Accessories, Fashion, Finding your style, Outfit Ideas

Curious How To Achieve The Downtown Girl Aesthetic? Here Are Some Essentials You Need

downtown girl aesthetic

This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s fall editorial intern Hannah Yarrington. Find her on Instagram at @513hny. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at

Recently, my TikTok FYP has been flooded with videos talking about the “downtown girl aesthetic.” I was curious about it and decided to delve into what it was all about! It’s essentially a grunge-inspired style that features casual clothing with colors like black, gray, purple, and earth tones, occasionally juxtaposed with lacy whites and floral patterns. Think Bella Swan with a little bit of Rory Gilmore and Kate Stratford mixed in. This aesthetic has been gaining much traction, and many people are asking what to buy or where to shop to achieve this look. Well, look no further; we’ve got you covered! Here are some essentials to complete your moody downtown girl look.


Now when it comes to tops, the biggest staple piece is a band tee. These can come in the form of an oversized or regular t-shirt or even a tight-fitting baby tee. Think of bands like Radiohead, The Smiths, or any classic 80s rock band. You can also wear oversized sweaters, some classified explicitly as “grandpa sweaters” (here are some other grandpa-inspired outfits to check out as well! ), like chunky cable knit or different striped patterns. Lacy tanks and long sleeves are also commonly worn, along with baseball tops, henleys, and some floral prints. Another huge essential is a leather jacket. It can be brown or black leather, thrifted or bought new; it doesn’t matter! You can also wear a zip-up or a cute cardigan. Any old, cool jacket is acceptable to give your outfit some character!


You can wear many different types of bottoms when it comes to being a downtown girl, anything from jeans to mid-length skirts. If you want to wear jeans, consider baggy jeans (any wash will do) or low-rise bell bottoms. Cargo pants are also super in and can go great with various plain tops to spice up your look. If you’re into being a skirt girly, there are also many options when it comes to skirt selection. All lengths are welcome, but people tend to stick to mini or midi skirts. Jeans and white skirts are more of the staples, but just about any skirt styled with a band tee or some chunky shoes will give off the downtown vibe. If you have baggy denim shorts or even cargo shorts, those are great too! When styling some outfits, just have fun with it!


Moving over to shoes, Converse are an absolute necessity. It can be most styles of Converse: high top, low top, platform, or the same pair of Converse you’ve been wearing since high school that are literally falling apart (definitely not calling out myself lol). Combat boots and chunky loafers are also great. Many downtown girls tend to lean toward Doc Martens, and I can attest that they are worth the investment. If you do decide to bite the bullet, make sure to do loads of research to break them in properly to avoid destroying your feet.


And last but not least, accessories! For bags, downtown girls tend to wear messenger bags or cute tote bags to fit their books and headphones. And speaking of headphones, this is another staple piece I’m sure you’ve seen lately, not only with this aesthetic. But it’s up to you how much you want to spend on headphones if that’s something you’re interested in; there is definitely no pressure to spend a crazy amount on them! As for jewelry, there isn’t necessarily a strict type people wear, though girls tend to wear rings, necklaces, and maybe some dainty earrings. It can be gold or silver, depending on your preference; maybe throw in a heart shape charm or some pearls too. Dark red nails are also commonly worn, as well as hand warmers and claw clips occasionally.

An important thing to remember is that it’s OK to build up these items over time; you don’t need to drop a pretty penny to become a downtown girl. Thrifting is a very viable option and is, in fact, where many of these downtown girls get their clothes! So don’t overthink it, and again, have fun!

Have you heard of the downtown girl aesthetic? What are your thoughts on the recent trend? Let us know!

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