It’s been four years since the public first got word there was a Barbie movie on the horizon. Suffice it to say, everyone is more than ready to watch the Greta Gerwig-directed film, which finally hits theaters on July 21. In anticipation of the long-awaited release date, the style set, from A-listers (hi, Hailey Bieber) to influencers, is fully embracing the viral Barbiecore trend. Case in point: the phrase currently has a whopping 568 million views on TikTok. That said, there’s clearly no sign of the fervor dying down in the remainder of summer.
But, pink’s not for everyone. Some avoid it because it feels too close to their skin tone, and others might feel it's too much of a departure from their tried-and-true neutrals. However, it's easier to translate the shade to street style than you think, especially since you'll have more opportunities to push your sartorial boundaries. “We're embracing [a] Barbie-tastic summer by doing all the things she does: she travels, hangs out with her friends/Ken, practices self-care and love,” says Find Me Now co-founder, Stephanie Callahan. “This summer is back to a little sense of [getting dressed up],” adds fashion stylist Emily DeSimone. “Who better than the queen of wardrobe changes to inspire us?”
Since it’s a Barbie-tastic summer, we’re breaking down how to adjust your closet accordingly.
From High Fashion To Street Style
Of course, it was Valentino's Fall/Winter 2022 Pink PP Collection that first had an internet-breaking impact; a slew of celebrities, from Lana Condor to Sebastian Stan and Lizzo, immediately started wearing head-to-toe fuchsia on the red carpet. The vibrant hue, unsurprisingly, also made a splash on the Spring/Summer 2023 runways. Jacquemus’ collection, for example, was a standout, with a hot pink maxi dress and matching set taking the spotlight. Then there was Rodarte, who showcased a slew of numbers rendered in the bright color, ranging from a bubblegum-looking slip to a raspberry-hued see-through gown.
And this summer, there has been a horde of celebrities tapping into the viral shade, including Gabrielle Union, Kourtney Kardashian, Shay Mitchell, and, of course, Margot Robbie. Even Barbie herself showed us how the original influencer would take on her signature color, to incredible effect on her Instagram page (hit that follow button if you haven’t already).
In practical application, though, the Barbie-approved hue can range from baby pink to fuchsia. And it doesn't have to be an over-the-top look when it's translated to the everyday (unless bright tones are already in your wheelhouse, in which case: go wild). And while the color does, admittedly, come with some gender-specific baggage, there are ways to define the look. For example, hot pink will give you a way to embrace your femininity in a way that bites back — it’s punchy, confident, and demands attention in the most empowered way.
How To Accessorize With Barbie Pink
To be honest, a single pink piece is the easiest, most low-lift way to bring a Barbie mood into your daily fashion. “I think without going too over the top to make it costume-y, so accessory pops of Barbie pink are perfect,” says DeSimone. “You can add a shoe to an outfit or a really cute mini purse.”
If you're feeling truly intimidated, though, start with a bright pink earring and see how it makes you feel. Or add in an element that makes the color gentler; “I think our customers are looking for colors and Barbie-inspired finishes like a glossy, iridescent, or aurora borealis look in addition to candy colors,” says BONBONWHIMS jewelry founder Clare Ngai.
Depending on your skin tone, you might need to experiment with the exact color that suits you best. Take photos both close up and full-length to assess. If you want a frilly aesthetic, great, but it's easy to veer too feminine with the color — so a simple, modern, even slightly masculine style will offer balance.
“Whenever I think of Barbie I immediately think of her in her convertible … living her best life in the driver's seat wearing little sunglasses and a headscarf,” says Ella Wiznia, founder of THE SERIES. “Last spring we came up with our YOYO BANDANAS, [made] out of reconstructed vintage yoyo quilts, [including] the BARBARA YOYO BANDANA (Barbie’s fabulous great aunt??) that has flamingo pink yoyos. I can just see her wearing it as she's speeding down the highway!”
Lastly, opt for something you'll wear a lot, so that the price-per-wear is low and that it's a true investment piece. If you tend to wear tonal looks, go with a pink bag to break up the monochromatic vibe. If you feel like it's missing cohesion, opt for a plum or neon pink lip color or cheek color to tie everything together.
How To Channel Barbie Pink Outfits
Even if your clothing aesthetic is non-neon as a rule, that doesn't mean you have to write off an all-pink look if you're curious to try. A casual summer wedding would be the perfect opportunity to test this out, should you feel like experimenting. Rent the Runway has a wealth of pink gowns for a temporary commitment, or (if you know you'll reuse the outfit) make an investment in something bright and flattering.
“The thing that differentiates a Barbie look from just an outfit is the full commitment to theme,” says luxury womenswear founder Kelsey Randall. “Barbie doesn't just work out — she is in full neon aerobics instructor gear from head to toe. She's not going to give us just jeans and a tee — it’s going to be full ball gown glam, or cowgirl, or literal mermaid. It's about being totally fearless and embracing the camp and fun: Barbie's a toy after all!”
It might sound silly, but think back to the pink Barbie items you were obsessed with, and focus on bringing them into a 2023 adult wardrobe (for me it was her effortless crop top and skirt; lucky for me, matching sets are everywhere right now.) “As millennials who grew up with Barbies, there is definitely a sense of nostalgia to finally be at the age that we can create our own wardrobes — just like we did when we were playing with the dolls,” says DeSimone.
Many fan-favorite brands, from Isabel Marant to Magda Butrym, have a take on the trend. So there are ample ways to tap into the poppin’ hue without ever feeling utterly ridiculous when you leave the house.
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