You've heard of “Girl Dinner,” “Girl Math,” & “Girl Logic;” you understand the trends that have culminated in 2023 being the “Year of the Girl.” With the release of the Barbie movie in July, the rise of ballet flats, ribbons, and coquette-style, and the word “girl” being used as an adjective... girlhood and femininity seem to be undergoing a reclaiming. No longer are accessories or ways of engaging with the world vilified for their proximity to “girlhood.” In many ways, feminine expression has become widely embraced by adult women. We believe that the evolution of this reclaiming will result in 2024 being the “Year of the Woman.”
Writer Isabel Cristo weighed in on NPR: “I think anyone who has been plugged in at all this year knows exactly what's so uninviting about being an adult woman in the year 2023. I think that, you know, part of what the girlhood trend is is sort of responding to a quite bleak political landscape.” Cristo makes an excellent point: in the wake of recent political turmoil in which women likely feel disempowered, personal style facilitates a kind of “taking back.” In other words, personal expression functions as a fortification of self. How we choose to adorn ourselves, how we choose to convey the rich inner world of “self,” is inherently political.
One of the most exciting parts of the “trendability” of the Internet is the concurrency of trend cycles. The “clean girl aesthetic” and “eclectic grandpa aesthetic” are trending simultaneously. While they have somewhat disparate trademarks--clean girl aesthetic is a slicked back bun, athleisure sets, minimal makeup; eclectic grandpa is focused on staple pieces, loafers, and comfortability--it’s exciting that they’re both trendy. Because of the critical rate at which things are deemed “trendy” versus “not trendy,” most clothing styles are trendy in at least certain circles. This is a by-product of Internet accessibility and the ease with which we’re able to purchase clothes.
As a disclaimer--please wear whatever you want. We’re not here to persuade you to ditch your current wardrobe. In fact, the most stylish (and sustainable) thing you can do is wear what you already have. Perhaps you still have the Emma Chamberlain teddy bear fur coat from 2018; you can now rebrand that as “Mob Wife Exotic Fur Coat to Wear while Sipping Red Wine.” Have fun and repurpose what you already own!
While browsing through these “Year of the Woman” style inspirations, we encourage you to take note of what you enjoy. What catches your eye? Why do you think you’re drawn to a specific style or aesthetic? What do you already have that can be styled in a different way?
Mob Wife Aesthetic
It’s the opposite of “clean girl”: it’s red lipstick, opulent designer jackets, animal print, cigarettes, smudged eyeliner, long nails. The aesthetic transcends objects and fashion; it’s a rebellion against the clean girl routine more holistically. It’s messy and intentional and dramatic and delightfully feminine, and it doesn’t seek to be anything different than how it presents itself.
Smart Business Casual/Workplace Siren
Think of the early 2010s tweed/business casual era, but better. It’s sultry; it’s sexy; it’s going to make you everyone’s office crush. Unique shapes, colors, and textures make business casual more visually interesting. This aesthetic adheres to workplace dress code, but is chic enough to be worn everyday. Think kitten heels, colored tights, exaggerated silhouettes, and (mostly) workplace-appropriate skirt lengths and necklines.
It’s a frenetic, temporally extended visualization of personal style. It’s a collection of utility: the loafers can be dressed up or dressed down; the glasses were a gift from your brother seven years ago; the watch is a family heirloom; the pin was picked up off the ground. The aesthetic is intentionally scattered; it’s meant to embellish time passed and items thoughtfully collected.
Ideally, like we mentioned, find your individual style. Find the items that you’ll rewear and that’ll last beyond fleeting trend cycles. This doesn’t mean don’t partake in fashion trends--they’re an outlet meant to be experimented with, and they’re fun! “The Year of the Woman” trends are all about trying on different personas, different manifestations of womanhood. Perhaps you enjoy the fur coats of the “mob wives,” but you also love collecting wool sweaters. That’s your style! Plus, your style will outlive the eventual discarding and cycling through of trends.
In order to sustainably and intentionally partake in trends, we recommend Nuuly, which is a renting/buying/sharing/thrifting service. (We’re not being paid to advertise--we just love their mission!) We also recommend thrifting, buying second-hand, or using a Facebook Marketplace/eBay interface. Give a second life to clothes and accessories! Lastly--and we know your sisters and friends are going to be upset with us--is borrowing clothes. If you have a party or event, and you know your sister has the perfect dress, ask her to borrow it! You don’t have to purchase a new piece of clothing to only wear once, you’re able to partake in trends, and you don’t have to spend to up your fashion game.
Welcome to the Year of the Woman!