Essentially, the soft girl aesthetic is about being unapologetically feminine and girly. When we think of the stereotypical soft girl, her dreamy and lighthearted fashion usually comes to mind first. This approach to femininity, however, can be applied to all aspects of life, from your wardrobe, to the music you listen to, to the way you exercise. In the end, being a soft girl is more than a way of dressing, it's a lifestyle.
All my friends call me a soft girl. I love wearing dresses, pastel colors, and Glossier Cloud Paint. So, here are some tips from a soft girl on how to become a soft girl in a holistic way. At the end of the day, being a soft girl is really a personality thing, so it's not going to be for everyone. Even so, there are definitely some soft girl habits that we all can learn from because, at the core, soft girls are all about embracing femininity and living a balanced lifestyle.
The stereotypical soft girl look consists of cropped cardigans, oversized pastel sweatshirts, plaid mini skirts, and chunky white sneakers. These looks specifically may not be your style and are likely to get dated as styles change, but the underlying principles of soft girl style are timeless.
Dresses and Skirts
To begin, dresses and skirts are essential, and soft girls wear them much more often than the average 2020s girl is inclined to. The more flowy and more cottagecore-inspired, the better. Soft materials, long tiered skirts, ruffles, and puffed sleeves are favorite soft girl details. You can never go wrong with a classy and feminine silhouette, like a timeless sundress or an elegant nap dress.
Secondly, soft girls embrace the oversized look. Their outfits include ever-flattering wide-leg jeans and cute, soft oversized sweaters and cardigans. Through a balance of oversized clothing items, soft girls create looks that are both cute and comfortable. The soft girl typically stays away from athletic wear unless she’s actually doing something athletic.
As for color schemes, soft girls definitely are drawn to pastel shades, and often create monochromatic outfits in coordinated shades of varying degrees of pastels. Classic academic prints like houndstooth, checks, and plaid, but all in pastel of course, are also some of her favorites.
As for jewelry, keeping it sweet and simple is the key. Go with delicate necklaces, cute earrings, and maybe some Pura Vida bracelets in pretty colors. Some no-fail styles are pearls, butterflies, or hearts.
For hairstyles, I recommend embracing your natural hair texture and skipping the heat. This will help your hair stay soft and healthy. Then, you can add girly accessories, like the iconic butterfly clips. A hair bow, a pearl headband, a fun colored claw clip, or a satin scrunchie are all great options too. A low ponytail or the half-up half-down hairstyle is simple, pretty, and soft-looking.
Soft girl makeup aims to enhance, not alter, natural beauty in a soft and glowing way. To achieve a naturally radiant look, you must begin with a strong canvas to work with. This means finding a clean skincare routine that works for you. Usually, a gentle cleanser and moisturizer will suffice. Sunscreen is also an essential for preventing sun damage later on.
Soft girl makeup is that glossy, no-makeup makeup look that’s promoted by brands like Glossier, Milk Makeup, and Kosas. Soft girls don’t cake on the foundation or use contouring, but true to the stereotype, soft girl makeup does go heavy on the blush. A cream or gel based blush is best for achieving the dewy, flushed look. Soft girls are known for using blush not only on the cheeks, but also on the nose and eyelids. There’s also emphasis on subtle highlights, glow-enhancing serums, and shimmery lip gloss. For a true soft girl look, choose shades of bright, rosy, or peachy pinks for your look rather than bronze or mauve tones.
For fun, soft girls do all the stereotypical aesthetically pleasing activities. She’ll go on summer picnics with friends, take hikes at a local park, or read a book at a cute local cafe. You can also find soft girls visiting the farmer’s market or strolling through a botanical garden in a sundress. At home, she’ll be redecorating her room, tending a vegetable garden, or baking scones.
Most of all, the soft girl approach to life is to enjoy your day-to-day activities and find fulfillment in even the routines, whether that means putting on a pretty dress to go grocery shopping or getting up early to go for a sunrise walk before work. Soft girls find the most satisfaction in the simple things in life rather than high-stakes adventures.
How does a soft girl stay fit? Soft girls avoid modes of exercise that aren’t “soft” or “feminine.” You'll never find a soft girl at the gym lifting weights or sprinting on the treadmill. All in all, soft girls don’t really work out in the traditional sense. This is not at all an excuse to be out of shape, however. Instead, focus on living a balanced lifestyle, and maintaining a healthy weight through clean eating, long nature walks, and some light morning yoga.
Prepare balanced meals of natural, unprocessed foods. A soft girl isn’t afraid to indulge in a treat once in a while, but only in moderation. Colorful plates of fresh fruits and vegetables, avocado toast, greek yogurt parfaits with homemade granola, green smoothies, and home-baked pastries are some favorites.
As for mental health, journaling, writing poetry, praying, and cuddling a pet are soft girl ways of coping with stress. Basically, anything peaceful is a go. Self-care is another of her favorite ways to destress, whether that means doing a face mask, painting her nails, or buying a new cottagecore dress online.
The media that we consume has such a significant impact on our outlook, mood, and perspective on the world. So, what kinds of music, books, and movies does a soft girl spend her time listening to, reading, and watching? The key is intentionality.
Soft girls don’t mindlessly consume whatever is popular. She likes music that is uplifting and inspiring or relaxing and peaceful. Usually, it will be a mix of ‘80s pop, classic country songs, and some works of classical music.
She also likes classic books, particularly the idyllic Jane Austen or Anne of Green Gables type of story, but once in a while, she’ll read the latest popular Where the Crawdads Sing type of novel out of curiosity. With movies, it's the same. The classic masterpieces (especially those with great fashion inspo) are her favorites, like Gone with the Wind and Clueless, but she’ll watch the current popular show if it strikes her fancy, but only if she’s genuinely interested in it. Sci-Fi, action movies, and true crime, however, are not for her. To be a soft girl, you must make sure that even the stories, sounds, and images you come across align with what you want out of your lifestyle.
The TikTok phenomenon is only a fad, but being a true soft girl is a way of life that women have been leading for centuries. From makeup, to media, to self-care, there’s a soft girl approach to everything. Not only does a soft girl seek out things that are “soft,” but she actively avoids those which are not. Some of the things in this article are shamelessly shallow, but the underlying lesson is to do what is most feminine and natural for you.
Love Evie? Sign up for our newsletter and get curated content weekly!