The Nostalgic Fashion Trend You’ve Seen All Over TikTok, Explained

written by EMILEE JANITZ

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Source: 20th Television
Source: 20th Television

In the true fashion of social media evolution, TikTok has become more than just a platform for prank videos and nifty DIYs. In fact, the app—used largely by Gen Z and Millennials—has become a reporting ground for the latest fashion aesthetics and trends. The latest trend gaining traction? Twee.

Through the pandemic years in particular, TikTokers have coalesced and subsequently served up a number of stylized fashion aesthetics. Y2K, cottagecore, dark academia, coconut girl, and cabincore are just a handful of styles that have recently graced both our screens and our wardrobes. While twee is just the latest one to go viral, a certain subset of us (ahem, Tumblr girls) are thrilled.


What is twee fashion?

If you’ve seen #twee on TikTok (which has 78.3M views and counting), it’s possible you’re either having nostalgic flashbacks to your Tumblr days or you’re feeling a little confused by both the term itself and the larger aesthetic.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, the word “twee” itself is British and is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “excessively or affectedly quaint, pretty, or sentimental.” The twee fashion aesthetic was first popular in the 2000s through the early 2010s and was largely influenced by the Indie music movement. Pop culture icons such as Alexa Chung and Taylor Swift are known for having rocked the trend in its heyday and the internet has unanimously dubbed Zooey Deschanel as the queen of twee. Think 500 Days of Summer or New Girl.

In short, it’s a fashion trend that mixes British prep with bold colors and demure accessories while saluting vintage silhouettes and prints. Peter Pan collars, colorful tights, and satchels are all must-haves in the twee-verse.  


How to nail it

While the internet is currently debating whether or not twee should make a true reappearance, we’re all for people dressing in the styles that makes them happiest. With its emphasis on vintage pieces, we also love how approachable and affordable this particular trend is—thrift store, anyone? 

If you’re looking to dive into the trend, noteworthy twee essentials include oversized collars, glasses, loafers, vintage-inspired skirts and dresses, and hair accessories of all varieties—headbands, bows, supersized scrunchies, you name it. Here are six 2022-approved twee outfit ideas to get you started.


With a collared top

sweater | sweater (plus-size) | jeans | jeans (plus-size) | bag | loafers

It simply does not get more twee than a collared sweater. Complete the look with vintage denim and loafers for an easy everyday outfit that’s casual enough for coffee with friends but business enough for the office. Up your twee anti with an eye-catching, cheeky patterned bag.

With a beret

cardigan | cardigan (plus-size) | beretpantspants (plus-size) | backpackloafers

If you’re looking for a twee outfit that’s cold-weather approved, grab your favorite sweater and pair it with a wool beret and a convertible backpack. Complete the outfit with a pair of chunky loafers, which embody the original twee movement. 

With high-waisted shorts

toptop (plus-size) | cardigancardigan (plus-size) | bagshorts | flats

Dressing twee is all about embracing vintage silhouettes and fun patterns. Layer a Peterr Pan collared blouse with high-waisted shorts and a colorful cardigan for a look that’s as vibrant as it is put together. For colder weather, add a pair of tights under the shorts (which, let’s be real, only make it more twee). Polish it off with a structured bag and Mary Jane flats, which pay homage to the trend’s origins.

With a vintage-feeling dress

dressdress (plus-size) | earringsbag | heels

Twee-ify your office look with a vintage-inspired dress and pearl jewelry. Satchels not only scream “twee” but are also a stylish way to tote your laptop and other workday essentials to and from the office. Choose one in an eye-popping color to add visual interest and charm to your entire ensemble.

With overalls

 toptop (plus-size) | overallsoveralls (plus-size) | bowbagmules

For a look that screams “strolling through the park,” pair overalls with a lightweight blouse and a floral print hair bow. Once the weather warms up, a rattan bag is the perfect accessory to complete the look.