“Girlcore” skipped into the constantly growing list of “-core” aesthetics in fall 2023. The TikTok girlies changed their styles from structured “clean girl” looks, adding bows, lace, and baby pink to their closets. The move to girlcore has developed over the past few months, and now a runway favorite, it is the move we are making for spring.

While dressing up or down in cutesy styles that our 8-year-old selves would love seems like a once-in-a-while costume, it may be exactly what we need. Channeling youth, the light colors and whimsical aesthetic of girlcore are reminders to daydream. Caught somewhere between the floral femininity of cottagecore and the hyper-pink lifestyle that is Barbiecore, girlcore asks “Why not wear that outrageous dress?” and “Why did we ever forget about bows?”

The Spring/Summer runway collections shown in September 2023 and the ready-to-wear collections revealed earlier this year featured breezy colors. Whites, pale blues, and rosy pinks were anything but hard to find. While wearing a tank top with a flouncy, rose and bow-covered ballgown skirt like Jessica Stam in Lucia Liu’s Milan Fashion Week Moschino creation isn’t realistic for your day-to-day, small details like softened silhouettes, bows or ribbon, and ruffles are easy to incorporate.

What’s your look? Fashion Forecast: Spring/Summer 2024 Trends to Cycle into Your Wardrobe

Indulge in the things that make you feel as warm as the perfect spring day. Flower motifs are in, and traditionally “girly” colors like pink and purple are staples of this style. While girlcore prioritizes airy outfits, cozy sweaters, and loose fits, you can match the aesthetic to your preferred style easily. Swap your shoelaces for ribbons. Layer your favorite cardigan over a maxi dress. Embrace the things you find cute.

Girlcore is girly at heart. It loves flowers and the color pink. It likes delicate styles. This is a maxidress, baggy pants, comfortable shrug or cozy sweater style. It is braids and ponytails with ribbon ties. It’s balletcore beyond the studio. Girlcore isn’t just fashion, though. It’s self-love and acceptance. It’s a reminder that you can dress how you want. You can be silly. You can be fun. You can get things done with determination and still love cute things.

Is there a better way to step into spring?

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Veronica Good has been with Showstopper Magazine since 2016. When she isn't keeping you updated on the latest trends, she is at home with her many pets or probably playing The Sims 4. Veronica has a BA in English and an MA in writing from Coastal Carolina University. She is also a writer of fiction and poetry, and her work can be found in Archarios, Tempo, and Scapegoat.