f you’ve been anywhere near TikTok or Tumblr over the past year, it’s clear there are plenty of new and exciting fashion trends to catch up on. However, one aesthetic has stood the test of time and even gone through a couple of revamps along the way. The fashion aesthetic we’re talking about is none other than E-girl and it’s everywhere.
If you have no idea about what an E-girl is or even where the subculture started, we’ll get you up to speed on the basics. The E in E-girl stands for electronic because of their association with the internet. An E-girls primary persona revolves around their presence on social media and the use of social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Tumblr, posting their eclectic style and colorfully dyed hair.
You can't talk about e-girls without talking about gamer girls
When E-girls first popped up on the scene in 2010, the term was used in a derogatory sense. It was a slur used for female video gamers, claiming that e-girls were using their bodies and interest in video games to vie for men's’ attention online, but women have recently taken the narrative of the aesthetic back, giving it an empowering and independent voice.
Today’s E-girls are celebrated for their savvy internet skills and bold fashion sense. Some are even masters of internet landscapes typically dominated by men such as video games, video editing, graphic design, and more.
Obviously, not every e-girl is into video games and not every female gamer is an e-girl, but there is still a huge overlap between the two, with e-girls frequently showing off their gaming setups and promoting their twitch streams across their other social media accounts.
Where did the E-girl culture start?
The e-girl subculture rose from the depths of the internet in the early 2000s from social media spaces like Tumblr where like-minded individuals gathered together to create blog spaces dedicated to the electronic inspired aesthetic and lifestyle. Since then, TikTok and Instagram have caused the subculture to skyrocket, revamping the trend to match the ever-growing landscapes social media has provided for creatives all over the internet. A fashion statement that originally started with dark clothes, chains, and grunge hairstyles has propelled itself into one of the most popular trends known to Millennials and Gen Z’ers.
Pop culture references and e-girl inspirations
Pop culture has always played a role in inspiring generations’ new fashion ventures and overall aesthetics. It’s easy to be influenced by characters you love and respect, so why not dress and act like them too? Some of the most popular pop culture E-girls have a stronghold on the overall aesthetic like Ramona Flowers from Scott Pilgrim against the world, Kat’s dominatrix style cam girl character from the popular HBO series Euphoria, and even Princess Peach from the Super Mario’s Brothers Franchise.
Although the fashion embraced by the e-girl aesthetic is relatively new, the unapologetic, self-determined attitude associated with the subculture has been a focal point of various TV shows, anime, movies, and video games since the beginning of time. Hollywood loves a strong independent woman, and so do e-girls. The embodiment of individuality puts some of these characters at the top of our e-girl inspiration list.
Not all e-girls' inspirations are created equal. Some have evil tendencies like Harley Quinn’s mischievous character of the batman television and movie saga. Harley Quinn is known for her outrageously colorful outfits and aggressive, yet silly demeanor that makes her character truly unforgettable. Her do-it-herself attitude and outfits of choice have greatly influenced the e-girl culture.
Other e-girl inspirations are taken from characters as equally bold and flamboyant as Harley Quinn, but with a more heroic side. The popular anime TV show Sailor Moon involves a group of girls who fight crime and look good while doing it. Sailor Moon has had a wide influence on many e-girls who adore the colorful hair and girly outfits, while also sticking to the love of all things anime.
E-girl is a broad term that covers a wide range of different but related aesthetic. The e-girl aesthetic includes everything from soft color palettes + squishy Nintendo characters like Kirby and Jigglypuff to grunge e-girl looks inspired by musicians like Billie Eilish. Some have used the rising popularity of the aesthetic to boost their own brand through the typical avenues like Instagram, TikTok, or gaming sites like Twitch.
It's hard to talk about e-girls without mentioning Belle Delphine, who rose to the scene in 2019 for packaging and selling her own bath water. Though identifiable by her bubble-gum inspired e-girl aesthetic, Delphine has largely been rejected as a source of fashion inspiration within the e-gril scene due to content published on various platforms, which has been criticized for promoting the sexualization of childlike qualities and the fetishization of Asian cultures.
While some e-girls like Delphine lean into the harmful trend of hypersexualizing e-girl and gamer girl culture, the vast majority of e-girls reject these stereotypes and are more than happy to help shut down predatory commenters on videos and posts. E-girls are in it because they like the look, they like the games, and they like hanging out with other people who feel the same way.
No matter the differences between the various subdivisions of this aesthetic, they still uphold similar themes of bold style, and self-confidence, and determination that stands out from the crowd. E-girls are not afraid of being who they are and they’ll never apologize for it.
How to dress like an e-girl
Although the term e-girl refers to much more than just an aesthetic, it’s common for some people to enjoy the e-girl fashion choices without embracing the full lifestyle. But, what exactly constitutes e-girl fashion? The E-girl aesthetic tends to borrow some of it’s most popular trends from emo and punk origins, but it’s best not to confuse the different trends because the similarities begin and end there.
E-girls have a wide variety of fashion to choose from when it comes to their aesthetic because each person represents the trend in their own, individualistic way. That being said, there are a few key fashion characteristics that stand out as staples in an E-girl aesthetic.
Oversized Graphic T’s
Every e-girl knows you can never own enough graphic T shirts. Graphic T shirts are a classic clothing piece that every e-girl wardrobe consists of. Oversized T’s are perfect for every occasion from chilling in the house playing video games to drinks out with the girls. Vintage band t shirts or graphic t’s of scenes from your favorite movies or TV shows will allow you to add to your style while keeping a bit of quirk in the mix. With the wide variety of Graphic T’s available on the market, you can find the perfect style to fit your independent and ambitious personality.
Styling a Graphic T is as simple as wearing it on its own or adding a striped long sleeve underneath. You can’t go wrong with this simple, yet fashionable e-girl staple piece.
Crop tops can fit into any trend, but e-girls do it best when it comes to bare mid drifts. Nothing accentuates the waist better than a cute crop top paired with a high waisted skirt or color pant set. E-girls love to rock patterned, striped, and brightly colored long and short sleeve crops with oversized jackets, layered chains and chunky shoes. It's the perfect option to add some extra fun fashion to your e-girl aesthetic.
Plaid or patterned skirts
Plaid skirts take us back to the days of Avril Lavigne punk-inspired style. Stick with neutral grey or mix it up with some cute pastel plaids and patterns that pair beautifully with a cropped graphic t and biker jacket. Adding a pair of cute stockings can also create the perfect winter e-girl outfit for any outing.
Color pop pants
One thing e-girls know how to do is stand out and that’s exactly what these colored cargo pants are meant for. The best cargo pants will cinch your waist and give your legs an elongated look while also upgrading your whole look. These pants are best paired with a crop top and beanie for the ultimate e-girl outfit.
A great pair of platform sneakers goes with any outfit, which is why they’re the perfect addition to every e-girl wardrobe. You can pair these squeaky white sneaks with your patterned plaid skirt, baggy cargo pants, or cute mini dress.
Combat boots will help every e-girl channel her inner Avril Lavigne. These chunky black boots add the perfect pink of punk to any e-girl outfit. Our favorite brands are doc martens, but any combat boots will work!
E-Girl Hairstyles and Accessories
Bring your e-girl style up to the next level with some layered chains that accentuate each and every outfit. What’s fun about chains is you can mix and match whatever styles you like to bring out your personality.
Chokers take us back to our middle school days, but they’ve officially made their way back into the fashion scene thanks to the e-girl aesthetic. Chokers look great on their own or paired with some fun chains. It’s whatever you’re feeling to individualize your e-girl look.
Rainbow Hair? Check.
Colored hair is a huge trend in E-girl fashion and has begun taking over more and more as TikTok grows in popularity. No color is off limits and no hairstyle can be too crazy. The brighter the better baby!
Bright colors are often blocked into an e-girl's hairstyle -- many e-girls choose to part their hair down the middle and dye both sides of their hair a different color, and others go for the easier to achieve but equally vibrant trend of dying their bangs or long pieces of hair framing their face.
Serving Big, Bold Makeup Looks
Heavy makeup is another widely used trend among E-girls. There are dozens of Youtube tutorials on how to achieve the perfect E-girl makeup look and TikTok has contributed it’s fair share of Euphoria-inspired looks that involve glitter, bright colors, and creative winged liners.
Whether you’re all in on the e-girl subculture or you’re just discovering the e-girl inside you, there’s inspiration all over the world to help turn yourself from a normal girl to an electronic maven ready to hit the town with your colorful locks and layered chains. We salute you Billie Eilish!
Main image courtesy of Mia Lopez (@mia_lxpez) on TikTok.