The Twilight Fashion Renaissance: How Bella Swan Is Gen Z’s Hottest Style Icon
Fashion trends come and go — everyone knows that. The cycle of fashion revisits common fads from the 60s all up to the early 2000s, but more recently there has been a growing popularity around clothing trends from the later half of that decade up until 2010.
Outlined by an influx of lace camisoles, henley shirts, peasant blouses, V-necks, long necklaces, bootcut jeans and converse, this style ironically comes from the protagonist of Twilight who was meant to go unnoticed — even though “unnoticed” is the exact opposite of what her wardrobe became. Thanks to the combined forces of Netflix and social media, teens are flocking to thrift stores to find everything you probably wore back in 2010.
In July, Netflix added all four Twilight films to its library, resulting in a huge resurgence in popularity for the franchise. Juxtaposing against many of the major trends that came from that same summer consisting of eccentric pastels and saturated colors from early-y2k fashion, this microtrend embraces more muted, earthy tones. Born without the help of a fashion designer or magazine, teens are striving to recreate outfits that are Twilight-core, the vampirically-inspired looks sported by Twilight’s Bella Swan and The Vampire Diaries series' Elena Gilbert.
Brands were quick to jump on social media — specifically TikTok’s — spotlighting of the style, with an example being this top by Dolce & Gabbana going viral. Inspired by the layering that is prevalent in Gilbert and Swan’s closets, this key component of the style made its popularity skyrocket just in time for the autumnal back-to-school season.
To emulate the vampire girl’s wardrobes, all you need are a few closet staples, like:
Low-rise jeans. If these are a little too ambitious for your style, opt for a mid-rise fit both in either a bootcut fit and flare or straight-leg fit. Usually in a darker wash, the rich navy blue’s compliment the autumn season’s color palette. A basic go-to pant for all of Swan’s outfits throughout the movies, the deeper blue tones married with the earthier tones of her layered shirts and hoodies.
Babydoll tops. Nostalgia hits from these pieces straight from a 2010’s Abercrombie & Fitch mannequin. The empire waistline and low cut neck offer the perfect space to show off a lacey camisole under, common in Gilbert’s wardrobe especially. Coming in both long and short sleeved options, these are a perfect layering basic for the transitional seasons with the flowy bottom halves of the tops pairing perfectly with lower rising jeans.
Henley tops. Pulling again from late 2000’s Hollister fashion, Swan always opted fo a cute, comfortable and casual look. Wear them on their own buttoned all the way up, or leave a few undone to show off a layering piece underneath. Coming in a variety of colors and patterns, classic dark colors and neutrals are good basics to start with — but opt for a striped pattern to add some dimension.
The tops segway into another important closet piece: lace camisoles. White and black are neutral starting colors to have, being able to be layered under a variety of colored shirts. An earthy pop of dark brown or olive green can easily be incorporated into the look as well, and the versatility of these camisoles make them perfect for all four seasons.
And lastly, no outfit is complete without shoes. Swan, always prioritizing comfort with her tumultuous lifestyle, chooses sneakers like Vans for optimal mobility. Converse are another alternative, and a basic black or white pair will match with all the different color palettes available in this style look.
While not a part of Swan nor Gilbert’s closets, the vampire fashion aesthetic sprouted more style inspiration as parts of it trickle into the fairy-grunge, indie sleaze-core direction — all of which came from revamped fashion from the late 2000’s. Midi skirts, lace-trim leg warmers, mary janes, low-rise micro miniskirts, argyle pri and grandpa cardigans and sweaters all have had a resurgence in popularity as they make their appearances in Pinterest “y2k” and “fairy-grunge-core” fashion boards.
Though this style is around 10 years old, it still has a semblance of nostalgia attached to it, as teenagers reminisce through their closets on “simpler days.” COVID-19’s struggles have caused many people to regress, turning back to the media they once enjoyed and find comfort in. Immersing themselves in the content they enjoyed in their childhood brings back peace and serenity — and there's no shame in wanting to recreate those times, be it through day-to-day outfits.