By Renee Washington

What is the Coquette Aesthetic that is Taking Over the Internet at the Moment?

It's all about bows, ribbons and lace.

If you’ve spent any time on TikTok over the last few months, chances are your ‘for you’ page is filled with a plethora of bows, soft silhouettes, and delicate pastel hues. Well, ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the enchanting world of the coquette aesthetic. Although it seems like the internet churns out a new ‘core’ aesthetic every other week, the coquette aesthetic truly is here to stay. Pinterest searches for the phrase ‘coquette aesthetic’ have skyrocketed by an astonishing 10,000% in the past year, and videos tagged with the style have garnered a staggering 5.7 billion views on TikTok.

If girly vibes is your thing this year, we’ve got you covered, having consulted with Megan Watkins, head stylist at Silkfred, and Sue Shields, buying manager at Fenwick, to bring you up to speed on exactly what this trend is, it’s origins, and how to flawlessly embody it. So, if you’re ready to dive into the world of the coquette aesthetic, keep scrolling.

coquette aesthetic
@your.coquette.girl on Instagram

What is coquette fashion?

The coquette aesthetic isn’t actually new. The internet just has an interesting way of repackaging micro-trends, vibes, and subcultures by placing a title on it. In a way, it does make it easier to define something you’re constantly seeing, e.g. the frills, the bows and the lace. Sue Shields, buying manager at Fenwick, said**, ‘**The coquette trend, made popular by Gen Z on TikTok, is a whimsical take on girly style. Think dainty ruffles, pastel hues, and of course bows. The trend celebrates all things feminine and romantic.’ One celebrity that has been named as the mother of Coquette is Lana Del Ray. The singer’s 2012 album Born To Die has emerged as something of a mood board staple within the coquette aesthetic. The hashtag on TikTok, ‘Lana Del Ray coquette’, boasts an impressive 5 million views, solidifying her influence.

Where does the name ‘coquette’ come from?

In 2024, ‘coquette’ has taken on a new meaning. According to Merriam-Webster, it refers to a woman seeking attention from men without genuine affection. In 2024, however, it signifies a celebration of femininity, embracing empowerment and self-expression for women.

coquette trend
@thelilacheaven on Pinterest

People can’t seem to get enough of the coquette trend. Pinterest searches for ‘bow outfits’ surged by 900% in the past year, and jumped up by 100% again in the last month alone. Silkfred’s Megan shared her insights, stating, ‘2023 was heralded as ‘the year of the girl,’ so it’s no surprise that the ‘coquette’ aesthetic has had a resurgence. From emerging food trends like ‘girl dinners’ to dressing head to toe in the girliest colour of all in ‘Barbiecore’ fashion, 2023 was all about embracing femininity in all of its forms and truly exploring girlhood and what it means to us personally.’

She continued, ‘For many years, women have stayed away from typical ‘girly’ fashion trends out of fear of not being taken seriously. Accessories such as bows in our hair and cutesy micro handbags have replaced sensible totes and slicked-back hair. Dark greys and monochromatic outfits have been taken over by pastels and soft pinks, and we’re swapping out pencil skirts and blazers for fluffy cardigans and layered taffeta skirts.’

What is the difference between cottagecore and coquette?

The internet seems to churn out new aesthetics out each week and Cottagecore and Coquette have been put side by side, but as Megan explains they are quite different. ‘Although ‘cottagecore’ and ‘coquette’ have similar traits – they both thrive off a ‘soft’ atmosphere and have their roots in flowy, feminine fabrics – these viral trends are intrinsically different. Whilst ‘cottagecore’ relies on linens, plaid and oversized cosy silhouettes, ‘coquette’ leans more towards exaggerated hyper-feminine looks, like puffed shoulders, statement collars and 3D flower appliqués.’

coquette trend
@katequette on Instagram

How to wear Coquette in 2024?

In 2024, rocking the coquette aesthetic is all about infusing your wardrobe with a touch of whimsy and romance. Picture yourself in flowy pastel dresses adorned with delicate lace and bows, accessorised with pearls and diamonds. You can also try mixing and matching textures like chiffon and satin. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles and accessories to make the look your own. If you need some help getting there, we’ve curated a list of a few ‘coquette-esque’ pieces.

This story originally appeared on GRAZIA UK.