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Kidcore Aesthetic Guide: Everything You Need To Know

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Move over millennial pink, there’s a new nostalgic aesthetic in town serving up major childhood vibes. The kidcore aesthetic is bringing back all the vibes of your childhood into one quirky, colorful aesthetic. 

If you grew up in the late 80s, 90s, or early 2000s, get ready for a major nostalgia trip. Kidcore will take you down memory lane spotlighting the best outfits, toys, and accessories that shaped your childhood. 

This fun aesthetic type is a chance to let your inner child run free again and be unapologetically youthful. 

If you want to find out all about this particular aesthetic you’re in the right place. 

Below I’ll show you what kidcore style is and how you can try it out through fashion, decor, and more. From Lisa Frank to Beanie Babies, I’ve got you covered on achieving this youthful look.

pastel colored nike air sneakers

What is the Kidcore Aesthetic?

Kidcore is all about embracing childhood nostalgia. 

This fun aesthetic is a fashion and lifestyle trend centered around a love for childhood pop culture from the late 80s, 90s, and early 2000s.

A few hallmarks of kidcore include:

  • Vibrant, playful colors
  • Youthful prints and patterns
  • Toys and cartoons, mainly from the 90s
  • Childhood snacks
  • Cute, comfy clothing
  • Accessories we loved as a kid
  • Bedrooms that reflect the ones we had as children

While this aesthetic type is typically bright and vibrant, kidcore clothes and accessories don’t have to be this way. Pastel kidcore is also a thing, and the perfect way to embrace this style of dressing if you prefer pastels and just want the pure delight of childish fashion without the neon colors. 

Kidcore is a very easygoing aesthetic that is all about having fun and enjoying the simple things we loved as children. Kidcorists live in a colorful world that celebrates the popular children’s culture from the 90s era. 

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woman with multicolored hair and kidcore outfit

How to dress Kidcore

The beauty of kidcore fashion is anything goes. Embracing the kidcore trend is an opportunity to get creative with your outfits and accessories, and if you love child-like clothing then this is the aesthetic type for you. 

Some staple pieces for your kidcore outfits include:

  • Oversized graphic tees featuring characters like Hello Kitty or Doug
  • Shortalls with rainbow colors and patches
  • Denim overalls
  • Jelly shoes in bright colors
  • Bike shorts with bold prints under skirts and dresses
  • Mismatched patterns and prints. Good kidcore prints include smiley faces, rainbow stripes and Looney Tunes characters
  • Kidcore sneakers which are often multicolored and feature prints like stars, rainbows and cartoon characters

There are no real rules when it comes to this trend. You can mix and match your most colorful, fun and childlike clothing in any way you want to. In fact, not following fashion trends is one of the hallmarks of the signature style of kidcorists. They wear what makes them feel good. 

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Kidcore accessories

To complement your kidcore outfit add in fun accessories in vibrant colors. Lots of these accessory types were really popular in the 90s (I had a huge stash of butterfly hair clips!) and they’re now back and adding an extra special touch to plenty of joyful outfits put together by kidcorists today. 

Here are the best accessories to wear with your favorite graphic t-shirts:

  • Scrunchies
  • Butterfly clips
  • Friendship bracelets
  • Pony beads
  • Kidcore jewelry like chunky plastic rings and earrings
  • Bright colored buttons and pins
  • Keyrings
  • Kidcore aesthetic wallpapers for your phone
  • Childlike bags in the shape of fun characters or toys

Just like with clothing, you really can accessorize with anything you want when it comes to this aesthetic. There are no hard and fast rules except to have fun putting your whole outfit together. 

Kidcore makeup is also a trending topic on TikTok and other social media platforms. 

woman wearing neon clothing

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Kidcore decor 

Many kidcorists also take kidcore styles into their homes. 

To create an aesthetic room for this trend, there are lots of things you can incorporate for a really fun look at home:

  • Cover your bed and shelving with plushies, stuffed animals, and Squishmallows
  • Add neon wall art and origami hanging decor
  • Use inflatable furniture like plastic chairs
  • Hang string lights shaped like clouds or stars
  • Have a display of your favorite children’s toys
  • Racecar or princess castle shaped bed
  • Bedding featuring cartoon characters from the 90s

This interior style harks back to simpler times when kids would decorate their bedrooms with all their favorite possessions and characters. Your bedroom can be like a nostalgic time capsule of everything that was cool as a kid in the 90s. 

The best kidcore characters and prints

When shopping for kidcore clothing accessories, there are some really popular 90s-era cartoon characters and prints to look out for.

Look for the following famous characters, TV shows and pop culture references when styling this aesthetic:

  • Little Miss characters
  • Sesame Street
  • Care Bears
  • Tamagotchi
  • My Little Pony
  • Smiley face prints
  • Rainbows
  • The Magic School Bus
  • Beanie Babies
  • Any of Lisa Frank’s artworks and characters
  • Gummy Bears
  • Hello Kitty
  • SpongeBob SquarePants
  • Mickey Mouse
  • Bugs Bunny
  • Tweety Pie
  • Polly Pocket

Remember to go bold and go bright (unlike with the Granola Girl Aesthetic)! Don’t be afraid to play around with colors, textures, and shapes to create a look that brings you joy and transports you back to that simpler era we all enjoyed as a kid.

This aesthetic trend is the ultimate escapism, and all kinds of people are choosing to dress and decorate using kid themes as it really does allow you to just be your purest, simplest self again.   

Where to shop for the kidcore trend

There are a ton of places to shop this aesthetic, and there are many options to suit any budget. 

It’s true there are certain designer brands that sit under this aesthetic type. For example Moschino, who have a colorful clothing line and accessories in the shapes of childish things like McDonald’s Happy Meals and sandcastle buckets.

However there are also plenty of indie brands, and Etsy and Depop shops that cater to this trend. You can also get some really cool stuff on Amazon.

Here are the best items to shop for now if you love this style:

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Full of youthful charm and vibrant aesthetics, kidcore style perfectly captures nostalgia for the decades we grew up in. Whether you sprinkle in a few key pieces or go all out decorating your room, this trend is about remembering the magic of toys, cartoons, and clothes gone by. Rediscover your playful side through fashion, home decor, makeup looks, and beyond. Because why let the kids have all the fun?

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between Y2K and kidcore?

While Y2K and kidcore both draw inspiration from 1990s and early 2000s pop culture, Y2K specifically targets trends from around the millennium shift like spaghetti straps and Juicy Couture whereas kidcore pulls childhood influences from a broader time frame including the 80s and embraces items like Polly Pocket and Hello Kitty.

Why is kidcore so popular? 

Kidcore has surged in popularity because its bright, retro aesthetic provides both Generation Z and millennials a feeling of uplifting nostalgia by allowing them to revisit beloved childhood icons, snacks, colors and styles from the eras they grew up in.

What does kidcore aesthetic mean?

The kidcore aesthetic encapsulates a style and overall vibe centralized around nostalgia for the bright colors, toys, cartoons, school supplies, clothes, and pop culture from childhood in the late 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. It’s a way of dressing and living that allows you to escape back to the fun times of childhood. 

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Melissa Jane Lee

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