Granted, finding your style is by no means an easy feat. There are so many different types of fashion styles, each of which has its own unique “character.” It’s no secret that our sartorial experiments are the best way to show off our personality without having to speak a single word.
Fashion styles vs. Fashion trends
It may sometimes seem confusing, but fashion aesthetics are not necessarily related to trends. While we can incorporate subtle elements of our favorite fads, the different types of clothing styles have a much more impressive staying power.
For example, the cult-favorite cottagecore trend falls under the minimalistic style or preppy fashion umbrella, and the nostalgia-inducing 80s and 70s trends belong to the vintage style fashion category.
So whether you are trying to figure out your style or simply looking for a spotlight-stealing attire for your next outing, take a look at the 10 fashion styles ahead.
What are some types of fashion styles?
The Parisian fashion style is all about being très chic while embracing minimalism. Consider it an effortlessly cool, classic, lighthearted aesthetic that gives off subtle hints of sophistication. Parisian style is the ultimate blend of dressed-up and laid-back with monochromatic wardrobe staples that perfectly co-exist in your rotation.
Instead of a full face of makeup with foundation and heavy lipstick, French girls opt for tinted moisturizers or concealers, along with the “clean girl” hairstyle. In this masculine-féminin attire, neutral tones, blazers, white button-up shirts, jeans, white sneakers, and delicate pieces of jewelry take the front seat.
So unlike the bold and multi-printed pieces in Emily In Paris, versatile and timeless basics are preferred.
Check out our full guide for mastering the Parisian style!
The athleisure fashion style is a recent addition to the list of different styles women love. This aesthetic is the perfect blend of utterly comfortable gym staples and laid-back coffee-date with friends type of dressing.
Mastering the “athletic” and “leisure” look is quite simple. The key elements are oversized pieces mixed with body-tight styles such as baggy hoodies paired with biker shorts or technical pants mixed with sports bras. Here is where clean cuts and simple silhouettes meet fitness-inspired accessories like baseball hats and backpacks.
So to put it simply, the ultimate athleisure style outfit is the one that makes you look like you’re always on the go.
Check out our full guide for mastering the athleisure style!
While many types of fashion styles are about trusting the “basics,” nothing can rival the timeless allure of the classic dressing style. Instead of relying on trends, the classic aesthetic is based on elegant, refined pieces such as a simple pair of jeans with a blazer and accompanying neutral-toned accessories like scarves and tote or crossbody bags.
When building a classic wardrobe, black, navy, gray, and tan hues are preferred. So tailored suits and skirt suits, button-up shirts, light-colored sweaters, wool overcoats, trench coats, and monochromatic pumps or booties are the most trusted classic staples.
Ultimately, this aesthetic is all about clean, perfectly-tailored pieces that work for every occasion.
Streetstyle style is all the rage and for a pretty good reason. Born from subculture groups like skateboarders, surfers, and hip-hop artists, these refreshingly modern, usually casual clothing styles have undergone a luxury makeover. “Limited Edition” sneakers and artistically-inclined t-shirts paired up with sweatshirts and joggers are the uniform of choice for hypebeasts.
Traditionally masculine pieces such as bomber jackets and workwear are also well-loved in the streetwear style community. Some experiment with loud, all-over prints, while others prefer more subtle athletic-inspired tracksuits.
While streetwear may sometimes come with an aura of exclusivity, men and women of all ages are into the cool-casual way of dressing with or without designer pieces.
Business Casual style
Probably one of the most popular types of fashion styles, business casual, born in Silicon Valley in the early 1980s, is pretty self-explanatory. Consider it the perfect blend of traditional business wear with more relaxed pieces that are suitable for the office yet not overly formal or polished. However, that doesn’t mean that this aesthetic is strictly for on-duty dressing.
Skirts, slacks, blouses, blazers, and flats or ankle boots can be your daily ensemble of choice. Sweaters, cardigans, and polo/knit shirts perfectly paired up with tailored trousers in neutral or dark hues give off a smart, yet comfy-chic vibe that suits the lives of modern women on the go.
So you can thank the many young computer and Internet entrepreneurs who refused to wear business suits back in the day because otherwise, we’d still wear restrictive and highly uncomfortable business suits daily.
Nostalgia is the name of the game, and what’s a better way to show off your love for fashionably old fashion looks than by tapping into the retro-style territory? The term “retro” typically refers to the two decades that are 20–30 years before the current one, but most people tend to extend the timeline a bit more, covering 40 and even 50 years.
The revival of Y2K falls under this same category. So retro style can include butterfly clips, low-waisted jeans, glitter the oh-so-familiar two-toned hair.
Do you love polished oversized blazers with padded shoulders, tie-dye tees, or fringe-covered suede jackets? That’s 80s retro style! Ultimately, the retro aesthetic is an eclectic mix of old styles paired up with modern elements that capture the zeitgeist of the previous decades.
Amidst the many fashion styles, minimalism reigns supreme in the clean-dressing fashion sphere. Contrary to popular belief, minimalism does not only refer to monochromatic basics, but also to the overall idea of t stripping back the unnecessary by creating a wardrobe that’s super functional and highly versatile but still limited in terms of quantity.
Consider it as the antithesis of the new age over consumerism.
So to put it simply, a minimalistic wardrobe is relatively small because it contains pieces you actually need. Some great examples are a wear-me-everywhere turtleneck, a pair of perfectly-fitted jeans, a neutral-colored sweater, a classic blazer, etc.
Vintage fashion style is 2022’s biggest buzzword! Typically, the term refers to items made between 20 years ago and 100 years ago.
Again, there are no rules to what you should or should not wear when it comes to vintage dressing. For example, 20s flapper dresses, 1940s tweed skirts, Wayfarer sunnies, and 90s flannel shirts are all, in fact, vintage.
The key to dressing vintage is to opt for pieces representative of the era in which they were produced. And while you can go full-on vintage, sprinkling your looks with modern-day elements to make it even more interesting.
Firstly becoming popular thanks to Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam, the grunge fashion style is all about scoring durable and timeless thrift-store clothing that doesn’t put much emphasis on the silhouette.
The grunge aesthetic was all about comfort and experimentation: clad in brown, beige, grey, and black flannel, ripped jeans, and oversized silhouettes. Clunky combat boots and Doc Martens were all the rage, while chokers and hoop earrings were the ultimate jewelry of choice.
Chic fashion style is universally loved by women who prefer smart elegance and sophistication with the right dose of trend-driven edge. Usually, the chic style includes some type of dressy elements like the old-time classic little black dress, ultra-feminine blouses, or neutral-colored tailored trousers.
The coveted modern-of-duty look is the epitome of modern chic dressing with sleek, minimalistic details that still look effortlessly put together. Animal prints and polka dots are vital patterns of the “chic uniform”.
Bohemian/bohemian chic style
When it comes to free-spirited dressing, not many types of fashion styles can rival the beauty of a bohemian chic look.
Closely associated with the hippie fashion movement that reigned in the 60s and 70s, modern bohemian chic style is a celebration of natural fabrics, nostalgic retro patterns, warm shades, and bold statement accessories in gold and silver.
To master the bohemian aesthetic, opt for loose yet flattering florals and paisleys mixed with natural prints. Hues like olive green, mustard yellow, and grays are the key colors, while fringe, crochet, and macramé are the textures of choice for bags, tops, and even jewelry.
Consider the trendy style as the Billboard Hot 100 equivalent of fashion. This type of dressing is as fashionable and up-to-date as it gets! Ultimately, trendy dressing revolves around the latest fads that manage to generate a lot of interest quickly.
Hoodies under blazers and dopamine-dressing, for example, are 2021-2022’s trendiest street style looks while biking shorts and slip dresses were the thing to wear in 2019. And if your bag is the newest, coolest type, it’s definitely trendy.
Inspired by traditional English dress codes in the 1920s, preppy style is all about styling classic basics and incorporating ultra-feminine elements into your daily ensembles.
Just look at Blair Waldorf and the students of Constance Billard (class of 2009) to steal some ideas about this clean, intentionally-loved style.
Knitwear in pastel colors, pearl jewelry, headbands, pleated skirts or skorts with timeless tote bags, and tops with mostly conservative necklines are the most prominent elements of a preppy chic wardrobe. Most importantly? It never really goes out of style!
Along with bohemian and business casual, the punk style is perhaps one of the world’s most instantly recognizable types of fashion styles. Vivienne Westwood is often cited as the creator of the punk style aesthetic that dates back to the mid-1970s.
While old-school punk was all about leather, denim, metal spikes or studs, chains, and military-style boots, in 2022 many new elements have been incorporated, including patterned skirts, band tees, and ripped mesh.
Like every other cultural style, punk comes with a slew of subgenres like “garage punk”, “glam punk”, “skate punk”, and more.
As the name suggests, the Tomboy style is centered around typically masculine clothing with looser cuts that are all about comfort. You can consider the tomboy aesthetic as the antithesis of dainty and delicate (common elements of preppy, minimalist, chic, and many more types of fashion styles).
The ultimate tomboy uniform consists of leather or comfy bomber jackets, straight denim or mom jeans, oversized hoodies, sneakers, and a slew of head accessories like bandanas, beanies, and baseball hats perfect for lounging or playing sports.
Dark and mysterious, the gothic fashion style is mainly related to gothic rock, an offshoot of the post-punk music genre of the 70s and 80s.
While the rebellious philosophy of “live fast – die young” remains the same to this day, neo-Goths are divided into many different genres.
From classic, Victorian-inspired styles that include lace, white makeup with dark eyes, corsets, and ruffle blouses to casual gothic that revolves around all-black jeans, t-shirts, and all-star sneakers or Doc Martens. Cyber goths, on the other hand, blend traditional gothic and industrial elements like fluorescent colors over knee boots.
The Rocker style could only be described as sexy and minimalist with sprinkles of a dark edge. Straying away from baggy and mum silhouettes, rockers embrace skinny jeans with platforms, sneakers, or ankle boots.
Also, embellished leather jackets layered on slouchy tees finished with Doc Martens or spiked boots are the outfits of choice for both day and night-out ensembles. Black leggings with texture or tight vinyl pants and cat-eye makeup with red or burgundy lips are also a part of the rocker-style uniform.
Unlike most types of fashion styles, the ethnic one is inspired by the culture where it originates, and thus, it can look different from person to person. It’s all about embracing your cultural roots.
From Indian-inspired fashion with saris and choli tops to Egyptian, Chinese, Japanese, and Moroccan as well as African styles with dashikis, caftans, and heritage prints, “ethnic” can take a slew of different forms according to each person’s origin.
The girly aesthetic revolves around colors and prints associated with a girl’s traditional gender role. The style includes massive doses of light pastels, bright colors, and neutrals, combined with girly patterns like florals and multiple variations of ruffles and frills.
If you want to master the girly style aesthetic, opt for silk blouses, chiffon, crepe, or lace, and finish the look with bows and beaded or pearl jewelry.
Do you lack inspiration? All you have to do is glimpse Rachel McAdams’ iconic look in the movie Mean Girls or the nostalgia-inducing ensembles of Sharpay in Highschool Musical.
Lolita is one of the most popular types of fashion styles in Japan that perfectly blends Victorian aesthetic clothing with Rococo fashion. In other words, Lolita is the epitome of Hello-Kity level of cuteness which can be described as a mixture of gothic, classic, and sweet. The style was born in the 70s in the Harajuku neighborhood in Tokyo.
If you want to dress according to this feminine and modest style more casually, opt for a button-down, cupcake, bell skirt, and button-down shirt with a peter-pan collar. Or, if you want to go all-in, choose an authentic lolita dress with a petticoat beneath the skirt to add extra volume.
Adorn your hair with a big, ultra-cute bow, and finish the look with platform Mary Janes.
Much like Lolita, Kawaii is a Japanese artistic and cultural style that leans towards a more childlike appearance with lovely, bright colors. All you have to do is, well, dress adorably!
Choose dresses and tops with cute ruffles and frills in pastel colors; light suspender skirts and pastel dungarees layered on top of puff-sleeve shirts are ideal for Kawaii dressing.
You can also add thigh-high or knee socks with various cute prints and opt for adorable bows and ribbons to accessories your hair. It’s all about looking innocent and clean, so go as light as you can with makeup.
At the end of the day, everything depends on your personality and lifestyle. There are many different types of fashion styles, from grunge and vintage to Parisian and streetwear. All you have to do is find the one that suits your taste and makes you feel beautiful and confident.