The Social Media Styles Influencing Gen-Z

Thanks to the internet, there is more fashion inspiration available than ever - but it also means that if you have a style and couldn’t find people with the same taste, you needn’t worry. The TikTok algorithm will find you and offer you a tribe. Social media is now awash with more cores and subgenres of fashion than you can shake a stick at, and some don’t even have names yet.

The Social Media Styles Influencing Gen-Z

Niches form within niches, and suddenly you have got a perfect style, makeup, perfume, and place where you should live.

Both Instagram and TikTok have offered us so much when it comes to style that even though who don’t have a lot of confidence can find the things that make them feel great. Tips from stylists, makeup artists, fashionistas and style icons about where to shop, how to thrift well, and how to make your eyeliner match the first time!

So let’s take a look at the most popular aesthetics you can find on TikTok, Instagram and now in mainstream fashion.

The Baddie

The Instagram baddie has been around for a while, and what makes the look so obtainable to everyone is that it is all about looking put together in the most effort filled, effortless way. A contradiction, maybe, but that is why it works so well. Flawless brows with jogging bottoms and sneakers.

If you check out any Instagram baddie outfits, they are usually easy to wear and can be dressed up or dressed down in no time at all. Perfect brows, contoured cheekbones, a nude lip and accessories that always look right are what you need to achieve the ultimate in baddie fashion.


If you want to listen to Fleetwood Mac, read books, water your tomatoes every morning and smell the moss after the rain, then cottagecore is where it is at. Cottagecore has been around for about five years, but social media is showing us just how many people are craving the quiet life. 

Watching your tea steep in the morning and a lot of romanticizing of life is something that enticed many people to the cottagecore lifestyle. Luckily you don’t need to have a cottage in the middle of the woods to achieve the cottagecore look. It is pretty simple, though; if you have ever seen American Horror Story, then the epitome of cottagecore was Misty Day.

Think comfortable, loose, breathable clothing, whites, pastels and floral stitching, a lot of plants and knitted cardigans. Loose waves, a highlighter to catch all those sunny garden rays, and a floral perfume will finish the look.

The E-girl

E-girls usually have a fairly sizable following for just being themselves online, but in the last few years, that has morphed into a particular look. The e-girl doesn’t skimp on blusher - in fact, it is swept across the cheeks and taken up to the tip of the nose (with highlighter too).

E-girls typically have coloured hair in bright colours like blue, green and pink - with some black in the mix somewhere. Some facial piercings and a wardrobe would make Trinity from the Matrix jealous.

An amalgamation of anime characters, skate culture, goth and more.

To master the e-girl look, you’re going to need a blusher, dark black eyeliner, a plaid skirt, knee-high socks and cute heart stamps for under the lower lash.


Softcore isn’t new - because we have all loved soft, cosy knits for years. But with the rise of working from home, it was more possible to be soft and cosy 24/7. Softcore is exactly how it sounds, and it is someone who wears soft things, has soft things and is surrounded by ‘soft’.

Creating a world that is relaxing, comforting and even the colours are soft. You won’t find neons, and you won’t find anything too dark usually either. Softcore is about as close as you can get to living in a cloud. 

You’ll need plenty of soft brushed cotton and chenille, cuddly blankets, velvet scrunchies and some vanilla scented candles to achieve the ultimate in softcore.

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Tags:TikTok, Instagram, social media, Gen-Z

About the Author

Stella Cooter

Journalist, traveller and mother, Stella writes about fashion and style, luxury and adventure.

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