How to Find Your Aesthetic: 10 Styles to Express Yourself
Take a look at your closet and think about what you see. Even if you don't intentionally curate a specific aesthetic style, your go-to outfits probably cultivate a vibe.
Is your everyday look a line of oversized hoodies and sneakers, or is it bright-colored coats, trousers, and statement bags? Maybe it's a mixture of both. No one says you have to stick to a single aesthetic, after all.
Learning how to find your aesthetic isn't about copying the latest trends on Pinterest and TikTok. It's about identifying your clothing choices, playing with new garments and looks, and creating a unique style. Here's how to step up your game from a simple look to a personal aesthetic.
What is an aesthetic?
Before you go all philosophy mode on us and start reading up on Immanuel Kant, know that the word “aesthetic” has a distinct definition in the age of social media. An aesthetic is a cohesive personal style you express through clothing and decoration — essentially a personal brand.
A consistent aesthetic speaks to your taste in the visual arts, music, and culture. It's about curating garments to tell a bigger story about your identity and how you want others to perceive you.
For example, a crisp Merz B. Schwanen white tee tucked into black worker's pants and a pair of Nike Cortez trainers is more than a basic outfit. It gives laid-back, rugged, classic Americana and tells everyone you binge-watch The Bear.
Find my aesthetic: 10 styles to mix and match
From softboys to blokecore, there are as many aesthetics as there are episodes of UNHhhh. If you’re asking yourself, “What is my style aesthetic?” fret not. We have 10 to choose from:
The streetwear aesthetic changes constantly depending on what's new on Hypebeast or the latest drop from Vetements and Supreme. Inspired by a mix of skate and hip-hop culture, you lean toward oversized silhouettes, a distinctly urban look, and neutral palettes.
Fill your closet: Oversized everything — hoodies, tees, and pants (preferably cargo). And most importantly, line your shelves with sneakers, from the classic Air Force 1 to the latest hype Jordans. Layer with different textures (a flannel plaid shirt, puffer jacket, or utility vest), silver accessories, and baseball caps.
You're into visual arts, take painting or sculpture classes, and love to name-drop bands or movies that the normies have never heard of. You love rehabilitating your friends’ houseplants. Men like Tyler, the Creator, are your fashion messiahs.
Fill your closet: A good vintage wardrobe needs a few statement pieces, like tassel loafers, ironic graphic tees, and sweaters with abstract patterns. Fill the rest of your shelves with chunky vests, high-waisted chinos, and your grandpa's ugly cardigan collection.
Imagine Paul Rudd in Clueless. Stay with that image… You're welcome. The soft boy aesthetic is a relaxed vibe that gives “preppy ’90s college boy” and evokes that old Abercrombie catalog you hid under your bed. Others shouldn’t be fooled by the soft colors and cozy fabrics; you're a fuccboi in disguise who's mastered the art of sexting.
Fill your closet: Oversized sweaters, knits, and striped button-downs. Pair a mix of pastel-toned pieces with light-washed jeans, corduroys, and khakis. Old-school sneakers really tie the look together, like classic Vans or New Balance dad shoes. To get fully into character, bring a picture of Timothée Chalamet, Noah Centeno, or Jacob Elordi to your barber to get that wavy look.
You listen to jazz (on a record player!), love your road bike, and only wear shades of noir. A closet full of black, gray, and white ensembles might not scream fashion, but minimalists appreciate artistic cuts, structured silhouettes, and high-quality materials.
Fill your closet: Focus on quality over quantity, starting with plain trainers and basic tees. Layer the look with straight-legged pants, tailored trousers, worker's jackets, or a smart overcoat. Keep the palette simple. Although the go-to colors are black, white, and gray, muted earth tones can add a pop of “color.”
The old money aesthetic finds beauty in sophisticated tailoring and timeless accessories — perfect for the boys who want to do some Succession cosplay.
We love this aesthetic for winter and fall outfits since it's all about neutral tones and crisp, layered ’fits. When you do it right, it gives “guy who read Kant at an East Coast liberal arts school who's about to inherit a bunch of Renaissance paintings.”
Fill your closet: You don't have to spend money on Loro Piana, Brunello Cucinelli, and Burberry to look like you have money. Grab some tailored tops and slacks, loafers, and high-quality outerwear. If you splurge, a classic watch or sunglasses will make the rest of your outfit look expensive.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but you want everyone’s eyes to behold that you have money (or a generous credit card limit).
You don't need to take an aesthetic quiz to define your look. Whereas old money appreciates subtlety, showing off your latest designer haul with a heavily edited VSCO filter is your natural aphrodisiac.
Fill your closet: Celebrity collabs and recognizable high-end brands. The bigger the logo, the better. Opt for attention-grabbing, extravagant branding from heritage European brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, and Versace.
The workwear aesthetic shares similarities with minimalism and streetwear, often combining heritage workwear brands (like Carhartt, Timberland, and Stan Ray) with hot streetwear trends. It gives major big-dick top energy and is all about hard-wearing outerwear, oversized shirts, and bulky footwear. You want to look like the kind of man that can clean out a guy’s pipes.
Fill your closet: Lean toward relaxed fit and sturdy fabrics. Raw denim, work boots, canvas jackets, and overshirts. Like, lots of overshirts.
The “it boy”
No matter where you are, you're the coolest-looking person in the room. Although you won't turn down a designer label, you're more concerned with looks than brand names.
It's all about lush fabrics, a meticulously kept beard, and tailored cuts that fit your form just enough to let everyone know you hit the gym. Picture Taylor Zakhar Perez on the red carpet or a clean-cut twunk wearing ORTTU, one of our go-to LGBTQ clothing brands.
Fill your closet: Every look is a statement. Your aesthetic style is built around distinct pieces that speak to your tastes in the visual arts — a sheer blouse, an exaggerated shoe, and plenty of wig-snatching matching sets. Don't forget your accessories, either. The chic “it boy” has the latest designer bag, eyewear, and footwear on lock.
Beauty is subjective, but early aughts fashion brought us a lot of cringe. Still, hindsight is 20/20, and the Y2K aesthetic style lets you pull from the best of those VMA red carpet looks. If you have an old pair of Von Dutch jeans, this is your moment.
Fill your closet: Your core pieces are baggy flared pants, loose graphic tees, and patchwork denim. Pair everything with chunky shoes, shiny accessories, and anything with a star or flame pattern.
Dark academia's Pinterest board is filled with medieval castles, overcast cobblestone streets, and plush four-poster beds. You're a modern Renaissance man lost in the closet of a 1930s Ivy League professor. You're on the board of the Oxford University Press, rise above the latest slang, and graduated with a PhD in phenomenology.
Fill your closet: Sweaters are what make you distinct. An absurd amount of sweaters: cable knit, turtlenecks, and varsity varieties. Pair everything with pleated pants, trench coats, and classic button-downs. And don't forget detailed accessories, like leather gloves, derby shoes, and a tartan wool scarf.
What aesthetic am I? The slay aesthetic
The beauty of an aesthetic is you don't have to choose just one. Your personal style is like a playlist, and no one wants to hear the same song on infinite repeat. Now that you know 10 aesthetics, choose garments and styles you identify with and feel happy wearing. Who knows — you might create an entirely new trend.