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August 2, 2023

Barbiecore Fashion: A Trend Reimagined for the Real World

Post By:
Stacey Kovalsky
In-House Contributor
Vice President, Global PR & Communications
USPA Global | U.S. Polo Assn.
Guest Contributor:

This blog is inspired by the most explosive movie of the year. No, not Oppenheimer. Barbie, of course! 

Ladies (and perhaps gentlemen, if you are good-spirited and don’t mind looking at Ryan Gosling's abs), if you haven’t seen it, you must. Why? It’s complicated. Not only has Barbie been the most anticipated movie of the summer, but I did say it features Ryan Gosling. Do you need more? Okay, also Margot Robbie. And directed by Greta Gerwig. (Enough said!)

In my opinion, Barbie was fluffy fun, warmly nostalgic, a little sad, a lot inspiring and surprisingly thought provoking. It’s really about female empowerment and embracing the little girl in all of us. 

Now, let’s talk Barbie fashion

The Barbie movie is, of course, fueling a resurgence in “Barbiecore” fashion: a playful, vibrant trend deeply inspired by the iconic Barbie doll. Don’t be scared-- Barbiecore is intended to bring the charm, femininity, and boldness that Barbie epitomized into a modern fashion trend, now accessible for women of all shapes, sizes, and colors. This nostalgic yet empowering trend presents an opportunity for women to show off our unique identities, embrace our femininity, and celebrate our strengths.

Let’s explore the appeal of Barbiecore, and how to make it work for your personal style.

Riding the Barbie Wave

The recent release of the new Barbie movie has rekindled a sense of childhood nostalgia, inspiring women to express themselves! Barbiecore is a style centered around the beloved doll's classic wardrobe—think shades of pink, frilly skirts, polka dots, and strappy sandals. It has experienced a revival, with a modern, more inclusive twist. With the resurgence of this style, women are finding renewed empowerment through the use of vibrant colors, bold patterns, and flamboyant accessories. It's a colorful rebellion against bland neutrality and a triumphant return of the joy of dressing up, a celebration of being seen, and ultimately, an empowering decision to wear what makes us happy.

Barbiecore for Real Women: Recommendations for All

Today’s Barbiecore fashion means embracing your style, celebrating diversity and promoting the idea that every woman can be her own kind of Barbie. However, Barbiecore isn't about creating a monotonous closet filled with pink clothes. It's about feeling confident in expressing oneself in a society that tends to promote conformity. This colorful trend challenges the traditional fashion norms, creating a style spectrum that allows women to reclaim the power of color and make daring fashion choices.

Here are some recommendations to incorporate Barbiecore into your wardrobe:

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  • Embrace Color: Barbiecore celebrates bold, vibrant color. Think shades of pink, of course, but don't shy away from other bright hues. Try a cobalt blue blazer, a vivid yellow sundress, or a pair of rich red pants. These can all make a bold statement.
  • Play with Prints: Polka dots, floral patterns, stripes, or even animal prints can bring an element of fun to your attire. If you’re not comfortable going full throttle, go with a pattern on the top and a basic color on the bottom or vice versa. This is a great look that turns heads.
  • Invest in Feminine Details: Ruffles, bows, frills, and lace are all a big part of the Barbiecore aesthetic. A ruffled blouse or a lace skirt can add a feminine touch to your otherwise more traditional outfit. A frilly or bow accent on shoes or a bag can be fun too.
  • Accessorize: Barbie was never seen without her glamorous accessories! Add statement earrings, oversized sunglasses, chunky necklaces or bracelets, or a chic scarf to complete your look for day or night. 
  • Experiment with Makeup and Hair: Experimenting with bold and bright makeup shades, colorful hair, or extravagant hairstyles can add another layer to your Barbiecore ensemble. A pop of bright pink blush, glossy bubblegum lips, or even a high ponytail like Barbie's can give you the finishing touch. Try experimenting with your makeup to find a look that suits your personal style. Bold lip colors and vibrant eyeshadows complement Barbiecore fashion well. If you emphasize your lips, then keep your eyes simple (and vice versa). 

Everyday Barbie

You might wonder how to incorporate Barbiecore into an everyday look without appearing as if you're attending a costume party. The key is to balance the Barbiecore elements with your regular style. A single Barbiecore piece—like a hot pink blouse, a pair of shiny patent pumps, or a statement necklace—can be an excellent addition to your everyday look. You could also opt for Barbie-inspired nails or makeup as subtle nods to the nostalgic Barbie aesthetic.

Barbiecore Interiors

Barbiecore is not just limited to fashion and beauty—it has also made its way into interior design. Barbiecore-inspired decor is unapologetically fun and feminine. Think pink walls, fluffy cushions and pillows, vintage posters of Barbie, a girly vanity table, and elegant, plush furniture. It's all about creating a space that makes you feel good and sparks joy. Think Barbie Dream House all the way!

Barbiecore Empowerment

Barbiecore may seem more fluff than a serious message, but the style actually encourages women to feel confident in their skin and not be afraid of their femininity. Barbiecore also represents a larger movement for female empowerment, self-expression and finding joy. Dressing in Barbiecore is a conscious choice to embrace your feminine power and show your individuality. It can be about choosing to be seen and celebrated rather than fitting in.

The perception of strength is most often associated with masculinity, but Barbiecore fashion is challenging that-- demonstrating that strength can also be feminine, vibrant, and playful. The “Real World” just got a little brighter!