‘Barbiecore’ is the fun-loving fashion trend of the moment

Margot Robbie in a publicity still for the upcoming Barbie movie. Photo courtesy Warner Bros.

On-set photos from the upcoming Barbie movie may have sent social media users into a frenzy for neon biker shorts and bell-bottom Western wear, but trend forecasters (including us at inRegister) have been spotting the doll’s signature pink style for some time now. The essence of the aesthetic dubbed by the internet as “Barbiecore” runs deeper than a mere color swatch, but it’s definitely a good place to start spotting the preppy, perky look.

Consider the racks at local boutique CHIC, where owner Kelley Miglicco can name several items fit for the doll’s stereotypical look. “I’m looking around the shop now, and we literally have a pink dress with feathers on the top, a cotton top with pink metallic sleeves, a pink top with huge ruffle sleeves, a pink leather dress, and a pair of shorts in pink glitter,” she explains. “On our website we have a pair of pink metallic pants. It’s just everywhere.”

 

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As for why shops have been stocking more of these flashy, hyper-feminine garments lately, Miglicco suspects that some truth hides behind the old anecdote about economic downturns spurring over-the-top, colorful clothing designed to attract attention. Think of the idea behind the alleged high heel index: “the higher the heel, the lower the economy.” If the market isn’t making new statements in our bank account, the things we buy might as well make statements when we wear them on the street.

“We just went through a time when I sold more loungewear than ever in the history of my store, and I’m not even that type of business,” says Miglicco. “Now that COVID is ending, people are back to life. I think that when people are going out now, they want to put on something really eye-catching. People are gravitating toward things that make them happy and feel good.”

 

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Anyone who has ever played with a Barbie doll knows that the essence of the character goes beyond the sequins adorning her skirts, though. With hundreds of careers under her belt, the character’s work blazers and office pumps—always in peppy patterns and vibrant colors—play just as much of a role in crafting a girl-boss persona that stresses success as much as style.

“Everything comes back around,” says Miglicco. “Items like our green blazer and chunky green heels definitely give that ’80s vibe you would have found in Barbie’s closet.”


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