Soft Girl Outfits: What is this Aesthetic?

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The popularity of a fashion trend depends on the personas that gravitate toward it. If enough people respond to certain styles, you’ll likely see more of it everywhere. These days, most fashion-conscious people follow what’s big on social media. And one of them happens to appeal to a lot of feminine women.

Introducing the soft girl aesthetic.

What’s a Soft Girl?

woman wearing pink sweater in flamingo print, knitted scarf and pleated skirts
Photo by Dário Gomes on Unsplash

Soft girl outfits are a marriage of two different fashion trends: the e-girl and VSCO (pronounced “visco”). From e-girl, the soft girl look takes the high drama makeup and accessories and from the VSCO girl, soft girl adapts the happy, extra beachy and laid back vibe. Incidentally, VSCO is a photo editing and sharing app that’s pretty big with kids.

So soft girl outfits are like an appealing compromise between e-girl and VSCO looks. Much like the two, soft girl is a product of TikTok. On the wildly popular social media platform, you’ll find loads of hashtags referring to the trend: #softgirl, #softgirlchallenge, #softgirllife, #softgirlsummer, or #softlife.

Teens, more than adult women, adopt the feminine aesthetic of soft girl. Girls who get done up in this trendy look tend to carry a definite vibe: the cute and girly girl.

What soft girl aesthetic outfits are generally seen in the closet of someone who adopts this trend?

What Does a Soft Girl Aesthetic Look Like?

For starters, you’re going to see a lot of pink and mostly pastel colors from soft girl outfits. Because so much of the style focuses on femininity — even ultra-femininity, expect fluffy, soft textures where fabric is concerned. Some of the more committed soft girls may even have pastel pink hair.

But some fashion insiders argue that the soft girl trend isn’t just about being all cute and girly. The style, as it turns out, doesn’t just combine the aesthetics of e-girl and VSCO. But it also takes inspiration from Y2K nostalgia, Bratz dolls and anime. For those who go toward the childlike end of soft girl, the look also takes from Kawaii, which is a Japanese style and culture that shows plenty of bright colors and a whole lot of childlike cuteness.

The fashion trend that originated from TikTok has become so big, even celebrities are getting into it. Some of those influenced by the look have been Elle Fanning, Bella Hadid and Margot Robbie, to name a few.

You’ll see some of your favorite female personalities trotting around Hollywood or New York in that soft girl aesthetic in their pink pleated skirts, embroidered cropped tops, soft, breezy blue dresses or baggy cardigans.

How to be a Soft Girl Checklist

two women sitting on the floor in soft girl yellow and pink outfits
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels

The beauty of the soft girl aesthetic is the ability to mix and match pieces you may already have in your closet.

But if you happen to be shifting away from an extreme fashion sense, like from all black clothing to going for cute girl outfits, how do you build a wardrobe and accessories to match the soft girl style?

Soft Girl Outfits

Soft girls like light colors; it doesn’t have to be pink, but it must be light or bright. So white is a good color to have, which you can pair with other palettes: baby blue, pastel pink, canary yellow and the like.

  • Miniskirts (especially plaid) or pleated tennis skirts
  • Cropped tops or tiny tees
  • Hoodies
  • Denim jackets
  • Oversized Sweaters or cardigans
  • Baggy jeans or high-waisted slacks

Soft Girl Prints

Printed tops, skirts and dresses are part of the soft girl aesthetic. Look for florals, plaids, hearts or any feminine print.

Soft Girl Shoes

Many soft girl fashionistas prefer white sneakers, with some going for the platform types. Others also just wear pastel slides and sandals.

Soft Girl Bags

Mini handbags are a defining accessory of the soft girl. If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out the shoulder bags on popular ‘90s movies, like “Clueless.”

Soft Girl Hats

A hat always completes the look. No soft girl outfit would be without a bucket hat. Find something that’s in pastel or has girly prints. Bucket hats are perfect in a skirt or jeans look.

Soft Girl Accessories

If a bucket is going to ruin your look, flaunt your soft girl hairstyle with barrettes or hair clips. Go for:

  • Butterfly clips
  • Rainbow clips
  • Big bows
  • Floral barrettes
  • Patterned scrunchies

Other than hair accessories, cute earrings, belts and necklaces also make a soft girl style.

If you’d rather not mess with a hat or fuss with hair clips and barrettes, you could still do a soft girl look by transforming your hair color or style.

What Soft Girl Hairstyles Can You Do?

blonde woman with braided hair sitting on green volkswagen car
Photo by Amor Bar Zeev on Unsplash

When it comes to exuding femininity, hair is a woman’s “mane tool.” You can color it, trim it and style it according to personal preference. And that girl aesthetic dictates that the following hairstyles work for this fashionable trend in the new millennium:

  • Pink hair in pastel, with or without bangs
  • Highlights, typically pink but light shades of blue will do
  • Braids, fully braided or just a part of your hair

Finally, don’t forget to put on the right makeup when trying out the soft girl style. Unlike other new gen fashion trends with heavy palettes and specific eyeliner technique, the soft girl makeup needs only to highlight your feminine features. A light gloss for pouty lips, a blush of light pink across the cheeks and nose, and winged eyeliner for captivating eyes. Some soft girls also do a bit of floral or heart tattoos with fake freckles even.

Deliberately Feminine But Not “Soft”

The trouble with most fashion trends is the misconceptions that come from it. Some people may think that soft girls automatically are “soft” or weak. But women who wear a lot of pink, short skirts or have braids in their hair are necessarily weak. Appearances are not always straightforward and may be deceiving.

So don’t be surprised if people have preconceived notions about you in a soft girl outfit. Always remember, feminine doesn’t convey weakness. On the contrary, it’s testament to a strong will — even when the person behind that will is in soft pink.

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