It’s a new year, which means new resolutions, a new season of The Bachelor, and, of course, new trends. So, what’s in store for 2023? According to Pinterest, travel will be via train, weddings will be orange-colored, and RomCom core will take over the runway. (Apparently the trend of adding the word “core” to every style aesthetic isn’t going anywhere, either.)
“Last summer was Y2K style, this year it’s RomCom chic,” Chellie Carlson, a personal stylist, tells me. Because, you know, shit changes faster than your paychecks come in. Luckily, RomCom core is a pretty attainable aesthetic, no matter what your budget.
So, sit back and get ready to unleash your inner Kate Hudson as I break down everything you need to know about 2023’s core style.
What Is RomCom Core?
Holly Katz, personal stylist and host of the Fashion Crimes podcast, says RomCom core can be described as “sartorial choices from ’90s and 2000’s romantic comedy movies.”
Basically, it means dressing like your favorite rom-com era character. Style inspiration is based on the golden age of rom-coms—1990 through 2010. Think movies like How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, My Best Friend’s Wedding, 13 Going On 30, Clueless, 10 Things I Hate About You, and When Harry Met Sally (which is technically from 1989, but still counts for the purposes of this aesthetic).
It’s peak-90’s femininity meets 2000’s-era prep.
So, It’s The Y2K Aesthetic?
Kinda. It’s a new, more romanticized version of Y2K fashion with elements of Barbiecore, light academia, and Normcore. But, perhaps most importantly, the aesthetic features a heavy does of main character energy.
At its core, RomCom core is about “embodying strong female energy and radiating confidence,” Carlson says. “It’s an homage to the powerful leading ladies” of the romcom-era.
It’s not just about the fashion, but about the underlying attitude. Think about what these romcom heroines have in common. They’re full of charm, wit, optimism, and, of course, impeccable wardrobes that allow for the perfect meet-cute opportunity.
How Do You Get The RomCom Core Look?
Aside from the inner confidence thing, there are a number of different styles you can draw inspiration from, making it one of the more attainable fashion trends. Take 10 Things I Hate About You, for example. You’ve got the grungy, tomboy look a la Kat or the sweet, girly style that defines Bianca. And both are part of the RomCom core aesthetic.
But regardless of what type of romcom energy you want to portray, there are a few basic clothing staples to look for.
Shirts are cropped and strappy; tank tops, tube tops, corset tops are popular as are cropped cardigans and baby tees. Jeans are once again of the low-rise variety. And, while skinny jeans aren’t back (sorry, millennials), they’re not quite as wide or baggy as they were in 2022. Instead, look for loose-fitting jeans in straight-leg or boyfriend cut.
A-line mini-skirts and slip dresses are also staples, along with floral print sundresses, oversized blazers, and kitten heels. Another fun item coming back according to Katz? The Afghan coat (also known as the Penny Lane coat) a la Almost Famous.
Where Can You Find RomCom Core Basics?
Aside from your closet, you’ll have no problem getting the look this year.
Jeanel Alvarado, editor-in-chief of Retail Boss and shopping-trend expert, tells me that several “major retailers are betting on the RomCom trend” with both style and texture. Relaxed-fit blazers, mini-skirts, and cropped cardigans are popular along with tweed, houndstooth, and plaid.
The haute pink collection from Michael Kors takes a page from the Elle Woods playbook with two-piece suits in Legally Blonde pink. You can also see some hints of Clueless inspo with matching cropped cardigan and mini-skirt sets.
Kate Spade also features a number of RomCom core pieces; plaid skirts, oversized tweed blazers, tiny handbags, and cropped cardigans—all of which serve to give an “overall ambitious woman vibe,” Alvarado says.
If you’re still stuck, look to Bella Hadid for inspiration. Seriously, almost every paparazzi picture of her could be a still from a romcom. And before you buy anything for your wardrobe, ask yourself: “would Kate Hudson wear this?”
Featured image courtesy of Vulture