TikTok has given rise to many ‘core’ trends like ballet, fairy, and gorp but the current ‘core’ which has everyone obsessed is blokette core.
Blokette core is a fusion between the masculine, sporty bloke aesthetic with the hyperfeminine coquette style. Independent label Peachy Den recently dropped a new collection inspired by football and blokette core called ‘Glory Days’. Also, German sportswear company Adidas is collaborating with the famed Florentine fashion house Gucci for another collection.
Blokette Core first went viral due to the World Cup frenzy at the end of 2022, and the hype doesn’t seem to be dying down anytime soon as videos tagged #blokettecore have scored an impressive 19.1 million views on Tik Tok.
The components making up the blokette capsule wardrobe include: oversized football jerseys, vintage Adidas track jackets, micro-minis, denim midi-skirts and baggy tracksuits. For footwear, Adidas trainers like Forum Lows, Gazelles or Sambas are another staple in a blokette’s wardrobe.
Instagram’s favourite It girl and model Bella Hadid is rarely seen without her Sambas, which could be the reason behind a surge in Google searches of her favourite shoe. There’s been a 350% surge in Samba searches during the last three months.
“The thing I like about blokette core is the casualness of it, you can’t really go wrong with it,” said LCF fashion student and blokette fan, Kateleigh Tome.
“As I grew up with this style and was constantly surrounded by it, it’s nice to see that it’s still being worn today.”
Finding the middle ground between femininity and masculinity is the key to achieving the blokette look.
For those wanting to give the trend a go, substituting the laces in your Adidas trainers for baby pink ribbons is a good start, or layering a vintage football jersey over a mini skirt works for those aspiring to be a little more daring. Try adding pastel-coloured bows to your hair for the ultimate blokette badge of approval.
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On the surface, blokette core seems like a harmless celebration and feminisation of football-lad culture but can it be argued that this latest Tik Tok trend, is an appropriation of the British working-class aesthetic?
Arguably, blokette is 2023’s spin on the 90s-word ‘ladette’. A ladette is recognised as a working-class girl, with a scruffy attitude. She doesn’t care about the confines of gender roles and doesn’t mind taking a seat at the table at some of society’s most masculine hotspots – the grungier the pub, the better.
The look was first demonised when it first made its way to the social scene in the 1990s, but now its return is welcomed with (a fashionista’s) open arms.
If you need further visual representation of the look, BBC series Little Britain (2005) was filled with characters sporting the look. One of its main characters, Vicky Pollard is arguably the most memorable yet negative representation of working-class women in the media: “Whether nicking stuff from the supermarket or swapping her baby for a Westlife CD, Vicky reacts to any accusation with indignant outrage,” reads the BBC’s synopsis of the series.
Pollard could be seen as harmless fun, but the creators behind her character, two privately educated white men, has triggered social media discussion and perception 20-odd years on.
In 2006, YouGov carried out a survey at Edinburgh’s Film Festival, and found that the majority of participants felt that the depiction of Pollard on screen was an authentic depiction of single, working class mums off screen, according to The Guardian.
In addition, survey participants felt that Pollard is a manifestation of a ‘chav’.
‘Chav’ is a derogatory term used to describe lower-class people who stereotypically behave in an antisocial way. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the government created a moral panic about chavs, which the media helped perpetuate.
Pollard’s iconic TV wardrobe of a Kappa zip-up, fluffy hair scrunchy, flared joggers and trainers, is a lesson in how to dress blokette, despite the character’s controversy.
However, when working-class people dress in a similar way, society arguably deems them as poor, or indeed a chav.
There is undoubtedly a double standard in fashion as clothes that are seen as trendy and cool on a middle-class white person, are typically seen as cheap and ‘chavvy’ on someone who is working class.
Kateleigh Tome explains: “When I was growing up, blokette core type clothing was what my family could afford at the time. Whenever someone walked past wearing a top from Sports Direct and baggy jeans or trackies I would always hear a comment [from passers-by] how that person is a chav and that you can tell they live in a council flat.”
The fashion industry is notorious for taking elements of working-class life such as clothing and making it palatable for higher social classes.
For example, in the early noughties, Burberry’s check pattern became popular amongst the working class and the classist British press was quick to label the check pattern as ‘chav wear’, making Burberry believe their association with the working class was damaging its image.
As a result, Burberry started to fade the Nova check out of its production line and they discontinued the once iconic Nova check cap, which was worn and loved by working-class football fans, to revoke their association with the working class. The Burberry check was now only featured in five per cent of products.
Fast forward to the late 2010s when the middle class and social elites no longer want to appear wealthy anymore, Burberry released its SS18 collection which was a Nova Check paradise. Now, instead of shying away from sport-leisure, brands are embracing the style, through the art of collaborating: In 2022 Gucci and Adidas created a world-dominating collection and for SS23 the two companies are collaborating again for another collection.
Is it as simple to say then, that working-class style is popular in fashion now because rich people don’t want to appear rich? According to LCF fashion student Saida Mahad, people wear working-class clothing: “To feel like they look like those around them,” and Tome agrees.
“Today, especially on social media, middle-class people are one of the main targets for criticism as they’re sort of out of touch. So, I think what happened years ago to working-class people is happening now to middle-class people and they’re trying to look less prestige. It’s all about fitting in.”
On the other hand, social media has allowed the fashion world to become more accessible to the working class and they are now able to influence fashion in ways they haven’t been able to before. So, this could be why recent trends have roots in working-class culture.
Now that the working-class aesthetic is loved by the fashion industry, maybe it’s time the industry starts to appreciate the working class people who are trying to finally break fashion’s seemingly impenetrable class ceiling.