It is cluttered, it is colorful, it is surreal. The best part? It is open to interpretation.
Trend cycles are shifting at a lightning fast speed these days. Whether you blame it on the boredom of the pandemic, revival of the maximalist 80s style trend, or the dependency on the world wide web, all of it was once bound to clash together into one big mess.
Nevertheless, what fashion influencers and scholars got wrong was the ‘messy’ part of it all. With the current generation having an all-acceptable approach to newer thoughts and opinions, these over-the-top styles are more embraced than ridiculed, and that is not even the best part! Chances are you already have multiple pieces of weirdcore aesthetic in your wardrobe, they are just not styled that way! It is astonishing to think how mismatching and mixing up any print, silhouette and fabric can work together to be under the umbrella term of an aesthetic.
What exactly is the Weirdcore Aesthetic?
It’s everything and anything. Like Olivia Rodrigo said, ‘It’s brutal out here’. All of the fashion on the internet has been an intermingling of multiple aesthetics that it just had to become a big goop one day (still confused between grandmacore and cottagecore? Even we are, just a teensy bit).
Origins of the Weirdcore Aesthetic
A surrealism approach to art, the weirdcore aesthetic is centered around creating an art, clothing or music that is open to interpretations. Anything goes, and all is valued. Even in digital art, dreamcore has a bloody-eyed biblical representation of angels and doors leading to nowhere, most of which are used as t-shirt graphics and prints in fashion.
Yet, weirdcore fashion does not directly take elements from the visuals it shows, it also includes the way an individual chooses their pieces to style together. Silhouettes, colors and fit add a separate layer of depth to this otherwise 2 dimensional aesthetic seen on screens.
To understand this concept clearly, I pondered upon multiple images which are categorized as weirdcore, most of which gave me an anxious feeling for no particular reason. The thrill of this uncanny feeling derives the ultimate desire for individuals to like this aesthetic.
The worst kind of images were the ones with a dark ending, say a window showing you nothing but pitch black, tapping into your ‘Are you afraid of the dark?’ instincts. We begin to question what lies in the dark, creating the feeling of fear.
Weirdcore also cues up from maximalism. Since anything goes in this style, it takes many of its layering tips from the Japanese Harajuku style, which has a sense of innocence in its aesthetic to begin with. Inspiration from Harajuku was also taken by Marc Jacobs line Heaven has gained the attention of gen z and is endorsed by celebrities such as Bella Hadid.
Likeability of the Aesthetic
While many would want to stay away from the eerie approach of the aesthetic, many find the thrill to be exciting, similar to a horror movie. If you wish to incorporate this style in your daily wear, go for elements in small quantities, such as in hair pins, brooches or accessories (which you can later layer as per your liking) and observe how you feel with it. Just like vibrations, visuals have their own effect on our conscience, and weirdcore is definitely not for everyone. Thus, experimentation is key when it comes to weirdcore.
Essentials of the Weirdcore Aesthetic
A major trend which skyrocketed in demand post pandemic were robber’s masks, or balaclavas, to be specific. What makes this accessory weird enough is the rare occurrence of it in real life and the crazy patterns gen z are experimenting with it. In retrospect, the trend began with the mandatory rule of wearing masks, within which many found a sense of privacy and comfort. In order to not let go of the confort, people cocooned into the self-isolated state more when things came back to normal to ease out the transition.
Coming in various styles and designs, from cute to horrific and gloomy, if you upload your fit checks frequently on the gram, you might want to invest in one balaclava to complete your weirdcore style.
Colorful Printed Socks
An easy way to add the weirdness in your outfits is by adding a pop of color on your sleeves. An easier way to do this is by incorporating striped colors to your socks! Contrasting colors, such as red and green may look too gaudy, but a tricolor pair of red, blue and pink might just work. Ankle or calf length socks work great too when worn with skirts or shorts to add a bit of leg space and not overdoing it with the prints and colors.
If you feel like investing in sleeves, then opt for a bubble silhouette or a pair of radiant and shimmery ones, they are going to be a statement anyway, why not show them off?
By far the easiest thing to grab on, graphic tees have often been abstract. Anything you can find painted on a tee at a thrift store will most likely blend in smoothly with weirdcore. Although many brands have taken this as a cue to start their own collections of weirdcore inspired tees, we suggest visiting your local thrift stores and spend some time there to find what speaks to you. After all, you better have a great explanation as to why that eyeball print on your shirt is holding a bouquet.
With sweater weather being all white and sometimes gloomy, this is the one garment which can be as vibrant as your spirit. Sweaters knit designs look the best when they shine out with light pale or bright vibrant colors. Think flowers you drew as a child, the swings you played on at the nearby park. Bring in the nostalgia through your sweaters for a fresh, wholesome weirdcore.
Angel with its correct depiction (the all-seeing eye), dark voids filled with universal stars, disfigured sticks which look like aliens, halo of the God guiding you towards the end in a closed room, such images look great when they are cohesive in your outfit.
If you have a specific motif that you are attracted to, say a halo, try DIYing your old t-shirt or skirt by using that halo as a print! The sky’s the limit when you begin to create art and blend it with fashion.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is weirdcore different from dreamcore aesthetic?
Narrative. Having a story is the major factor that differentiates between weirdcore and dreamcore. Dreamcore often has a linear or multiple storylines within it, (think stairs to heaven) while weirdcore makes you question what is beyond the image shown. Balck voids, unknown gutters and empty lands all fall under weirdcore.
Is weirdcore a horror aesthetic?
Yes and no. While it’s not exclusive that every visual of weirdcore will be a horror image, it does cause an eerie feeling when we look at it. It truly depends on the creator of an image/fashion garment and the viewer on what they think of an art piece which is included in weirdcore.
What is weirdcore inspired by?
Psychedelic imagery is the core inspiration for weirdcore. The art of the 1960s which only played with a grayscale color scheme is given a fresh route with the colorful weirdcore approach.