The biggest TikTok fashion moments of 2022
From indie sleaze to the weird girl aesthetic, these are the trends that defined the year
image Team Woo
words Sophie Lou Wilson
The TikTok algorithm might feel creepily tailored, but there were some trends this year that showed up on everyone’s For You Page. Whatever you think of the platform’s inclination to name every single microtrend that comes by, there’s no denying that some of the year’s biggest fashion moments happened not on the runway, but on our phone screens.
2022 kicked off with the emergence of indie sleaze as a messy counterpoint to so-called clean girl trends. Meanwhile, balletcore and Barbiecore helped us reconnect with our inner child and blokecore elevated the humble British lad to style icon status. And then, somehow, Adam Sandler became an unexpected fashion hero for his comfy, whatevercore fits.
So when it comes to this year’s biggest TikTok fashion trends, there really is something for everyone, whether you’re a high fashion girlie, blokecore lad or just trying to relive your Tumblr phase. From the rise of the weird girl aesthetic to Wednesday Addams’ take on gothic elegance, we’ve rounded up some of this year’s biggest trends. Let’s get into it, shall we?
It’s only right that we kick off this list with indie sleaze. The divisive late ‘00s hipster revival was predicted by trend forecaster Mandy Lee at the tail end of 2021, but it really took off this year. It marked a vibe shift away from clean girl aesthetic towards something messier, more chaotic and, well, sleazier. Think Pete Doherty stumbling around Camden in one of his haphazardly thrown together ensembles. Or Alexa Chung crouched down in Bungalow 8’s smoking area in a velvet mini and kneesocks. On TikTok, the hedonistic trend came back through messy makeup tutorials, Kate Moss montages and millennials sharing debaucherous clubbing photos where they wore disco pants, shutter shades and colourful headbands.
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2022 was the year that everyone went feral over the Miu Miu ballet flats. Ballet hadn’t looked this good since Natalie Portman fell apart in Black Swan. While most of us only had a brief ballet phase during primary school, we all want to dress like ballerinas now. Leotards, leg warmers and UGGs prove this trend is rooted in comfort. After all, you don’t need to put yourself through the gruelling routine of a professional ballet dancer to engage with this aesthetic. It works just as well for chilling out at home.
On TikTok in 2022 pretending to be on Tumblr in 2014. From the aforementioned indie sleaze trend to the TikTokification of The 1975, Tumblr has experienced quite the revival this year. The social platform, where we would spend after school hours reblogging moody black and white pics of band posters and Effy from Skins, was most popular between 2009 and 2017, but 2014 was the year of its most recognisable aesthetic. American Apparel tennis skirts, band tees, Doc Martens, denim jackets and chokers were mainstays of the Tumblr wardrobe. Now, TikTokers are recreating Tumblr-inspired looks and moodboards soundtracked by AM-era Arctic Monkeys or early Lana Del Rey. Turns out fashion nostalgia really is speeding up.
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With the women’s Euros and the men’s World Cup, this year created the perfect conditions for the emergence of blokecore. The football adjacent trend is an ode to bucket hats, vintage sportswear and football shirts. It’s a continuation of fashion’s ubiquitous obsession with anything ‘90s and ‘00s as looks are often inspired by the Britpop era, although musicians like Slowthai and Lava La Rue are contemporary purveyors of the trend. So, time to throw on a football jersey and some Levi’s denim to head down to your local old man pub for a pint of Stella with the lads. It really is that easy.
Tim Burton’s hit Netflix show Wednesday catapulted the Addams family daughter back into the fashion spotlight. The show spawned a few TikTok trends, from doing Jenna Ortega’s self-choreographed dance to styling gothic fits inspired by the series. TikTokers tried to recreate Wednesday’s outfits using what they already had in their wardrobes. The trend was an example of how new style inspiration can help us look at the clothes we already have in a new and exciting light.
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This year Rihanna and A$AP Rocky welcomed their first baby together, becoming possibly the most stylish parents of all time. Meanwhile, Paul Mescal played a young dad in the moving, reflective, Aftersun. And on TikTok, people started dressing like their dads. You could say 2022 was the year of the DILF. Much like dad jokes and dad dancing, dad dressing often gets a bad rap for being gaudy and ironic. Until now. Straight leg washed out denim, oversized patterned shirts and brogues are a few dadcore staples, but the trend is expansive. If you’re looking for inspo, just ask your dad to get out his old photos over Christmas.
Move over Bella Hadid. The true style icon of 2022 was Adam Sandler. Yes, you read that right. What started as a comical comment on his extremely casual fits turned into a fashion trend in earnest. Paparazzi pics of the off-duty actor show him wearing baggy t-shirts, baseball shorts and white socks got the stamp of approval from fashion TikTok, another example of the pendulum swing away from looking put-together in favour of dressing in chaotic disarray.
Weird Girl Aesthetic
Lastly, the weird girl aesthetic feels like the logical endpoint to TikTok’s ceaseless fashion trends. The hodgepodge look is a jumble of bright colours, clashing patterns and tactile textures. Pioneered by the likes of Bella Hadid, Emma Chamberlain and Marc Jacobs’ Heaven, the aesthetic is heavily influenced by Japanese harajuku fashion and also bears similarities to how 2010s teen fashion bloggers dressed.
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