This year’s core of fashion is the fashion of -cores

Lately it seems any clothing style that is in vogue is labeled [source of inspiration + core]. According to Vogue magazine, this started back in 2013 with normcore, “a look for people who didn’t want to stand out but saw the social power of fitting in.” This was followed by gorpcore, the choice to wear hiking, skiing, and specialist mountaineering sportswear in everyday urban settings, a trend we have covered before . Let’s look at a few of this year’s “core” fashions.

On pointe: Balletcore

The balletcore trend is all about bringing out the ballerina aesthetic that is hiding within many women. Many of us when young once wanted to dress in a tutu gracefully on stage, leaping through the air to be caught by a strong, handsome ballerino. Balletcore gives us a chance to relive those dreams and include some elements of that grace and elegance to our workaday lives.

Being a good sport: Blokecore

“Bloke” is a British and Australian English slang term for a man, usually a stereotypical “man’s man” who likes his sports, either playing or watching. Blokecore means wearing sportswear off the field and outside the stadium, often mixed with casual streetwear. It doesn’t even matter if you like the team or even the sport: This is about an aesthetic choice, not an athletic preference. After taking off when celebrities like Rihanna began wearing football (or soccer) jerseys paired with jeans and sneakers, the trend has grown to embrace baseball and basketball items too.

Blokecore incorporates sportswear into everyday casual wear. (Brands left to right: Sand Sound, QT8, Sand Sound)

A tall tail: Mermaidcore

At least partly inspired by the recent remake of The Little Mermaid, mermaidcore is the emulation of the mythical half-woman-half-fish by wearing bikini tops, textiles that shimmer, dresses with pleats or that have a fishtail-like bottom, and clothing accentuated with shiny details. Smithsonian magazine calls it “personification of aquatic glamour and physical beauty.” With the right combination of clothes, anyone can look and feel like a mermaid.

There’s nothing fishy about mermaidcore; it’s about graceful streamlining. (Brands left to right: KUHO, KUHO, Rouje)

Life in plastic, it's fantastic: Barbiecore

Now for the biggest trend this summer: Barbiecore. Already popular in summer 2022 , this rose-colored fashion trend is in 2023 enjoying a massive resurgence thanks to the Barbie movie that had its world premiere early in July. Named after the toy doll often dressed in the color pink, Barbiecore is a celebration of childhood color and play.

I’m Barbie girl, in a Barbie world. (Brands left to right: The Aperture, Rouje, 8seconds)
While the color associated with Barbie has always been fashionable, this year has seen a profusion of pink in all shades and hues. Hot pink is especially big right now, but gentler pastels and combinations of tones of pink together are also proving popular. From the big screen to the little streets and towns, Barbiecore is more beloved than ever this year.
Come on Barbie, let’s go party! (Brand: 8seconds)
This summer, there is a fashion core for almost everything, so find the “core” that is closets to your core to create the visual identity that gives expression to your fashion voice.
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