The Tomato Girl Aesthetic Is About Dressing For the Life You Don’t Have
Similarly to recent trends that came before it, tomato girl captures the allure of looking like life is a breeze — even if it's not.
Fashion has been feeling particularly escapist lately. The notion of putting something on and being transported to a stress-free locale is admittedly attractive. And this summer, nothing captures that ethos more than the “tomato girl” aesthetic.
What do fruits have to do with it? Is it just code for being sunburnt? These are reasonable questions. But #tomatogirl — like many of the reigning trends du jour — evokes a specific type of aspirational dressing.
Inspired by the juicy produce on the coast of Italy, the style encapsulates the laid-back energy that comes from summering in Europe. With over six million views on TikTok, the tomato girl trend is full of linen separates, vintage gold jewellery, and cobblestone-friendly sandals. Its palette contains delicate embroideries inspired by Italian tableware, soft warm tones, gingham patterns and food-related motifs. It’s the silk scarf you’d tied in your hair to stroll around the piazza enjoying a generous scoop of pistachio gelato. It’s the white-on-white set you’d wear to eat a steaming plate of spaghetti pomodoro without ever worrying about getting a stain. It’s the personification of taking the time to set the dinner table or linger in a jewellery shop.
At its core, tomato girl is about dressing not for the life you have, but the life you want. This idea has been at the forefront of pop culture for some time. Last year, millions flocked to the coastal grandmother aesthetic to channel the essence of a retired Diane Keaton character who resides on the beach and is perennially swathed in cream cardigans. In the spring, quiet luxury dominated pop culture because of its alluring ability to make everyone feel like an anonymous member of the one percent. Most recently, Sofia Richie’s minimalist, two-toned wardrobe has become the most emulated style of the season. This is not only because it’s chic, but because its clean lines, sharp tailoring and versatile uniformity communicate a certain kind of laid-back existence that money can buy.
Needless to say, times are tough. Tomato girl summer, in all its vivacious airiness, is the sunny weather sartorial equivalent of experiencing a life without worry. Some have hailed it as a revolution; a way to embrace slow living and prioritize peace of mind in a decidedly uncertain era. After all, in this realm, your biggest obstacle is carrying your bounty from the farmer’s market. But really, this ethos is nothing new. Tomato girl — like quiet luxury and coastal grandmother — encourages just the right amount of self-indulgent delusion. Sure, a Mediterranean getaway may not be in the cards right now. But who says you can’t dress like it is?
Below, FASHION has curated staple pieces for living la dolce vita, no plane tickets required.
Banana Republic Bria Linen Midi Skirt
The lightweight midi skirt is a staple to any tomato girl’s wardrobe. This breathable option from Banana Republic is both airy and romantic, with simple pull-on styling and a subtly flared A-length silhouette. Bonus: It has pockets.
Riiqiichy Head Scarf for Women
Every Italian getaway needs a silky soft scarf. This embroidered gem can be fastened as a hair accessory, a tube top or a neck-tie accessory. Not to mention, the elaborately detailed pattern looks like it was plucked right from a set of heirloom dishes.
Free People Oasis Printed Midi Dress
Meet the perfect tomato girl dress. This flowy frock is both effortless and artistic, thanks to its breezy shape and ruffled embellishments. The smocked-waisted and exaggerated sleeves create a romantic appeal, while the delicate wild floral pattern is ideal for the coast of the Mediterranean sea.
Dollger Oversized Square Sunglasses for Women
These retro frames — which are large enough to cover your eyebrows — add to the mystique of an Italian gallivant. For the full Dolce Vita effect, throw them on with a satin scarf secured to your head just so. Tanya Mcquoid from The White Lotus would surely approve.
Mejuri Victory Winged Coin Pendant Necklace
This vintage-inspired pendant necklace looks like a dainty treasure you’d find in a tucked-away Italian jewellery shop. Handcrafted in 18k gold vermeil, it’s made to last long beyond your fictional getaway.
Sleeper Check-Print Lounge Set
Nothing says peace of mind like a breezy matching set. With a white and red check print design, this shirt-and-shorts combo by Sleeper is reminiscent of an outdoor dining tablecloth. While breezy and comfortable, the ruffled hems add a sophisticated flare that presents the perfect opportunity for accessorizing.
Teva Women’s Hurricane Drift Sandal
Sure, tomato girl is a fantasy. But that doesn’t mean it can’t also involve practical footwear. Any hours-long cobblestone walk will teach you to prioritize comfortable shoes, and these lightweight, white sandals for Teva are the perfect colour palette and design.
Etsy Dainty Tomato Huggie Earrings
Tomato. Earrings. Need we say more? These handmade accessories are small enough to feel subtle with a vibrant red hue that accentuates warm-toned outfits in all the right ways. Plus, the gold hoop detailing gives them an added vintage charm.
Uniqlo Linen Blend Open Collar Short Sleeve Shirt
Perfect for providing sun protection on a hot day, this lightweight linen collar short-sleeve top can be layered over a tank, paired with a dress or styled on its own for an overall breezy ensemble. Light and airy, it’s the must-have staple for any coastal outing.
ASOS Design Curve Off-Shoulder Cotton Maxi Dress
An off-the-shoulder gingham dress is possibly the best choice for a day spent seaside. With puffed sleeves and ruched bust detailing its dreamy, lightweight silhouette is complemented by a lively pink and orange colour palette. Perfect for picking out fresh fruit, no?
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