How to thrift autumn’s TikTok fashion trends

Have you seen an amazing outfit on Tiktok that you'd love to wear but can't afford? Here's how to thrift a trending collection instead

Gen Z has redefined what it means to have a signature look. Rebranded as “aesthetics”, these terms refer to visual trends that many people choose to convey through their fashion and design.

Aesthetics are named for the themes and feelings that each style conveys, and aspirational mood boards and compilation videos featuring carefully coordinated images help people find their aesthetic and distinguish old and new looks into distinct categories.

As Y2K, coconut and soft girl aesthetics took over summer 2021, Celine Knauer, Denmark country manager at Tise the sustainable buying/reselling platform and social marketplace, looks to Autumn 2021 to highlight the key aesthetics that are gaining popularity, alongside tips for shopping these looks sustainably.

Cottagecore

Cottagecore aesthetic

While you might expect cottagecore’s aesthetic to only thrive in the summer, this look translates equally well into colder seasons, autumn included. Cottagecore embodies a romanticised idea of living in the countryside, with key pieces of this aesthetic including knit jumpers, peasant blouses, and pinafore dresses. Celebs like Millie Bobby Brown and Taylor Swift have embraced cottagecore, and its 7.4 billion searches on TikTok and counting show that this trend isn’t budging from the spotlight any time soon.

"Its 7.4 billion searches on TikTok and counting show that this trend isn’t budging from the spotlight any time soon"

Tise tip: Know your ‘tags

Knowing your ‘tags is key, whether you’re searching for secondhand inspiration on social platforms like TikTok, or for specific items on secondhand platforms like Tise. Luckily, because aesthetics like cottagecore have such a strong following, looking for secondhand items online within this aesthetic is exceptionally attainable.

For those looking for where to begin with cottagecore, try searching for hashtags like: #Cottagecore; #ThriftFlip; #FlowerPrints; #Florals; #Crotchet; #Knitting; and #PlantsAndMushrooms.

Dark & light academia

With 18.4 million views on TikTok, these academia aesthetics are considered sisters, featuring similar signature items within different colour palettes.

Dark academia is considered light’s more sophisticated and edgy older sister, featuring tailored trousers, pleated skirts, loafers, and plaid and tweed patterns, and offers a moodier look for those who find an affinity with blending classic with progressive, art with romanticism, and higher education with everyday life.

Light academia, on the other hand, is softer, with its colour palettes and ambiance embodying how it feels to spend time in cafes, bookshops and libraries. Alongside its soft colour palette, light academia features sweater vests, Mary Jane shoes, and turtlenecks. If you love clothes that remind you of Oxbridge, dark academia will likely match your preferences, but if you gravitate more towards Gilmore Girls, then light academia is the aesthetic for you.

Tise tip: Measurements and materials

Because aesthetics like dark and light academia require tailored items, be sure to know your measurements when shopping for signature pieces online. Knowing your key numbers such as your inseam, torso length and waist and hips can turn shopping secondhand from a gamble, into a success.

Keep tabs on your approximate measurements and be sure to ask sellers to provide garment measurements wherever possible to ensure that your item fits. Equally, pay attention to materials so that you know if a garment will have any stretch, and always opt for organic materials like cotton and wool whenever possible.

"Always opt for organic materials like cotton and wool whenever possible"

Normcore

Illustration of young people wearing normcore outfits

While many aesthetics translate into design trends, normcore is primarily considered a fashion aesthetic. With over 5.9 million views on TikTok, this normcore is marginally less common than other aesthetics, but significantly easier to incorporate into your wardrobe sustainably.

This aesthetic focuses on minimalism and basics, with key pieces including coordinating colour palettes, polar fleeces, turtlenecks, stonewashed denim, and chunky trainers. Plenty of people on TikTok, like Matilda Djerf, show the versatility this aesthetic can tout, for those ever in need of inspiration.

Tise tip: Negotiate

One of the biggest perks of shopping secondhand is having the ability to negotiate with sellers. Since normcore features so many basics and staples, aligning your style with this aesthetic offers the perfect opportunity to buy high quality pieces with organic materials within your budget when shopping secondhand.

Always communicate with a seller about an item of theirs that you’re considering buying, and let them know your price range. It’s equally important to be respectful when negotiating: don’t lowball and know when to stop haggling. 

E-girl

E-girl illustration

The e-girl aesthetic has an impressive 88.7 million views on TikTok, thanks to its prominence in the Gen-Z teen community. E-girls draw comparisons to the Millennial emo or punk culture, and pull inspiration from Avril Lavigne, who many consider to be the original e-girl.

While at first look, it might sound like e-girl aesthetics will be a little out of the norm, this look can be easily brought into everyday outfits in various degrees, through platform trainers, beanies, chokers, winged eyeliner and butterfly hair clips.

Alternatively, embrace the link between grunge and e-girls through statement pieces like platform boots, babydoll dresses, and lace tights, for an eye-catching, head-to-toe aesthetic.

Tise tip: Find your people

Many people feel drawn to TikTok aesthetics because they evoke a sense of community, both on and offline. While emo culture of years past might have left many individuals feeling isolated, this doesn’t hold true for the e-girls of today, who are able to connect with their peers now more than ever.

Finding a space where you share common values and preferences with those on your feed makes an incredibly big impact, and doing so through secondhand platforms like Tise can make every thrifting experience feel like a shopping trip out with your best friends (without costing the earth, of course).

Read more: How to style out Autumn

Read more: The history of the tracksuit

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