What do you get when you mix indie-rock nostalgia, grunge and hella "I'm with the band" energy? You get indie aesthetic - the fashion lovechild of the '90s. Think of flannels, denim, and layering of jewellery. Basically the original cool girl. No, don't think of the cool girl monologue from Gone Girl. We're talking positive cool girl: the epitome of women in the '90s, taking back masculine elements of fashion for themselves. In the nineties, women said goodbye to frills and lace and hello to structured fabrics and earthy tones.
Don't get it twisted, the indie aesthetic genre has changed over the years. Some of the younger generations define indie aesthetic as being more colourful and vivid, named "indie core", but still with the '90s influence of layering and comfort. However, we would define this style as more E-girl than indie. Luckily for you, we've got a guide to E-girl outfits too. What can we say, we are Cher Horowitz-level addicted to fashion.
So, if you want to dress like a true '90s indie gal, follow our guide below. A millennial masterclass if you will. We've got a mood board for inspo, as well as a full guide on where to buy the best indie clothing and accessories.
What does the indie aesthetic look like?
We've created some mood boards to remind you of that authentic indie aesthetic experience. Of course, we have to say hail Mary to the forerunner of indie fashion in the '90s and early noughties: Mrs Drew Barrymore. A wild child in her younger days, the Scream star rocked the indie aesthetic with ease.
Elements that she pulled from the indie aesthetic included: floral shirts and dresses, wide-brim hats, flannel, checks, tartan, baggy jumpers, graphic tees, leather jackets and denim shorts.
You can see the indie aesthetic defo takes inspiration from grunge and also a bit of noughties hipster fashion (although not too much - we're not going into moustache shirt territory here). The vibe is comfort with a hint of edge. Looking like this, you're totally ready to stand in the middle of a concert crowd and whisper to the person next to you "my partner's in this band. Wanna come to the after-party?"
So, what do you need to get your indie aesthetic wardrobe started? We've got the only lookbook you'll need right here, with fashion from UK high street shops that won't cost you the earth.
CHECK OUT: Where to buy the best indie aesthetic outfits online 2022
Indie aesthetic: where to shop the look in 2022
Let's start with shirts and tees...This is possibly the most '90s shirt you've ever seen. We love it. Totally indie.
Indie aesthetic includes floral designs, but in more masculine cuts such as the bowling shirt style.
For the indie aesthetic, band tees are a must. We love this Pink Floyd cropped tee from Urban Outfitters.
These tank tops come in a bunch of different designs but are all indie aesthetic approved. We want to buy them all ud83dude2d. (Btw, reviews recommend you size up.)
You can't be an indie chick without some good ol' flannel.
You can choose from seven different colours with the H&M checkered shirt, including red, brown/white, black, light beige, light purple, yellow and light grey.
Oversized jumpers are truly one of life's pleasures. Basically a wearable blanket ud83dude0d.
Next, let's tackle trousers...When it comes to denim, the more ripped, the better.
However, if you're haunted by your nan berating you for buying pre-ripped jeans, these baggy high-waisted jeans from H&M are also brilliant. You can get them in four different shades.
The sun is finally out, so chuck on your denim shorts and look festival ready.
If you're not a denim diva, these checked trousers from Disturbia are indie as heck.
Let's get dressy up in this ish...Indie aesthetics also brings in elements of '70s hippy culture, which we are always happy to see ud83cudf38.
A checkered mini dress is essential indie equipment.
Some jackets for layering up...A good quality denim jacket will last you a lifetime, so it's a fabulous investment for your fashion future.
Feel like an indie rocker with this super affordable leather jacket from ASOS (faux, of course, 'cause we love the animals.)
Accessories are essential...Beanie hats are an indie aesthetic must. There are different beanie designs you can go for, but the trawler beanie is our fav for that '90s feel.
We love this light-coloured North Face beanie, too.
Would it really be an indie fashion lookbook without a fedora? We say bring the fedora back: if low-rise jeans are having their moment, why can't they?
This bucket hat comes in either lilac or black. The bucket hat is more Gen Z indie core influence, but we love to see it.
Indie aesthetics can sometimes merge into emo territory. All millennials had their emo phase (don't lie to yourself), so this blend is perfect to bring back the nostalgia.
And finally, let's finish with some shoes...Every indie girl back in the day had a pair of Converse on their shoe rack. They're a timeless piece of footwear that will never go out of style.
This image just gave you violent flashbacks to the early noughties, didn't it? Give yourself a moment to recover.
Kick 'em to the curb with a pair of iconic vegan Dr Martens. We recommend also getting the Wonder Balsam to help break your boots in.
Pop on a pair of retro-style trainers with your ripped jeans and jean jacket, and you'll be a total '90s bombshell.