Sweet, homely, comforting: The 'vanilla girl' aesthetic explained

There’s nothing wrong with good old vanilla (Picture: Getty)

Vanilla is often seen as a negative thing, used as a term to describe boring or bland things.

But classics are classics for a reason, and sometimes simple can be more impactful than experimenting for the sake of it.

That’s the overall premise of the ‘vanilla girl’ aesthetic which is currently sweeping TikTok, with videos bearing the hashtag racking up over 99 million views.

It follows the ‘clean girl’ and ‘cosy girl’ trends that flourished over lockdown. However, where cosy girls are all about comfort and clean girls prioritise flawless minimalism, vanilla girls embody a mixture of the two.

If you’re a vanilla girl, you love snuggling up and relaxing, but wouldn’t dream of being lazy. You appreciate pared-back styles, but aren’t prepared to spend hours in front of the mirror perfecting a barely noticeable no-makeup-makeup look.

Despite your appreciation for warmth and softness, you have your life together, including a modest yet luxe skin routine, a favourite place to get an oat latte o the way to work, and an envy-worthy curated Instagram feed.


Replying to @༉‧₊˚✧.* ☁️✨🫧 #giftguide #vanillagirl #vanillaaesthetic #pinterestaesthetic #thatgirl #wishlist

♬ original sound – Fonz

Essentially, you’re not afraid of being considered ‘basic’ – you like what you like, and see the value in life’s little joys.

Charlotte Johnson, Buyer at Pour Moi, says the aesthetic is ‘inspired by the sweet, homely, comforting but simple taste and scent of vanilla itself.’

She adds: ‘Think outfits with warm cream tones like vanilla ice cream, and soft textures like sweet sponge cake.’


According to TikTok, staples for this trend include thick woolly jumpers in neutral hues, silk bedsheets, delicate gold jewellery, and the Marc Jacobs Canvas Tote Bag… in cream, naturally.

Scent plays a big part too. A number of explainer videos reference the Victoria’s Secret Vanilla Body Spray, along with gourmand candles that make your home smell like a patisserie.


To embrace the trend, Charlotte suggests an all-ivory ensemble. Be careful to go for complimentary rather than identical shades, though, as you want to avoid washing out your complexion.

She continues: ‘Yes, the trend is all about light, cream-like hues, but there’s also a big part of the aesthetic which is about softness.

‘If you’re not quite ready for cream colour blocking, then adding softness through accessories is a great way to dabble with the trend.

‘Floppy hair bows and pearlescent clips and hair claws work well or choose pieces with fur trims or shearling cuffs.’

Light denim is also a must for any vanilla girl, as are trainers or suede boots in muted white, grey, or beige tones.

Maximalism it is not. But for fans of quality fashion without frills or fuss, it’s much more preferable to the likes of rum and raisin.

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