The Coquette Aesthetic Has Its Hold on Gen Z—15 Pieces That Define the Look


(Image credit: @raimireyes_@devapollon@isaasung)

Are you a Lana Del Rey fan who lives for ultra-romantic fashion pieces and clings to trends that involve ribbons, lace, and Bridgerton-esque motifs? Then the coquette aesthetic is most definitely for you. But what is a coquette exactly? I read The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene cover to cover a few years ago, so I have a bit of an educated idea.

In the book, Greene breaks down multiple archetypes, describing them as characters we can play in life and love, and he includes historical examples along the way. He compares the coquette to the relationship between Napoleon Bonaparte and Joséphine de Beauharnais—her theatrics, vanity, and narcissism drew him in. Even though the coquette is known for being extremely adept at any aspect of traditional femininity, a big part of the archetype in the book I read is independence, so don't forget that as you don your pearls and lace.

As for understanding what being a "coquette" means when it comes to fashion choices, I spoke to three Gen Z creators about this aesthetic. It seems that they all agree that, in the world of social media, the coquette aesthetic refers to a style that emphasizes a playful and flirtatious attitude, often characterized by dainty and delicate elements such as ruffles, bows, and pastel colors. Devin Apollon said it best: "Girlycore with a mix of sultry Old English elegance." Below, find the 15 pieces that they suggest you shop to get in on the aesthetic.


(Image credit: @devapollon)

How would you define the coquette aesthetic?

The coquette aesthetic is the ultimate definition of girlycore with a mix of sultry Old English elegance. This aesthetic has emerged so much because we see that everyone is putting their own twist on it. In a way, it mixes in with balletcore and lace blouses, silks, and a soft touch.

What are your favorite things about this trend?

A few of my favorite things about this aesthetic are the endless bows, gold jewelry, and vintage touch to every outfit. This aesthetic is one of my favorites because, with how each person perceives it, it is truly timeless and so feminine.

Shop Devin Apollon's top 5 picks below:

1. Bow

2. Pearl Necklace

3. Corset

4. Lace

5. Ballet Flats


(Image credit: @raimireyes_)

How would you define the coquette aesthetic?

Through my eyes, the coquette aesthetic celebrates femininity, romance, and the beauty in how small details like ribbons tied into bows, lace, frills, and delicate patterns can be such a sweet, simple pleasure to have around.

What are your favorite things about this trend?

For people like me, it's an ode to connecting with our younger selves. As a kid, I loved pink, ballerinas, princesses, and "coquette" everything! Now that I'm in my 20s, when I reflect on my childhood, I remember a time when I suddenly rejected all of that because I wanted to be more grown-up as I was becoming a teen. Fast-forward to now, I've been able to reconnect with myself by taking inspiration from my younger self when decorating my first apartment and through my personal style.

I can feel how it's brought me back to my center to honor the things I love in this world rather than hide them away for the sake of being taken more seriously. The romanticization of our lives is such a beautiful way to remind ourselves of the good around us. Beautiful things don't ask for attention, but even in the smallest details, we can find pleasure and thoughtful sentiments. Trends like this are truly so much more than a trend for so many people around the world!

Shop Raimi Reyes's top 5 picks below:

1. Roll of Ribbon

2. Thrift-Store Gems

3. Lovely Details

4. Heart-Shaped Locket

5. Longer Skirt


(Image credit: @isaasung)

How would you define the coquette aesthetic?

I would say the aesthetic includes pointelle lace, satin, and light pastel colors (like baby blue and pink) that make you think of florals or spring. The aesthetic brings out one's most divine feminine energy, whether it's through a dainty barrette or romantic soft curls. I like to think of the "Dior lip oil" girlies that just smell nice and have their priorities together and focus on themselves.

What are your favorite things about this trend?

Combining soft makeup with delicate fabrics gives off such an ethereal yet effortless look. I love how romantic the coquette aesthetic is with a pink-and-white-focused palette. It's an excuse to buy luxurious pieces for yourself to feel girly and graceful. The best part is that you can find pretty nightgowns and slip dresses at your local vintage/thrift store without giving up too much of your budget. Drinking tea and eating a buttercream-frosted cake are all a part of the "aesthetic" and can be incorporated into your lifestyle without having to forcefully fall into the trend.

Shop Isa Sung's top 5 picks below:

1. Scrunchie

2. Flats to Wear With Sheer Tights

3. Ribbon

4. Candle

5. Cozy Set

Shop more coquette-worthy items:

Associate Editor

Sierra Mayhew was always destined to work in fashion, but she didn't know it at first. Growing up with no choice but to wear a rotation of school uniforms and activewear, her love for fashion really blossomed when she moved away for college and was able to finally define her very own personal style. Shortly thereafter, she interned at Elle magazine and instantly knew that editorial was for her. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame, she worked for ShopBazaar, contributing regularly to, and finally made her way to Who What Wear, where she is an associate editor. When she’s not working, you can catch her always trying to catch a flight, rollerblading through New York City traffic, or exploring the latest luxury vintage boutique.