Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve probably heard of TikTok.
In 2019, the app was mostly popular amongst tweens and teens, but now the app is everywhere—especially because TikToks are reposted on Twitter and Instagram and even YouTube. Many of our beloved internet personalities and A-list celebrities are on the app, too, perfecting their dancesand showing us how they’ve been occupying their newfound free time. We can’t really pinpoint what it is, or predict what exactly you’ll find on it because it’s as versatile and diverse as predecessors like Musical.ly and Vine; there’s everything from dance videos to tutorials to memes.
Celebrities have amped up the inexpensive, casual nature of TikTok. In January, Lizzo uploaded a video of her pulling stuff out of her mini Jacquemus bag, a designer item far from the price point of sweatpants and hoodies. But like all social media, there are different style archetypes we’ve spotted—most of them dressed in non-designer clothes.
Yep, you guessed it. We recognize her by her bleached (sometimes pink) hair, layered chain necklaces, chunky platforms, and checkered pants. According to Urban Dictionary, an E-girl is “a girl on TikTok that wears an excessive amount of blush, hearts under her eyes, cute hair, watches anime, and dresses kinda Lolita.” To get this look you’ll need more than just the clothes. The E-girl makeup requires applying a little too much blush, the Milk Makeup heart tattoo stamp, thick winged eyeliner, Y2K hair clips, and a choker.
The E-girl style is sort of I Am Gia meets Japanese street style. It’s comprised of baggy cargo pants, graphic tees, striped long-sleeve shirts, tennis skirts, thick belts, hoop earrings, and a ton of silver chains. To start an E-girl transition, you need a good vintage tee (better if it’s a band tee). Some safe suggestions: Joy Division, AC/DC, and Nirvana. Consider secondhand options from this Depop seller. As for accessories, you can find silver accessories and chains for reasonable prices from this Depop shop!
The Softboys of TikTok
In the TikTok universe, IRL softboys take the form of E-boys. Imagine a punk-goth version of Leonardo DiCaprio in 1996’s Romeo + Juliet. This persona has a lot to do with sleepy eyes, fluffy, long hair (often dyed), oversized hoodies, and silver chains. These magical chains have actually started a trend of their own: the guy-with-dangling-chains-are-attractive trend.
One of TikTok’s most popular E-boys is 19-year-old Noen Eubanks, who admits wearing blush is just a part of his life now. In his videos, he often rocks platinum bleached hair, rose-tinted cheeks, black nail polish, dangly earrings, a striped long sleeve, and bright-colored Converse.
The E-boys of TikTok kickstarted a youth movement of guys wearing more flamboyant styles, much like the outfits favored by Harry Styles post-One Direction. It’s quite interesting because the whole idea behind E-boyism is far from the standard way of dressing for men.
To get the E-boy look, start with a striped long sleeve and a pair of worn-in Converse (try looking for secondhand pairs on Depop). Then either throw on an oversized hoodie or a MATT & NAT’s leather jacket (a sustainable brand that uses vegan leather and 100% recycled polyester for the lining).
The TikTok baddies
This style represents the gray area between loungewear and the E-girl aesthetic. The TikTok baddie dresses similar to the IG baddie: she adorns slick eyeliner, thick eyebrows, trendy crop tops, baggy pants, and a shit-ton of confidence. A TikTok baddie, similar to an IG baddie, poses with an attitude. Better if you hold a resting bitch face while looking effortless.
She wears tight crop tops, oversized pants, and sneakers (Vans or white Air Force 1s). It’s not that much about the outfit, because the key ingredient here is confidence. In order to recreate the top, you can just wear any shirt and tie a knot at the waist, make a t-shirt into a tube top (here’s an easy no-sew tutorial), or tie a bandana around your chest. Then, complete the look with this pair of Naked Wolfe’s vegan chunky sneakers.
The basic crop-top combo
This is perhaps the most coveted style on the app. A crop top or tank top with sweatpants, high-waisted leggings, or just a plain old pair of jeans. This combination is seen on pretty much every YouTuber-turned-TikTok-user. Think Emma Chamberlain. Or the Carlson sisters.
This outfit combination reminds me of the model-off-duty street style that we’ve all loved for years. Models like Bella Hadid, Hailey Bieber, and Kaia Gerber have taken it to TikTok. In fact, because of the pandemic, IMG is resorting to scouting talents on TikTok.
This style is actually all about comfort. You want a fitted shirt that doesn’t restrict movement for dances and a good pair of sweatpants for coziness. You can rock the look while lying in bed, having Zoom meetings, or learning dances. Check out some cute crop tops and baggy sweatpants at Los Angeles Apparel to get the look and support a local business (one that’s employee-owned, vertically integrated, and environmentally conscious).
Sets: the unofficial uniform
Hoodie and sweatpants. Sweatshirt and sweatpants. Zip-up hoodie and sweatpants. Workout clothes, going-out clothes, or even swimsuits. “Sets” is the key word here. Whether it’s plain, tie-dye, or graphic, sets are the much-beloved unofficial uniform of TikTok.
Recently, there’s been a surge in the popularity of tie-dye sets. A strong Californian hippie embodiment. Wearing a set makes you excited for the coming summer even if you can’t go out to a park or sunbathe at the beach. For some reason, wearing one brings a wholesome sense of childlike joy. Maybe it reminds us all of being at summer camp, or chilling with friends on a sweaty summer day.
Being in loungewear all day is, at some point, boring. And tie dye seems to be an easy way to add color to our life while quarantining our way through May. It’s super easy to DIY, and it’s an opportunity to revamp old clothing pieces. Another option is to get the style from these women-owned shops: Brown Dyed Girl, Halotied, and For Good Luck (the store making tie-dye pieces from repurposed vintage).
Makeup transformations and tutorials
If you’ve seen Euphoria, you know what I’m talking about. TikTok is seemingly the perfect platform for makeup artists and enthusiasts to display short previews of their creations and share tutorials at the same time.
Lucy Cook does face transformation unlike any other. Within a year, she’s attracted almost a million followers. Cook has cosmetically turned into some of our favorite TV characters like Coraline, Chandler Bing, Olaf, and Joe Exotic. "I think people enjoy the aspect of surrealism," she said. "A lot of people when stumbling onto my videos start thinking it's a drawing or a painting, and then I move and it gives that shock factor.”
Vanessa is another makeup artist on TikTok branding her content with dreamy pastel looks. Minimal yet experimental, her eye looks are spiced up with pops of colors that always work on a glossy face. The glossy base can be achieved by combining Glossier’s Futuredew and 100% Pure’s liquid highlighter (all their products are naturally made and cruelty-free).
To achieve her makeup look, start with an easy-to-wear eyeshadow shade like Glossier’s "Skywash." It’s hard to mess up for makeup amateurs (like myself!). You could also try adding a pop of color by investing in colored mascaras, such as ColorPop’s BFF Mascara.