Tropical prints, temporary glitter tattoos, halter tops — ever wanted to relive those early aughts fashion choices judgment-free? Enter “coconut girl,” a made-for-summer aesthetic that took over TikTok in summer 2021. Like many current what’s-old-is-new-again fashion trends such as Juicy Couture tracksuits and low-rise denim, the trend brings us right back to 2000s style with its flowy skirts and beaded necklaces. Think early 2000s Rihanna with splashes of Blue Crush and The O.C. But after the aesthetic took off last summer, Polynesian creators were quick to point out that the term “coconut” is actually a slur in Pacific Islander culture. The clothing itself is a nod to Y2K beachwear, but that too got its inspiration from islanders (see: hibiscus-patterned dresses and shell necklaces). So, this summer, when you’re channeling your inner Marissa Cooper, it’s important that we keep these origins in mind. And so, without further ado, here’s more on the Y2K beach girl aesthetic plus where to shop the trend.
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What is the Y2K beach girl aesthetic and where did it come from?
A beach girl is breezy, bright and reminiscent of the early 2000s. Full of pastel pinks, blues and yellows, this aesthetic brings Y2K to the beach. With some Floridian influence, it has also been dubbed the “Key West kitten aesthetic.”
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Though new to some, this style was first popularized years ago, notably in TV shows and movies that are set near the beach, such as Aquamarine (2006) and H20: Just Add Water (2006-2010). Thanks to the style’s renewed popularity, the Y2K beach girl aesthetic is a Gen Z-favourite summer micro-trend. In comparison to mainstream trends that typically stick around for three to seven years, a micro trend stays “trendy” for only a few months. A word of caution: the fleeting popularity of micro trends can contribute to overconsumption, as people often stop wearing the clothes once the trend cycle ends. A way to combat this is by shopping more intentionally: buying something because you like it, not just because it’s trendy, and shopping more sustainably by thrift shopping.
How to achieve the Y2k beach girl look
The beach girl aesthetic is simple yet unmistakable. To start, pair a tropical or floral print top with a pastel-coloured mini-skirt. Add a knit bag, and accessorize with layered shell or beaded necklaces and crochet bracelets and anklets. Take the Y2K beach-goer look a step further by adding a temporary sparkly tattoo (bonus points if it’s a dolphin), and voilà!
The beach girl aesthetic has hit us all with a wave of nostalgia. Is it possible the reason these Y2K trends have become so popular is because they remind us of simpler, more carefree times? Whatever the reason may be, early 2000s aesthetics like the coconut girl are not done making their way back into our lives.
Shop the Y2k beach girl aesthetic in the gallery below.