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A Brat Girl Summer Guide For Dummies: What It Is And How To Pull Off The Trend

The older I get, the more I unironically sound like Regina George’s Mom in Mean Girls as I desperately beg the youths in my life to explain what’s actually cool, and then explain it a second time like I’m five. What is the 411? What is the hot gossip? Tell me everything… What are you guys listening to? What’s the cool jams? Luckily for me, summer 2024 is all about the pop girlies, so answering the last question is not exactly a headscratcher. Even us 30-year-olds going on 65 didn’t miss the memo that this is the season of Charli XCX’s Brat Girl Summer. Not to be confused with Rat Girl Summer, or the even more niche Tomato Girl Summer, Brat Summer is the slime green movement inspired by one Charlotte Emma Aitchison’s beloved album BRAT.

At this point, every living breathing soul with internet access should recognize the radioactive shade of green that is surely going to be the Pantone color of the year in 2025. But just because you have every “Girl, So Confusing” meme saved to your camera roll, doesn’t mean the rules to Brat Girl Summer are painfully obvious. Thus I’ve decided to gift my slightly less chronically online peers with a foolproof guide to Charli XCX’s Brat Girl Summer trend. Because if this summer is going to be extremely hot, you might as well go ahead and match its freak.

What is Brat Summer?

Charli XCX New York streetstyle
Image Credit: Getty Images

Brat Girl Summer is the viral aesthetic and lifestyle associated with being a Brat AKA a fan/follower of undisputed world leader Charli XCX. Which of course begs the question, who qualifies as a Brat (other than Julia Fox or her sister-in-law-to-be Gabriette)? In a TikTok interview, Charli XCX broke down the meaning of a Brat in lamens terms everyone can understand: “You’re that girl who is a bit messy and loves to party and maybe says dumb things sometimes. She’s honest, blunt, and a little bit volatile. That’s Brat.” I personally think the lyrics of “Mean girls” are the Brattiest of the entire album:

Yeah, it’s 4 a.m., and she’s out there
With the razor-sharp tongue stuck to skinny cigarettes
Calls him Daddy while she’s fingering a gold cross
And she’s kinda fucked up, but she’s still in Vogue
Yeah, she’s in her mid-twenties, real intelligent
And you hate the fact she’s New York City’s darling

You said she’s problematic and the way you say it, so fanatic
Think she already knows that you’re obsessed

Even those of us not in our mid-twenties (RIP my youth) can catch this bratty wave, and it goes far beyond wearing the color green. Living like a brat this summer means reclaiming a slutty wardrobe because every body deserves to be a slutty body, talking shit but being able to say you’re sorry, blasting hyperpop while you cry out your hangover, and bleaching your eyebrows while letting your unibrow grow in unbothered, to name just a few examples. It’s the edgy mash-up of high/low that lazy girls who still love to look hot have been dying to come back into style since Ke$ha went hardcore with glitter on the floor.

What are the Brat Girl Summer essentials?

@thenewsmovement Friday marked the start of 💚Brat Summer💚 and we’re living for it. Charlie XCX released her 15 song album on Friday, but then went on to surprise fans with 3 more songs on an extended version released on Sunday 🤯 #bratgirlsummer #bratsummer #charlixcx #music #brat ♬ original sound – The News Movement

According to Charli, the decision of what items are essential for a successful Brat summer lays squarely in the chipped nail polish-covered hands of each individual Brat. It could involve a luxury speedboat and champagne glasses full of liquor, like Charli’s bestie cruise in Italy. But, in the reigning Brat’s own words, it could “also go kind of trashy” with a strappy white top, a pack of ciggies, and a Bic lighter. We love a celebrity trend that works on a budget. Here is a curated list of bratty items and ideas to make your Brat Girl Summer complete:

  • A hand-bedazzled cigarette case
  • A knockoff designer purse from your middle school closet
  • Removable tooth gems
  • Wired headphones that always get tangled
  • Y2K flavored lip gloss that confuses men
  • A stack of rings for your middle finger
  • Makeup wipes regardless of the skincare police’s opinions
  • An eye mask and ear plugs to help you sleep in after staying up all night

Whatever your bratty little heart desires! Brat Summer above all else is about vibing out your way and not giving a fuck what anyone else has to say about it.

Marissa Dow
Marissa Dow
MARISSA is a trending news writer at Betches. She's more than just another pop-culture-addicted-east-coaster-turned-LA-transplant...she's also an upcoming television writer and aspiring Real Housewife (whichever comes first). Live, laugh, balegdah.