All About the "Twee" Style and How to Implement It
The twee style was all the rage for a while in the early 2000s and also less than a decade ago. However, it’s made a recent comeback thanks to the trends set by social networks, particularly TikTok.
This fashion is characterized by adopting elements of the ’50s and ’60s, combined with some more current pieces. Read on and we’ll tell you more about how you can incorporate it into your outfits.
The “twee” aesthetic
The word that designates this fashion trend is a deformation, in a good way, of sweet. Such would be a child’s way of pronouncing it. And indeed, many people would agree that the twee style has a bit of sweetness and childishness.
This can be seen in elements such as Peter Pan collars, hair styled in bangs or curls, mini skirts, and flat shoes. It’s an old-fashioned yet current trend, embraced by a hybrid generation, including Gen Z, millennials, and even some baby boomers.
But it’s also said to go a bit beyond clothing. In Twee: The gentle revolution in music, books, television, fashion, and film, American journalist and writer Marc Spitz argues that the phenomenon is identified with values such as freedom, gentleness, and kindness, driven by an ethic of kindness and a sensibility opposed to the social imperative to be “cool.”
On the other hand, one can speak broadly of the twee aesthetic being linked to or influenced by artistic manifestations:
- Literature: JD Salinger, Sylvia Plath.
- Cinema: Wes Anderson ‘s films are considered an example of the twee style.
- Music: Belle and Sebastian, and the indie style in general.
- TV shows: The New Girl. By the way, this was the style adopted by the protagonist of that series, Zooey Deschanel, who’s been called the queen of twee. Her character appears wearing dresses and bows, sometimes with tights and ballerina slippers, and always appears innocent and sweet and doesn’t speak with sarcasm or irony at all.
Additionally, it should be noted the influence that other stars, such as Taylor Swift, have generated in this regard. Although currently, it seems that the most well-known example is Lexi, from the series Euphoria (the character played by actress Maude Apatow, in the cover photo).
How to implement the twee style
Among its characteristics, we can point out the extravagance, as well as the preciousness, the fetishization of childhood, nostalgia, vintage, and retro influences of the 60s and 70s. All this is manifested with a more romantic, feminine, and colorful air.
One of the peculiarities of the twee style is that this mix of new and old lends itself to the incorporation of second-hand clothes, which in turn makes it a more accessible fashion for most. Could this be an explanation for its popularity? Possibly.
But let’s take a closer look at how to implement it. Take note of what you should have in your closet.
We think you may also enjoy reading this article: The Aesthetic Style: What Is It and How Can You Implement It?
Dresses and minidresses
Mini-dresses are preferred in the shape of A. Most are usually sleeveless.
They’re often fitted at the waist and a little open at the hip. They can be cut mid-thigh or slightly above the knee. The straight mini skirt and other types of skirts, such as flared skirts, are also worn.
Knitted jackets and cardigans
Cardigans are a must in this look. They can be in soft tones or bright prints. Of course, the bigger they look, the more twee they will seem.
Since comfort is sought, tights are another essential element in this outfit. They can be dark, like the ones Zooey wears, or with rhombus, checkered, floral, or even animal print…
There’s less tendency to wear heels. In fact, ballerina flats are considered typical of the twee style, as well as being very practical.
However, nowadays there are also high boots and Oxford shoes, as well as different types of loafers, with white socks, in a schoolboy style.
Another notorious feature is the oversized collars, either the Peter Pan type or the so-called goofy collars. In case you’re interested, there are even some that are detachable and that you can combine in different ways, to achieve several layers (they say that this is also typical of this look).
Colors are usually pastels, although not exclusively. Likewise, dark tones can be seen in dresses, brown in shoes, and sometimes silver in flats, as well as various prints, some of which are very retro.
You can complement your outfit with berets or a hat (Bogart or Fedora) and a bag (preferably small). This can be made of leather or tweed fabric. Even gloves are allowed.
Hairstyles that go well with this style are the bob with bangs (a la Anna Wintour); or with bangs framing the face, layered hair, and hair that’s a little disheveled. Don’t forget a bow for a childish touch.
And remember that twee should always have a vintage touch. Here, you can introduce something you got from second-hand markets. Look for items from the ’60s and ’70s or designed according to the usage of those decades.
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The return of the Twee
Twee fashion began to reign supreme at the turn of the millennium. Its reign soon passed, replaced by a more retro aesthetic. Then, in 2010, it was booming again, as you can see by the closets of many Tumblr girls.
The highest point is reached in 2014. It then declined and we find it again in 2022, although it’s claimed that now it reappears with more current pieces. Overall, it seems to be a cyclical phenomenon!
But what is the reason for this resurgence? Well, it’s all attributed to TikTok.
One particularity observed on the aforementioned social network is that guidance is given so that this style is available to everyone, whatever their body type or even the budget available. On the other hand, the applications that exist today make everything that involves making second-hand purchases more accessible and simple. Remember, this process is the basis of the style we’re talking about.
It’s important to remember that it’s not only about the look, but also about a way of being. The twee look implies a person who seems more innocent, pure, gentle, and pleasant, with an interest in music, reading, and romantic movies. However, this vision is also partly criticized for being considered somewhat stereotypical femininity.
Anyway, if you have some clothes that are twee in your closet, and this style catches your attention, dust them off and give them a try. It seems that the trend will continue in 2023.
COVER IMAGE: EUPHORIA.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Drost, W. (2013). A study in pink and other feminine stereotype: the effect on congruence between self-construal and gender stereotypes on the appraisal of products and Aavertisements. University of Twente. Enschede, Países Bajos.
- Hertweck, T. The great frame-up: Wes Anderson and twee narrative contrivance. Texas Studies in Literature and Language, Volume 60(2), DOI: 10.7560/TSLL60202.
- Schaffner, A. (2015). The Twee tribe. Times Literary Supplement, 1-3.
- Spitz, M. (2014), Twee: the gentle revolution in music, books, television, fashion, and film. New York-USA, Harper Collins.