Whether it’s a fashion trend on TikTok or a certain style taking over Instagram, internet aesthetics are always changing. Our series ‘Core Club breaks down the looks that you’re starting to see a lot on social media and highlights the people and brands channeling it best. Next up: Coquette.
Reaching more than 780 million views on TikTok and counting, the coquette aesthetic is on the rise. Just like its name, which is defined as “the woman who flirts,” coquette is known to embody all things idyllic and feminine, from lace blouses paired with pink mini skirts to chunky heels and knitted stockings. You can also expect to see an endless array of pearls and gold accessories, as well as everything heart-shaped and frills galore. Taking inspiration from other styles, like ballet clothes and royalcore, the coquette aesthetic is all about indulging in the very simple pleasures of both our beauty and wardrobes.
“When I think of coquette, my mind immediately goes to hyper-femininity, daintiness, and nostalgia,” says Lacey Tanner, a 21-year-old content creator based in New York City. “Coquette manages to combine simple yet ornamental, classy yet playful elements into its style. It is a mixture of trends, such as 2014 soft pale grunge, balletcore, messy French girl aesthetic, romantic academia, along with many others.”
Like angelcore, coquette channels multiple time periods over the past centuries and blends modern trends together. Think of it as a mood board come to life, with references from Natalie Portman in the movie Black Swan and Kirsten Dunst in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette combined.
Duckie, a 16-year-old content creator on TikTok, also attributes music icons to coquette’s influence, including Lana Del Rey during her vintage Americana era in the early 2010s. “Outfits within the coquette aesthetic include pieces that have the ‘50s and ‘60s vintage flare, Mary Jane shoes paired with frilly or knee-high socks as well as outfits with patterns that have gingham, lace, or frills,” she adds. “Accessories such as heart-shaped sunglasses and bows in your hair are also a staple to the coquette aesthetic, as well as very soft, natural styled makeup.”
In a recent report shared by Pinterest, searches for “coquette” started to rise dramatically in November 2021, increasing by three times compared to the month prior. Additionally, the site said that Pinners continue to show strong interest in “coquette” as searches in December 2021 were five times greater than in October 2021, with such keywords as “dollette coquette outfits” peaking fives times more in just the past couple of months alone. With the rise of coquette underway, pointelle knits, dresses with frilly details, corsets, and lace tank tops are extremely popular, among other dainty silhouettes from brands like Pretties and Brandy Melville.
Verenice Hernandez, a 19-year-old fashion influencer from Chicago, tells NYLON that coquette evokes nostalgia, as well. “It embodies love, youthfulness, and summertime,” she notes. “The silhouettes of coquette clothing are very relaxed and whimsical. The color palette is pastels and candy colors. It’s cherry sodas and milkshakes at the beach. Coquette has its own unique way of interpreting nostalgic summer fashion.”
What sets coquette apart from similar aesthetics, such as “lolita” and “nymphet,” is that these styles, which have had negative connotations in the past, are currently going through a Gen-Z cleanse. Today’s interpretation is keen on clarifying and reinventing the aesthetic by embracing one’s femininity instead of hyper-focusing on and sexualizing innocence. Ultimately, coquette is not just a trend but it’s become a lifestyle for many; it almost feels like you’re sending love letters to yourself on a daily basis.
For Nia, or @dollclubxo on TikTok, the aesthetic influences both clothes and mannerisms: “I would say coquette is more focused on the fashion choice, but also the way you act and your personality. Your vocabulary changes, for example, using the words ‘darling’ or ‘exquisite.’” She also mentions that coquette is a break from trends that showcase a darker color palette of clothing, like dark academia and grunge fairycore.
As more people are gravitating towards learning about dressing coquette, the aesthetic’s community of creators is also growing, too. By posting coquette-related fashion, hair and makeup, and lifestyle videos, Duckie has amassed close to 65,000 followers on TikTok. “It is still very shocking to me that many people have followed me because of my fashion sense,” she tells NYLON.
The aesthetic’s rising popularity has also motivated aspiring creators to be unapologetically themselves, according to Nia, who currently has nearly the same amount of TikTok followers as Duckie. “I originally started my coquette account on TikTok for fun, then one day I woke up to my video having 200K-plus views and 100K likes,” recalls Nia. “I was so excited, and the coquette community is so welcoming and kind. Although there is a huge lack of POC in the community, everybody is very supportive.”
For those in search of their personal style, Duckie suggests trying the coquette aesthetic for its versatility, but there is definitely room to experiment with different styles. “Coquette isn’t all that is me. While I do love and enjoy [coquette] fashion, I don't want to tie my name down to just one aesthetic or categorize myself,” she says. “My style is ever-changing and truly is a melting pot of many things that have deeply inspired me throughout my life but the coquette aesthetic will always have a place in my heart and style.”