Not your daughter’s Barbiecore

Two pairs of ballet flats have emerged from storage. I can see why I held on to them, even though this is a style I never seriously embraced. Inexpensive but solid and comfortable, a good fit for my feet. One round toed pair with laces, one pointed pair with a low vamp. Multiple seasons in lightweight sneakers has given me a taste for minimal footwear. I resolve to give them a try.

Taken in tandem with the resurgent trend for hot pink, I am horrified to learn that Fashion has a name for it. This is not something any self respecting grown up should have anything to do with. Besides which, a shameless appropriation of Little Lolita. Does nobody have any original ideas these days? Not me, for sure.

None of this can prevent me from dumpster diving my own closet for the purposes of generating frivolous content. Behold, my stuff. I’m pink, therefore I’m spam.

With bright socks, the round toes can almost pass for wingtips. I like that. My neighbor said I looked very dapper, even though all I’d done was coordinate and put on lipstick. Let nobody say I wear my heart on my sleeve. I wear it printed on a t-shirt. Long live the new flesh.

The pointed pair fits so snug that I can wear them inside socks, finally making possible that column of hot pink. I am only doing this to prove that I can. These shoes are too good not to wear outdoors, and I do not want to trash my nice pink socks. However, I am surprised to see it work so well. I may wear it with different footwear if and when the mood strikes. Over Christmas, perhaps?

Side note: chinos were one of my go to styles to accommodate weight gain. Now that my waistline is receding, I have more pairs of trousers than I know what to do with.

ETA: I pledge to stay well away from any further commentary on Barbiecore until I can think of a really good joke. For the time being, suffice to say, the Valentino collection is genius. Particularly when worn by Erykah Badu. Everything else is Fashion’s deranged echo chamber. Apropos of nothing, Ryan Gosling is the epitome of Ken.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Synne replied 1 year ago

    How fun! I just stumbled across the term "barbiecore" myself, in the context of it being a feminist statement.

    Your looks bring Grace Jones to mind. The cuts are androgynous and power-suity, albeit shocking pink and unapologetically femme. Killer!

    (And shrug at my own phrasing, it's been forever since I've attempted to write English. Hope that wasn't too cringe inducing!)

  • Olive Green replied 1 year ago

    What Synne said, in enviable English!
    Grace Jones, what an amazing woman. Impossible to ignore. Very brave. 
    That hot pink is lovely, been so attracted to it lately. Like an in-joke, indeed. Tough, but pretty. 
    Used to wear hot pink karate accessories to teach the little karate kids. No one commented. 
    My little horse girl friends are into pinking their ponies and outfits. Glitter on hooves, I laugh so hard. 
    Tough, but pretty. 
    You look like that. 

  • RobinF replied 1 year ago

    You look good in pink! I love how the black ones look with socks, adds a whole new dimension to them. Dapper indeed!

  • Eliza replied 1 year ago

    Love the looks you’ve created! Clever, powerful and dapper, indeed.

  • Jessikams replied 1 year ago

    I love the socks over shoes as an experiment! You’re right, it could work for hosting an event at home perhaps.

  • Janet replied 1 year ago

    I like this a lot more than I thought I would when I read “Barbiecore”! :-D

    Those lace up flats are so good! I haven’t worn ballet flats in a decade, but if I did, those would be a contender. Love how you styled that outfit with the jacket and tee!

  • Angie replied 1 year ago

    #1 is KILLER - my favourite jacket of yours! Barbie Star Trek. Perfect with the Blondie tee! Loving you in bright lipstick too :)

    The column of shocking pink is DIVINE! Pop your dickie over the top, maybe. Can we see the shoes beneath the socks? 

  • Bijou replied 1 year ago

    Beautiful and very chic!

  • Lesley replied 1 year ago

    I love these looks! That first one is amazing!

  • Joy replied 1 year ago

    Very creative. I can’t wear pink so know there is nothing to go diving for in the closet. Certainly nothing to make a head to toe outfit, except a pink trench for breast cancer awareness.

  • slim cat replied 1 year ago

    Amazing fun - love the use of pink and of course your perfect graphic tee ( envy ;) )!

  • replied 1 year ago

    Awesome ensembles! Excellent blazer and Blondie combo. Your hot pink rendition has a wonderful science-fiction vibe :)

  • Cardiff girl replied 1 year ago

    Yes pink was big for winter  on the runways apparently so you are super on trend.Can’t see Barbie  in this though ,you look far too stylish(sorry Barbie!)

  • approprio replied 1 year ago

    You are all way too kind with the Grace Jones comparisons, which I have done nothing to deserve. The last time I saw Grace, she was wearing nothing but body paint and an enormous headdress. I know when I’m outclassed.

    Synne, I’m trying not to look too hard! I’ve no opinion on Barbie’s legitimacy as a feminist icon, but one of my favourite colours went viral. Now it’s loaded with semantics that have nothing to do with me!

    Janet: I know, the very idea, right? Slim cat, Nikki, Thank heavens for Debbie Harry, is all I can say.

    Olive Green: I keep in mind the Schiaparelli descriptor “shocking pink” whenever I wear it. I will add to that “tough but pretty”.

    Cardiff girl, I loved the Valentino collection (above) memorably worn by Erykah Badu, who is even further from the Barbie aesthetic than Grace Jones.

    RobinF, Eliza, Bijou, Lesley, Joy, thanks!

    Angie, thanks for the K! :D This excellent jacket is pulling its weight this season, although there are a couple of new contenders waiting in the wings for when the weather cools.

    Sadly the dickie is not quite the same shade of pink as the shirt, and not different enough to make a contrast. Nevertheless, I will be stalking COS at sale time for more of the same. Not everything has to match.

    Added a pic of the other pumps from my phone. They are phenomenally comfortable. I’m thinking under wide leg pants or with socks under skirts. Both pairs are from Marks & Spencer, the kind of footwear they have always done really well.

    Jessikams, I may yet do that, although it depends on what shape the pumps are in when we next throw a party.

  • Helena replied 1 year ago

    Edgy Barbiecore - I love it!

  • Angie replied 1 year ago

    ooooh! A lovely classic flat, Liz! Thanks for the pic. Love them with wide pants, and yes to cute gauzy socks with them too ;)

  • Runcarla replied 1 year ago

    #1 kills me!

  • Sally replied 1 year ago

    Love the blondie tshirt and it goes so well in the first outfit. Is hot pink associated with Barbie? I would have thought it would be a softer pink, but I’m not an expert. Anyway the hot pink suits you and that would be a great outfit for a wear pink day which we do have.
    I like ballet flats but can’t keep them on my feet.

  • Jaime replied 1 year ago

    As a fan of bright pink even prior to the current iteration of Barbiecore, I am delighted. But wearing socks outside your shoes?! I am just revving up on the idea of wearing colored socks with sandals and you go all next level. Love the column of pink regardless. Now I must read your article before I say more, although I agree with you completely about Ryan Gosling.

  • CarolS replied 1 year ago

    Oh, those are fun! 

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 1 year ago

    I really like the tee and blazer together, and the shoe and sock combo really adds a lot to it. The column of hot pink is so hip. Love it!

  • doggeh lover replied 1 year ago

    LOVE the sock/shoe combo!

  • kkards replied 1 year ago

    Not  sure how I feel about Barbiecore, but I love these outfits, especially  #1!  

  • Star replied 1 year ago

    Loving your first outfit.  A huge Blondie fan here.  Was off pink for many years but now with the silver hair a bright pink really works, and very good with black.

  • Roxanna replied 1 year ago

    I was all set to hate Barbiecore but that first outfit (that blazer!!!) may have won me over...

  • approprio replied 1 year ago

    Runcarla, Helena, CarolS, Firecracker, DL, thanks! This shirt needs to be earmarked for this jacket. Angie, the shoes will find their niche, for sure!

    Roxanna, kkards, I share your ambivalence. I have nothing to say about Barbiecore that would not read as heresy on some portions of the Internet. Between us here on YLF though, I think Barbie may be jumping the gun. Sally, you’re right. This is not her color. Star, this is the color Debbie was wearing on the sleeve of Plastic Letters.

    Jaime, Ryan Gosling is so Ken that it looks like stunt casting to me. He will still need to work very hard to surpass Michael Keaton’s turn in Toy Story 3 though.

    “No-one appreciates clothes here, Barbie!”

    I am firmly on Team Ken. GQ brings us an army of Kens, in all shapes and sizes. A Ken for every occasion.

You need to be logged in to comment