This Daughter Gives Mom Rundown On Generation Alpha Fashion Slang

When TikTok mom, Christina, went to Target with her 11-year-old daughter, she didn’t know she’d be in for a complete lesson on Generation Alpha fashion, including what’s in, what’s totally out, and what different types of clothing are classified as.

Spoiler alert: the term “preppy” means nothing like it used to!

“When I say ‘aesthetic aesthetic,’ that means like, beige,” Christina’s daughter says to her while holding a cropped, long-sleeve shirt from Target.

Confused already? Don’t worry — me too!

Nevertheless, Christina’s daughter continues to help her mom understand the new fashion trends of tweens and teens, including terms that we totally used when we were their age.

“Apparently, this is preppy,” Christina says, zooming in on an advertisement of a model wearing what appears to be a pink athleisure set.

For millennials and Generation X, being preppy meant popped collars, khakis, tennis skirts, and a sweater tied around your shoulders. The term originated from kids who went to preparatory school (thus “preppy”), and it was typically associated with wealth.

But for Gen Alpha — kids born between (gulp) 2010 and 2025 — it has a whole new meaning.

These days, dressing “preppy” refers to wearing bright colors, especially a lot of pink, and certain accessories, like ribbons and bows. The look is described on TikTok as being “colorful” and “very girly,” with lots of cartoons and smiley face designs, and of course, Lululemon.

Moving on…

Christina’s daughter focuses on two shirts, one pastel pink and the other brown. The shirt has long sleeves made of lace and a bodice style. Her daughter deems the pink one to be more “coquette” while the brown shirt is “cottage core.”

“They’re the same shirt,” Christina jokes.

When it comes to pants, a beige pair of wide-legged cargo pants is considered “aesthetic aesthetic,” while a black pair of the same exact style pants is more “e-girl.”

E-girl culture has been influenced by anime, gaming culture, and 90s and early 2000s fashion (thus the wide-legged pants) as well as Japanese pop culture.

Anything frilly or girly with lace or dainty pearls is considered more “coquette” style. Think Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl.

However, if the same type of clothing item is purple, it might be “Livy.”

“It’s giving Olivia Rodrigo vibes!” her daughter says, pointing to a cropped, purple corset top. I guess the Sour pop star has her own type of clothing aesthetic!?

“In case you’re wondering what these new styles are that all these girls are wearing. That’s your lesson!” Christina concludes.

Her comment section was filled with parents and older generations confused and wondering how fashion trends have changed so much since we were younger.

“What the hell is coquette 😅😅” one user asked.

“I’m sooooo confused! I thought preppy was a polo shirt and loafers,” another said.

One user couldn’t believe that just a certain color could dictate an entire style.

“Im about to pull out a power point for my kid to show different styles because … I work in fashion and I willl nooooot have my daughter color code things as a style. 😭,” they wrote.

“I looked up coquette and apparently it’s flirty/girly,” one user wrote.

The OP replied, “Yes! Think Marie Antoinette!”

While some people found this rebranding of trends to be annoying, especially when it came to the term “preppy,” there is something to be said about Gen Alpha’s attention to detail. Maybe we have a bunch of fashion designers in the making!

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