Why are teens suddenly walking around with black hearts under their eyes and dressed like modern-day Jane Lanes? Last year’s VSCO girl paved the way for the soft girl, which has since evolved into the e-girl. As the Cut explains, “The prototypical e-girl is really more of an idea — an aesthetic rather than a person. As the antecedent ‘e’ would imply, the e-girl is also ‘very online’ — maybe she’s a gamer, a cosplayer, or spends a lot of time on TikTok.”
E-girls don’t just spend a lot of time on TikTok; the entire aesthetic was born on the app. (There’s even a popular TikTok meme called “The E-girl Factory,” where users film their own transformations with colorful wigs, winged eyeliner, and clothing that would not look out of place at Hot Topic.) “The e-girl aesthetic is hair clips, maybe some freckles, and cute outfits,” explains Raven, a 20-year-old mononymous influencer, singer, and self-identified e-girl. “I’d say the overall goal is to resemble a Bratz doll.”
We talked to six social media–famous e-girls and -boys to find out more, including what they’re wearing, where they’re buying it, and why everyone is drawing hearts under their eyes.
Puffer jackets from brands like Patagonia and the North Face are ubiquitous among e-girls and e-boys (and teens in general, for that matter). You’ll often find them layered over hoodie — either the aforementioned merch fleece or a classic Champion sweatshirt. Gauge Burek, a 19-year-old model and influencer, says the puffer is a great way to create a whole “streetwear look.” He’s especially into this one from Skoot, a brand with oversize, heavily graffitied clothing that looks tailor-made for Billie Eilish, because “it just looks mad,” but you can’t go wrong with a classic Nuptse.
Gen Z girls — who, as we’ve noted in the past, are “experts at conveying a certain faux-effortless sexiness online” — love to wear XXL shirts with tiny bottoms, and e-girls are no exception. “I like oversized graphic tees because they are comfortable and can be worn with pretty much anything,” says Jenna Beaver. She likes Doodles n Drips, a label of cartoonish merch designed by an artist friend, but any brand will do, really, from Hanes four-packs at the drugstore to Dragon Ball Z shirts procured on Amazon. Aviva Johnson, a 19-year-old TikTok star, agrees with Jenna, saying, “Oversized anything is huge right now.” She wears hers atop bike shorts — or, occasionally, nothing at all.
Speaking of merch, e-girls and e-boys can’t get enough of it, especially from artists like Joji, Frank Ocean, and Billie Eilish (the patron saint of e-girls). Jared Clark, TikTok star and e-boy, said one of the artists that defined e-boy culture was late emo-rapper Lil Peep. “This hoodie sweatshirt is one of my favorites, due to the impact his music had on the misfits of millennials and post-millennials today,” he says.
Brandy Melville is universally beloved by VSCO girls — a different social media aesthetic altogether — but the brand’s schoolgirl skirts are also popular among e-girls, too. “Pleated skirts are a must-have for an e-girl,” says Aviva, calling them “a staple for all of us.” Lyssy Noel, a 21-year-old social media influencer, agrees, saying that pleated miniskirts are a necessary part of the “ultimate e-girl outfit.”
How does an e-girl keep her legs warm when she’s wearing the Brandy skirt? “I love leg warmers, because they’re perfect for breaking out skirts a little early in the spring season,” Raven says. “These can add a little color to your outfit and keep you cute and cozy.” Raven mostly wears her leg warmers with bare legs, but a lot of TikTokkers scrunch them over leggings and sweatpants, too.
Raven’s favorite shoes are her platform sneakers, which she says she wears almost every day (often with leg warmers). “I love these because they give off massive Bratz energy,” she says. Aviva also wears chunky shoes most days, as they help her seem taller and feel “powerful.”
Gauge likes these chunky Converses because they “have a great silhouette” and “just look good with any outfit.” They’re also a little edgier than your standard Chuck Taylor. “They don’t like conventional Converse,” Gauge says, “and every time I wear them, people think I’m rocking Rafs, which is a good thing.”
Gauge loves sewing patches on his stuff, especially his jackets and pants. “I think patches are a great accessory — not only do they make your clothing more interesting, but you’re putting a piece of your persona on your shoulder,” he says. He says he hits up Cash 4 Chaos when he’s in Las Vegas, because they have “the craziest and cheapest patches,” but you can find patches everywhere, and often in bulk.
Scroll through any e-girl or e-boy’s social media feed, and you’ll find them wearing a beanie. “Beanies play a major role in the completion of any e-boy outfit,” Jared explains. Aviva likes Acne Studios Pansy beanies because they “go with everything.”
Influencer-approved iPhone case
According to Raven, the accessory that completes her outfit (and her mirror selfies) is a Wildflower phone case. Wildflower has collaborations with influencers like Emma Chamberlain and Tana Mongeau; model Devon Lee Carlson is a co-founder. Raven’s favorite is the blue plaid, which makes an appearance in many of her mirror selfies.
E-girls change their rainbow-colored hair color at a dizzying pace — and that’s because they’re often wearing wigs. Jenna’s secret is K’ryssma wigs, which have thousands of glowing reviews on Amazon. “For e-girls like me who have already dyed their hair many times, and need to let their hair heal, I recommend wigs,” she says. K’ryssma wigs come in hundreds of colors, but bright blue and jet-black are favored by e-girls.
Raven says this ’90s classic is making a comeback among e-girls. “Since my hair is curly, I put it up a lot in different styles and I like how these can add a subtle sweetness to a simple ponytail or braid without the need for other hair accessories,” she says.
Jewelry is an essential part of the e-boy aesthetic, Jared says, especially this razor blade pendant. “This piece of jewelry is one of my favorites,” he says, because of its nod to mental health and self-harm. “It’s symbolic,” he adds, and it makes you feel “empowered on the outside.”
Dolls Kill, a sort of mall-goth brand that bills itself as a “boutique for the misfits and Miss Legits,” is very popular among e-girls. Jenna told us that since discovering it a few years ago, it’s where she buys most of her chains and rings; Lyssy is also a fan, and says their star chain choker is one of her favorite pieces at the moment.
It’s no surprise that punk icon Vivienne Westwood appeals to this crew. Gauge loves her designs, and is especially into her 3D Bat Orb Pendant. “This necklace gives off an ominous and dark appeal that I think looks super sick,” Gauge says. (That one’s sold out, but any of Westwood’s jewelry — including a handful of in-stock orb pendants — is sufficiently goth.)
Little black hearts under the eyes are a tell-tale sign of an e-girl, and tattoo stamps are an easy way to get look (though Lyssy says a lot of girls just draw them on with eyeliner). “I’m not the most skilled with a makeup brush, so to jazz my face, I’ll usually use a tattoo stamp,” Raven says. “I love them because they’re super-easy to use and make you look like a doll!”
Gauge goes to Home Depot to stock up on white chains in bulk. Initially intended for gardening, he prefers to hang them from his pants, wallet-chain-style. He notes that this chain is customizable in length, and a very low-cost way to try out the aesthetic — it’s only 56 cents per foot.
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