ho in the world doesn’t wish from time to time that they could transport themselves back to the simpler times of childhood days filled with fun adventures, easy-going afternoons, and bright colors that bring out the lighter side of life? One of the newest and hottest fashion trends, Kidcore aesthetic, let’s people do just that. So, sift through those bins of old clothing you used to love and jump on the Kidcore train! The 90’s await.

What exactly is kidcore?

Just like everything in life, fashion aesthetics are constantly changing and evolving. Although some trends tend to push the envelope with new and exciting fashion choices, Kidcore does the opposite by bringing the past back into fashion by tapping into trends that invoke the charisma and joy of childhood.

Kidcore lives and breathes the fun and colorful childhood aesthetic that ruled the world in the 90’s and early 2000’s through favorites like brightly-colored boas, patterned shorts and overalls, and fun, outgoing stickers and butterfly clips that you thought you could only pull off till the age of 13. These greatly-missed fads are becoming a fun new way for Gen Z’ers to embrace their inner child, both through clothing and lifestyle choices.


Iwa-chan :) Also not the fly chilling on my hand at the end😭😭 #fyp #foryou #fypシ #haikyuu #iwachan #iwaizumi #oikawa #anime #foryoupage #kidcore

♬ Iwa Channn - Futaba's Husband

Those who embrace the kidcore aesthetic not only dress the part, they act it too. Just like the way hope was readily available as a young, optimistic kid--kidcore strives to regain that optimistic outlook that inspires kids everyday to be their authentic selves, no matter what’s “in” or “cool.” Kids aren’t afraid to live in the moment and run wild with the endless possibilities life has to offer, which is something kidcore can teach all of us--old and young.

What’s the aesthetic kid core is going for?

When dressing in the kidcore aesthetic, it’s best to picture yourself growing up in the early 90’s when colorful clothing was in, Lisa Frank was the talk of the town, and no one would be caught dead without a scrunchie in their hair or on their wrist in the event of a hair emergency.  

Those who rock the kidcore aesthetic are typically seen wearing nostalgic patterns, graphic t-shirts picturing beloved cartoon characters like tinkerbell, Pokemon, and the gang from the rugrats, and any clothing featuring rainbow-colored retro flowers that give off the peace & love vibes made popular in the 70s. However many typical clothing options kidcore follows, the aesthetic is truly whatever the individual wants to make it. As long as it evokes a youthful look and has some semblance of a rainbow color scheme--you’re golden.

Since kidcore is based on a child-like fashion, it is geared more towards Generation Z considering they’re still practically kids at heart, but that doesn’t mean it’s off limits to older generations to enjoy. Kidcore preaches inclusivity, so you can bet there’s enough rainbow checkered clothing to go around for everyone.

Kidcore can pop up in the most unexpected of places. It’s frequently influenced some fun and flirty nail designs like smiley faces and colorful accents that even Millennials have started sporting since the recent growth in popularity. Celebrities are fans of kidcore as well

Kidcore Lifestyle

The kidcore lifestyle borrows the optimistic feelings, daring activities, and positive outlooks of children who grew up in the 90s before social media took over the world. The aesthetic begs for a simpler time of rolling around in the grass, playing with water guns, and catching the nightly reruns of Hannah Montana while you sit cross legged on the floor staring up at the TV.

The aesthetic can’t be complete without this childhood-like wonder that transports kidcore fanatics to a completely different time and place filled with little to no worries and a focus on the here and now. Being a kid was all about having fun and making the most of every day, which is exactly what this aesthetic wants it’s users to embody from their actions to their clothing.

Where did Kiddiecore start?

Most aesthetics have very humble beginnings starting with a single Tumblr page that ammasses popularity over time, eventually leading to a full-blown subculture with thousands and thousands of fans and followers. Kidcore is no different. It’s unclear exactly the year kidcore began or which tumblr page started the hype, but it’s initial popularity began thanks to several dedicated Kidcore Tumblr blogs that caught the eye of other nostalgia-loving individuals. Eventually, the trend reached Instagram and now in 2021, it’s back in action thanks to Tumblr, Instagram, and social media’s most recent craze--Tik Tok.

Kidcore has recently made its way back to the mainstream media bigger and better than ever before. In fact, the aesthetic has become so popular in the past year that searches for the term ‘Kidcore’ on Etsy had a 2,439 percent jump in a three month span in late 2020. That’s huge!

Kanye West’s apparel brand even borrows some inspiration from the kidcore aesthetic, as West was recently quoted saying he “wants to dress like a child as much as possible.” Although he doesn’t incorporate the bright colors that most kidcore fanatics stand by, his clothing line is meant to go for a laid-back, 90’s aesthetic that relies on being comfortable at all times.

Other high-fashion brands have borrowed the colorful, child-like aesthetic as well with companies like BLVUCCI’s CozyKids clothing line which is filled with pastel windbreakers, crewnecks, t-shirts, and sweatpants.

How to dress in kiddie core fashion

Cute Kidcore Shirts

Graphic T’s

rugrats kidcore aesthetic shirt
Who didn’t love Rugrats growing up? Photo courtesy of Forever21.com

Let your personality and inner child shine through fun and individualistic graphic t shirts featuring your favorite childhood characters. Did you used to be Disney-crazy? A Minnie or Mickey t-shirt checks all of the kidcore boxes without having to put in much effort. Maybe you were more of a Nickelodeon fan? There are dozens of fun spongebob and other Nick Jr. t shirts all over the internet waiting to find a new kidcore home.

Puffy Sleeved Shirts

puffy sleeve kid core aesthetic outfit shirt
A cute and flattering cut that anyone can pull off. Photo courtesy of Lulus.com

Shirts with puff sleeves have become very popular over the past couple years and for good reason. They’re very flattering on just about anybody and you can find them in a wide range of pastels and and cute colors that look great underneath overalls or by themselves.

Pants Every Kid Should Have in Their Closet

Cuffed shorts or pants

cute daisy denim shorts that fit a 90s, Y2K, or kid core aesthetic
Cute daisies will add the perfect touch of childhood to your jean shorts. Photo courtesy of Shein.com

Cuffed shorts and pants bring a young and hip look to any outfit, but imagine your favorite pair of shorts adorned with cute stickers, colorful iron on patches, and fun enamel pins that speak to your personality and your all-time favorite 90’s throwbacks. No pair of kidcore shorts will look alike, that’s what makes it so much fun!

Colorful corduroys

playful pink corduroy kidcore pants
These bubblegum pink pants will make you stand out in any crowd. Photo courtesy of urbanoutfitters.com

Corduroy pants were made popular in the 70s and 80s which makes it a perfect piece to turn the nostalgia level up a notch. These pants typically come in fun colors, so you won’t have to search hard for your new favorite pair. Match them with a cute crop top, a pair of high top shoes, and some braids and you’re on your way to becoming a kidcore influencer, practically!

Overalls: A Kidcore Staple Straight Outta Y2K

You can style these overalls in any way you choose! Photo courtesy of buckle.com

Overalls may seem like more of a farmcore outfit piece, but they’re huge in the kidcore aesthetic. Overalls come in so many cute colors and patterns and can easily be paired with a fun under shirt. If you’re rocking a fun overall dress, you can add some tights underneath for an extra pop of color that screams kidcore.

The Coolest Kidcore Shoes


kidcore footwear in the form of the dye converse
Rainbow converse will add the perfect touch with your kidcore outfit. Photo courtesy of Journeys.com

Converse shoes have a timeless look that truly work at any moment. That’s why they’re perfect for the kidcore aesthetic. They give any outfit an old school look that still looks fresh and trendy. If you want to boost your look even more, wearing colorful converse is the way to go!

90's-Approved Accessories

Butterfly clips

Add some flare to your style with a bunch of beautiful butterflies! Photo courtesy of urbanoutfitters.com

We remember the days of butterfly clips and honestly we’re thrilled that they are back! Nothing retains your youth more than tossing a couple colorful butterfly clips into a cute hairstyle before hitting the town with friends. They’re cute too, so it’s a win win.

Colorful stickers

Stickers are not just for paper anymore. Photo courtesy of LittleBigEarringGirl on Etsy

Stickers may seem like something you put into a notebook or on your favorite bedroom poster, but they can easily become the perfect accessory for a kidcore outfit, especially if your makeup is also on point. Just add a sticker below your eye for the perfect pop of color to take your outfit from okay to kidcore cute.

High Ponies

High ponytails are cute and flattering in anyone’s hair. Photo courtesy of Pinterest.com

Ariana Grande was ahead of this fad before kidcore stole the show, but with this child-like revamp of high ponytails, you’ll go from 25 to 16 again in the blink of an eye. You can spice up your look with colorful hair dyes, butterfly clips, or whatever else you think will add to the childlike wonder of your new kidcore hairdo.

We all deserve to embrace our inner child every once in a while. It’s important to find that fun and optimistic side of yourself in your clothing and overall attitude. Enjoy the nostalgic adventure kidcore brings out in all of us!

Main image courtesy of Eden Faith (@_edenfaith_) on TikTok.

Jul 30, 2021