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The Airy Aesthetic is Taking Over: How to Get the Ethereal Look

Bella Hadid in a white flowy dress at a red carpet event
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We’ve seen a lot of style trends come and go over the years, but the return of this latest one is something we’re more than ready for: the airy aesthetic.

It’s a mixture of soft, dreamy cottagecore with a focus on lace, ruffles and flowy silhouettes that we can easily introduce into our everyday style, just like @playingwithfiiree does on our TikTok below.

@slicedotca In love with all these lewks 😭💖 #etherealaesthetic #etherealclothing #outfitinspos #fairycore ♬ original sound – Ian Asher

We’ve watched this trend gradually come back into our lives in recent months with the resurgence of balletcore and coquette-style, but now it’s fully taking over. According to Pinterest Predicts, “combining ethereal sensuality with the dreamlike quality of ballet, this trend is a gender-agnostic expression of femininity and strength.”

So, grab your lace tops, tulle sleeves, ruffle shirts and sheer trousers, as we break down how you can get the look.

See also: The return of long jean skirts is here — and we’re into it.

How to get the airy aesthetic

Leslie Mann in a flowy black sheer dress at a red carpet event
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Dive into the trend, from head-to-toe

If you have a big event coming up or simply enjoy going above and beyond with your looks, take the airy aesthetic to the max with a black, sheer frill-filled dress.

Floerns Women’s Spaghetti, Amazon, $64.

Related: The most popular TikTok beauty trends for 2023, ranked.

Bella Hadid in a flowy white dress at a red carpet event
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Frills, frills, frills galore

Speaking of frills — a key element to the aesthetic — take it to the max, whether it’s in a skirt, frilled shirt or a floor-length gown. Basically, just make sure frills are incorporated somewhere.

AFAVOM Ballet Skirt, Amazon, $20.

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Vanessa Hudgens in a black flowy dress at a red carpet event
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Yes, black can be part of the airy aesthetic

Just because cottagecore and balletcore focus on soft pastels, it doesn’t mean the airy aesthetic won’t work if you’re someone who likes darker shades. If you’re going to wear dark colours though, add soft elements to lighten the overall feel of the look. After all, this trend is all about subtlety.

Long Floral Maxi Dress, Amazon, $23.


See also: This is how beauty standards differ around the world.

Emma Chamberlain in a belted long skirt and oversized vest at a red carpet event
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Add in plenty of small ethereal touches

Make good use of the soft colours and flowy materials of the trend by using them as an add-on to your overall look. Adding elements such as knits, satins or silks gives the look that airy feel. Emma Chamberlain’s knit shirt here is a perfect example of that.

Women Y2K Hollow Out Top Long Sleeve, Amazon, $50.

You may also like: 13 cute hairstyles that we predict will be everywhere in 2023.

Rihanna in a sheer black dress, pregnant, surrounded by paparazzi
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Add the aesthetic into maternity wear

When it comes to maternity wear, I will never be able to resist the temptation of including Rihanna’s looks in a roundup. This black lace look will always be a vibe.

Avidlove Women Lingerie Lace Dress, Amazon, $30.

Related: See all of Ice Spice’s best looks so far.

Addison Rae in a short pink silk dress, walking outside
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Keeping it silky sweet

Silk is the perfect way to add this style into your everyday wardrobe, and the best part is it can be dressed up dressed down, making it ideal for any situation.

Alcea Rosea Women’s Silky Satin Dress, Amazon, $29.

See also: Here’s what going to a fancy medi-spa actually feels like.

Kylie Jenner in a sheer black dress at a red carpet event
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It’s all about the accessories

Although not directly similar to Kylie Jenner’s red carpet look here, we’re pulling inspiration from her sheer top and singular arm sleeve. You can DIY the airy aesthetic to any outfit by adding sheer elements or accessories to your look.

Verdusa Women’s Sheer Lace Top and Sleeves, Amazon, $32.

You may also like: All the best Pedro Pascal looks we’re obsessing over.

Emily Ratajkowski in a sheer white dress at a red carpet event
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Barely-there sheer will be hot this summer

Long sheer dresses are definitely going to be the vibe this summer, so why not beat the heat and look iconic while doing it?

Floor-Length Floral Lace Gown, Amazon, $27.

See also: 10 celebrity bob cuts that will inspire you to cut your hair.

Rihanna wearing a flowy white dress at a red carpet event in 2016
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Old but gold

We’re feeling inspired by this iconic photo of Rihanna from 2016. Always ahead of a trend, this almost sheer, off-the-shoulder flowy gown has airy aesthetic written all over it. Perfect for a summer picnic, or a walk around town, it’s versatile, cute and comfortable — what more could you possibly want in a look?

LOGENE Women’s Summer Dress, Amazon, $53.

You may also like: Indie sleaze is making a comeback.

All products featured on are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy through links in this article, we earn an affiliate commission.

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