Aesthetics Trends + Style Going Into 2023

The Balletcore aesthetic as shown in this Rodarte advertisement for Fall 2022.

2022 was a complicated year – the world has seen increasingly complex issues surfacing and it is intriguing to see how social issues and awareness of them (or escaping of) are reflected back into fashion and style. Something noteworthy, especially in what is reflected across social media, was the emergence of trends such as Y2K, Barbiecore, and Balletcore. These trends are a definite combination of nostalgia and escapism, which is clearly indicative of larger societal themes in my opinion. I think the aesthetic loudness of Barbiecore indicates an aspiration of “being seen,” which is the entire idea of people involving themselves in social media for the most part. The aesthetic absurdness of these styles is actually pretty fabulous, too (Margot Robbie dressed as a Barbie cowgirl is probably the best outfit of 2022, albeit a film costume).

The emergence of these trends in mainstream adult fashion brands is also intriguing because it speaks to the timelessness of certain fashions and fashion icons and how they continue to be recycled through the years (Barbie will never go out of style). In 2022, the trends of Y2K, Barbiecore, and Balletcore all defined how women are rethinking their own sense of style and how small accessory changes can have a big impact. For example, the classic retail store Claire’s (typically geared towards the youngest shopper) has revamped many of their jewelry and accessories line to be adult friendly. 2022 presented an opportunity to reconsider kitsch style as real fashion in a new and fresh way and there were many avenues to proceed with. Of the styles that we saw this past year and going into next, I am most appreciative of Y2K style with Hawaiian beach style accessories. There is something so joyful about bright colors in small doses.

Additionally, I think there is nothing wrong with being ultra feminine if you want to be and this year’s fashion theme reflected that idea strongly. 2023 will likely carry many of these themes again and I am looking forward to that!

See this list for some accessories that defined the style of this year and will likely define most of 2023:

Two of my favorite accessories: Wildflower Cases limited edition dolphin case & charm; SHEIN’s flower hair claw in Watermelon Pink

Claire’s 20MM hoop earrings and Erin Condren Colorblends A5 Softbound LifePlanner

Margot Robbie in costume for the live action Barbie film this year.

Y2K style has dominated fast fashion brands this year such as SHEIN, REVOLVE, and Fashion Nova.

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