In 2023, the internet saw an unparalleled rise of hyperfeminine aesthetics. Pop culture moments like the Barbie movie and fashion shows, as well as online beauty trends — hey, cold girl blush and bunny tongue lip gloss! — invited a social media celebration of girlhood. Alongside trends such as Barbiecore, balletcore and regencycore, coquette style gained traction throughout the year, finding support among lovers of bows, frills, and all things feminine. 

To help you dive head-first into the realm of the coquette aesthetic, EnVi put together a guide with the help of influencer Kellen-pippa Beckett, fashion creator Isabella Ricci and makeup artist Sky.

The Origins of Coquette

By definition, “coquette” is a French word referring to a flirtatious woman. The term gained traction on Tumblr in the mid-2010s, where it was originally associated with washed-out vintage filters, Lana del Rey, and even Old Hollywood. As the coquette tag grew, however, it developed into an aesthetic that epitomizes the appeal of femininity. While original elements are still entwined in the new presentation of coquette, the aesthetic has evolved in a different direction. 

As social media has welcomed a newly ignited celebration of girlhood, many Instagram and TikTok users have turned to the coquette aesthetic as a vessel for self-expression. Creators like Beckett and Ricci have found the opportunity to grow a niche audience by sharing all things pink, frilly, and soft. A common thread between Beckett, Ricci, and many young women online is a shared initial hesitation to embrace stereotypically “girly” things. However, with the rise of social media communities now imbuing each post with a rose-colored touch, the coquette movement has found a place among women who want to express themselves unapologetically.

Photo courtesy of Isabella Ricci

How to Build a Coquette Closet

The most direct way to adopt the coquette aesthetic is through fashion, where many key elements associated with the style first originated. Perhaps the most obvious is the presence of the color pink, but the shade and the subsequent color pairings matter as well. Coquette pink is not the same as Barbiecore pink or just any pink variation. The interactions with other pieces, the relationship to the wearer, and, perhaps most importantly, the sentiment it evokes, set coquette pink apart. “Coquette differs from Barbiecore because it brings in an aspect of nostalgia,” Ricci explains. And so, when curating a coquette closet, people generally opt for pastel shades of pink, a selection of creams and whites, and other light-toned colors that bring to mind vintage or nostalgic inspirations.

Textures are equally important. In separate conversations over Zoom, Beckett and Ricci list essential fabrics to experiment with, from tulle and ruffles to knitwear. “In the last four months, I’ve seen so many more girls wearing faux fur and lace,” Beckett says, referencing a widespread shift from summer to winter wardrobes and a potential sub-aesthetic trend within the coquette umbrella. These materials, usually associated with the conventional feminine attire of eras past have found a new purpose through coquette looks. Lace detailing can be worked into any item, tulle adds volume to any skirt, and ruffles are often seen in the lining of both hems and cuffs. 

Photo courtesy of Isabella Ricci

Accessories like Beckett’s must-have red heart sunglasses, pearl necklaces, dainty jewelry, headbands, and gloves can also be incorporated into outfits to add a coquette touch. Bows, a coquette essential, have become a widely pervasive accessory worldwide and are incredibly easy to attach to clothing items. For example, a light-wash pair of jeans can be decorated with bows to lean into the coquette style, as can a pair of UGG boots, headphones, or earrings. 

Leg warmers, a staple of the balletcore aesthetic, have also found a home in the closets of many coquette lovers. Ricci points out that the coquette aesthetic also welcomes the use of patterns like gingham and florals, as well as fruit motifs — cherries and strawberries seem to be a community favorite.

Photo courtesy of Kellen-pippa Beckett

EnVi Picks Inspired by Kellen and Isabella

Beauty in Coquette

Coquette doesn’t stop at clothing. At this point, makeup, skincare, and even lifestyle choices can be considered coquette. Just like clothing, coquette makeup tends to stick to a softer color palette. Beckett, Ricci, and Sky all agree that coquette makeup leans into a natural look, rather than overtly glamorous beauty. 

Sky explains that the inner corner shimmer she applies on her eyelids is ubiquitous in any coquette routine. “I feel that [this eyeshadow placement] automatically makes your makeup look more coquette,” she says. Coquette eyeshadow can look like a wash of rose gold, a soft smokey eye with creams and nudes, or a simple shimmery pastel. And, if you want to create a doll-like appearance, Ricci recommends adding white eyeliner to the lower lash line.

Photo courtesy of Sky

On the rest of the face, pink-pigmented products make an unsurprising appearance. Beckett gives her stamp of approval to makeup techniques like the cold girl blush, which is swept across the cheeks and nose to “emulate the flushed look” of someone who was just exposed to cold temperatures. Meanwhile, Ricci suggests fake freckles to achieve a feminine charm. 

Coquette makeup also requires a solid pouty lip. A light pink tint or glowing gloss can enhance the natural look of your lips, which Sky lists as a must-do. “It’s not really the blurred lip effect, but a very natural look — not super overlined, just your lips but better,” she explains.

When asked about her go-to products for coquette makeup, Sky recommends a name that seems to embody coquette the best: Flower Knows — a cosmetic brand renowned for its exquisite packaging. Presented in pastel hues and decorated with intricate metallic detailing, Flower Knows’ products seem almost surreal. Beyond their outward look, the products offer sheer but buildable colors, ideal for crafting coquette beauty. Sky also favors products like Dasique, ColourPop, and Fourth Ray Beauty, which offer glossy lip products, soft eyeshadows, and light yet long-standing coverage across all categories.

EnVi Picks Inspired by Sky

Be Your Best Coquette Self

Adopting a coquette lifestyle can mean different things depending on who you ask. The coquette aesthetic can extend beyond fashion and beauty, materializing in other areas of daily life. Household staples like hand towels, makeup containers, and jewelry trays come in colors and forms that align with the aesthetic. Additionally, activities like reading, practicing self-care, indulging in “little treats,” and curating soft playlists can be part of a coquette lifestyle.

In fact, Beckett recommends using Lana del Rey’s discography as a coquette-friendly soundtrack. She and Ricci also suggest perusing brands such as My Mum Made It, Favorite Child Collective, Kitteny, For Love and Lemons, and Lace Made to find coquette inspiration and staple items. 

What’s at the core of this aesthetic, however, is that by taking on conventionally feminine silhouettes, fabrics, and color palettes, women find an outlet for self-expression. Beyond a mere aesthetic, coquette is a movement that uplifts the practice of traditional femininity. That’s not to say this is the only definition of femininity — rather, it is one of many routes in which women can feel empowered to express their individuality.

Want to keep up with more of the year’s upcoming trends? Start by learning about the red hair renaissance here!

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