable and stylish, this H&M Knit Halterneck Dress ($25) will be part of your daily summer rotation. It's made from a stretchy material for all-day wear and features an on-trend, space-dyed motif for maximum visual impact. Pair it with chunky white sneakers for peak soft-girl energy, or make it edgier with black platform boots and a silver choker necklace.
Soft-Girl-Aesthetic Outfits: PacSun LA Hearts Corset Mini Dress
This PacSun LA Hearts Corset Mini Dress ($31, originally $45) will wow any romantic prospect on your next date night. The corset silhouette and flowing skirt convey a delicate sensibility, and the floral motifs make it timeless. Kitten heels or strappy sandals complete this soft-girl ensemble.