Mud Pie Pink Mary Dress

Gift Shop Plus Summer 2023
At its ‘core’: 5 trending fashion aesthetics By Carly McFadden

Summer 2023 Trend Report

“Life is very grey, so fashion should always be fun,” stated 101-year-old fashion icon Iris Apfel, in a piece she wrote for Harper’s Bazaar in 2020.

That philosophy is seemingly shared across generations, and now more than ever are people looking to play with fashion. The idea of aesthetics — or “cores” — has risen with social media platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram and, most recently, TikTok. A core is a niche fashion trend that centers around a very specific visual.

Take, for example, Coastal Cowgirl — the latest, more rugged twist on 2022’s Coastal Grandma look. It’s both western- and beach-inspired, mixing materials such as leather, crochet and denim to create a laid-back vibe.

Meanwhile, Google searches for “Barbie style” increased 142% in the months following the release of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie teaser trailer, bringing to life the Barbiecore aesthetic — full of pinks and hyper-femininity.

Here we present five popular fashion cores and share the latest pieces from the industry’s talented wholesalers and designers.

Click each subhead for an array of products.

COASTAL COWGIRL

Western meets coastal in this country, beachy and airy aesthetic, a 2023 spin on last year’s “Coastal Grandma.”

TGB Brands.
TGB Brands.

COTTAGECORE

Old-world, feminine shapes and textures are integral to this cozy aesthetic.

Faceplant Dreams.
Faceplant Dreams.

BARBIECORE

Bright, modern and girly with a nod to ’80s nostalgia.

Nash Grey.
Nash Grey.

MERMAIDCORE

Waves of blues and aquas, mermaid silhouettes, sequins and seashells.

Hadley Wren.
Hadley Wren.

UTILITY

A spin on classic workwear with the added crispness of a white button-down — cargo pants are back.

AS by DF.
AS by DF.

Featured image courtesy of Mud Pie.

Carly McFadden

Carly McFadden is the editorial director of Gift Shop Plus, Stationery Trends and Lawn & Garden Retailer.




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