The Coquette Craze


Doris Dai, Contributor

When I received a custom order on a necklace, the customer stated that her desired look included pearls, dainty pink and beige colors, but most importantly, the piece needed to have a “coquette” aesthetic. I had a relatively vague idea of this style, but I could not fully describe it. What came to mind were doll-like clothes with a touch of innocence from all the light and pale colors I instantly pictured.

The literal definition of “coquette” is a flirtatious woman who relishes in obtaining the attraction and admiration of others in a pleasant manner. However, this term has been morphed into a popular fashion aesthetic that captures the admiration of others. Although it is a trend that people of all ages can partake in, it is typically seen amongst younger individuals such as teenage girls, who strive to achieve the satisfaction of completing this feminine look. There isn’t one specific place for people to shop for this particular style. In fact, many teenagers buy second-hand clothes that fit the aesthetic, whether it be online from Depop and Etsy or in person through lucky thrift store finds. With this style trending on many, if not all social media platforms such as TikTok and Pinterest, inspired individuals are inclined to dress in this feminine “coquette” way. However, the term seems to be subjective as lines are blurred and many people take this fashion term in their own interpretation.

Arcadia High School Junior Emily Ong commends those who incorporate this fashion sense into their lives because “every coquette outfit [she] sees stands out with its distinctive style which compels [her] to purchase similar pieces of clothing.”

Ranging from light, frilly dresses to lovely, versatile Mary Janes, many indulge in this aesthetic and some even go as far as to attempt to make this trend a part of their personality. 

What makes this aesthetic subjective is its fusion of soft pale grunge, romantic academia, royal-core, and a whole other variety of similar classy yet playful styles. 

The main essence of coquette is to embrace femininity and romanticize vintage, bubbly flairs. Those who obsess over coquette seem to admire the Chanel ambassador, Lily-Rose Depp, and singer/songwriter Lana Del Rey––both supposedly embodying the desired characteristics. With that in mind, how exactly does one actually dress in a coquette manner if there is no definitive formula to follow? 

Although there is a wide range of options to select from, the wardrobe must-haves include a multitude of pastel lace blouses with flower prints and hearts, idyllic strings of pearls, and simple knitted stockings to name a few. Taking inspiration from Pinterest, one can expect to find vanities with Dior lip products and perfumes, Vivienne Westwood pearls, and additional ribbons in any outfit. 

While those who embody the coquette aesthetic possess a level of confidence and elegance that many strive for, there is also a dark side to this trending genre. Impractical beauty standards are found everywhere and coquette is no exception. There is some controversy with this hyper-feminine style as some who keep in mind its original meaning, argue that the coquette style caters too much to the male gaze. 

They observe that this aesthetic isn’t just about appearance, but also the personality and interests participants follow to fit in the mold. It is argued that coquette strips away individuality and even encourages unrealistic standards of being skinny and innocent like a child. However, this is simply a take that doesn’t apply to every person who appreciates this feminine style as there is still a vast majority of people who strive to make coquette more inclusive. 

All in all, coquette as a whole is more than just a trend you would see while scrolling through TikTok or Pinterest. Moreover, while style is essentially up to anyone’s interpretation, blending together multiple aesthetics based on personal interest, just like those do with coquette, should be the ultimate fashion trend.


Photo Courtesy of UNSPLASH.COM