Ribbons, lace, bows, florals, and lots of soft pink are key features of the coquette aesthetic. All things girly and unapologetically feminine! Sometimes associated with the soft girl aesthetic, the coquette aesthetic brings all the dreamy vibes of feminine style paired with elements of romance.
The coquette aesthetic is a play on Victorian style with elements of balletcore. It applies to fashion, beauty, and home decor, and can be adapted to your personal tastes as well. The key to appropriate coquette fashion is to balance the romantic femininity with a flirty touch, without creating an overly sexualized version of womanhood. Think early Ariana Grande and Lana Del Ray: feminine, fashionable, and flirty.
Let’s get into it!
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The History of "Coquette"
What is now a viral TikTok aesthetic was once a term used by the French beginning in the 17th century. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, it meant an “amorous, flirtatious person, one who seeks to be romantically attractive out of vanity," and could be used to describe both men and women. The word actually descended from the French word for rooster (coq), in reference to strutting. From the early 1700s, the word was used only in the feminine form – coquette – and only used to describe women who seek men’s attraction without sincerely reciprocating, much like a flirting tease.
Later considered a strategy for flirting, a woman would “play the coquette” by putting on the physical and emotional appearance of a shy and innocent woman, but still knew how to charm. Today, the term is used to describe light-hearted, feminine style, beauty, and decor that are related to all things love and romance. If Valentine’s Day were an aesthetic, it would be the coquette aesthetic!
Elements of the Coquette Aesthetic
Now that we’ve covered the history of coquette, why did it go viral on TikTok? And what makes it an aesthetic?
Simply put, the coquette aesthetic is rising in popularity because it’s so different from most of the other aesthetics we have seen and covered over the last few years, like the clean girl aesthetic, coastal grandmother aesthetic, and vanilla girl aesthetic. The coquette aesthetic offers something romantic that is missing from other popular aesthetics. And who doesn’t want a little more romance?
Must-Haves To Copy the Coquette Aesthetic
There are a few must-haves if you plan on copying the coquette aesthetic — especially so you don't look like you’re 13 again. You’ll want to play with many of the same pieces, colors, and materials as the girly aesthetic, but with a more mature touch. The basic color scheme is creamy white and soft pink, which go together beautifully.
Starting with your wardrobe, look for girlier versions of your style basics. Think tank tops with lace trim and in soft colors; T-shirts adorned with ruffles and pink accents.
Need a going-out look? Opt for puff sleeves and a pink skirt. Lean into lace and build your outfits with a lot of frills. Babydoll dresses are also a must-have for the coquette aesthetic.
To avoid looking like you are 13, keep your patterns fairly plain. Lace and dainty florals are the perfect touches to a coquette look, but don’t wear things with butterflies, lots of sparkle, or other traditionally young patterns.
Victorian Lace Top, $88
Ruffle Mini Skirt, $225
Sunny Cami, $195
Easily accessorize by donning pink hair bow, which looks lovely in a half-up, half-down hairstyle or ballerina bun. Avoid pigtails with ribbons; instead tie up your hair in a single ponytail and add pink satin bow.
Keep jewelry simple. Thin strands of pearls are dainty and romantic and are a great choice for a sweet yet mature look. Avoid layering too much jewelry or chunky pieces. The goal is dainty, feminine, and dreamy!
When it comes to beauty, stay away from bold and bright colors, and use a light hand when applying contour. The emphasis of your makeup should be blush, lashes, and lips. Full but delicate lashes add a flirty and feminine feel. Lots of soft pink blush and a kissable lip color will finish off your makeup look.
The coquette aesthetic isn’t for everyone, but it’s a fun reminder that femininity is more than just a style choice. Tap into your feminine side and flirt!
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