Holly Alder explores Tik Tok’s microtrends.
From ‘Bloke Core’ to the broader ‘Mermaid Core,’ TikTok has never shied away from producing unique and often viral clothing trends. All it takes is one or two widely followed content creators to pair a jersey with a flowy maxi skirt for thousands of others to follow suit, including highstreet brands and well known designers. While this is the nature of the internet and influencer culture, the shelf life of these fleeting trends comes into question. The microtrend is quick, repetitive and unsustainable in the grand scheme of fashion, with a new trend replacing the last one in a number of weeks or days. An example of just how fleeting these TikTok clothing trends can be is the rise of ‘Bloke Core’, a trend that first rose to popularity at the beginning of Summer 2023. Bloke Core hones in on British football culture and mainly consists of baggy jeans, Adidas Sambas and an oversized vintage football jersey. While it may seem so simple that one could question if this type of outfit could even contend as a microtrend, Bloke Core has taken over TikTok’s algorithm, with thousands of content creators and users of the app taking part in the 1980s-dad-heading-to-a-football-match aesthetic.
The microtrend is quick, repetitive and unsustainable in the grand scheme of fashion, with a new trend replacing the last one in a number of weeks or even days.
As the trend is a nod to early Britpop fashion, it could be argued that this combination of oversized jerseys and baggy jeans is a classic fashion choice that will remain in fashion. However, the combination of trends such as Bloke Core and the equally viral ‘Coquette Aesthetic’ seem to be created and then forgotten within the month. The Coquette Aesthetic consists of pretty pink ribbons, braided hair, ballet pumps with socks and corseted tops. A duo that we didn’t know we needed (or arguably, maybe did not need) is ‘Blokette’ : the hybrid of Bloke Core and Coquette. Two very different trends that have come together as seen on Bella Hadid and created a mashup of football jerseys, knee high football socks with heels, braided pigtails and Adidas zip ups.
While TikTok microtrends encourage and push consumers to contribute to fast fashion, one could argue the microtrend simultaneously diminishes individuality and personal expression that one can convey through their clothing.
The question of sustainability evidently rises when discussing any microtrend. Indeed, they raise the issue of fast fashion, it's the detrimental effects on the planet, but also the pressure to keep up with microtrends within the small window of time that these trends exist. While TikTok microtrends encourage and push consumers to contribute to fast fashion, one could argue they simultaneously diminish the individuality and personal expression one conveys through their clothing. Trendy and often bootleg versions of designer or sustainably made clothing hits the shelves of high street fashion shops with every passing microtrend. While this may be considered a positive thing as such clothing is made more accessible to the average consumer, it also promotes the never ending cycle of the TikTok microtrend. Only time will tell whether TikTok, a relatively new platform, has the power to shift our approaches to style, aestheticism and fashion.