I love the summery shell jewellery and sparkly pieces that are everywhere right now thanks to The Little Mermaid movie, but I also want to look grown-up and stylish. Should I just leave the trend alone completely?Mia, Norwich
At this point, Disney has a lot to answer for since the high street is full to the brim with tie-dye, ombrè pastel pieces and sparkly separates. The Little Mermaid (starring Halle Bailey) is out this month, and it’s prompted a rise in aquatic-inspired fashion, AKA mermaidcore.
I’m all for it – I love when films and series inspire our everyday style (all-black à la Wednesday, or tweed two-pieces like Clueless, anyone?) and alongside that fuzzy nostalgic feeling that comes with being a 90s baby who loved Ariel the first time around, mermaidcore is smile-inducing.
But no one wants to look like a giant child by day now, do they? Which is why you’re right to consider just how to inject some under-the-sea pieces into your wardrobe before you click ‘add to basket.’
What is mermaidcore?
Think of a mermaid, and I’ll bet iridescent sequins (or, er, scales), chrome colours, sparkly bikinis and shell jewellery spring to mind. And that’s exactly the aesthetic. Think ethereal, glossy and romantic underwater vibes and you’ve got the gist.
Which mermaidcore pieces should I buy?
Mermaidcore on the high street has become a literal interpretation, rather than just a nod to the sea. There are actual fish-shaped charm bracelets at Zara, and shell and starfish earrings at ASOS. Chrome silky skirts and trousers have taken over at Warehouse, while Karen Millen has ombrè sequins aplenty (typically not seen till October in time for party season).
Some pieces are more flash-in-the-pan than others, but there are lots that you’ll turn to season after season. Here’s how to wear the mermaidcore pieces worth buying this season:
How to wear the mermaidcore trend
Given the beach is its natural habitat, the mermaid aesthetic is right at home in your holiday wardrobe. Blues and greens that mimic the sea are a must, and top style points for a dress or top that combines the two. Team this asymmetric top with floaty white trousers and gold heels for the perfect evening look that nods to the trend.
For beach days, stash your SPF and sunnies in a net tote, and add a glam element to your look with these metallic seahorse earrings – once you’re on home soil, use them to add interest to blazer and T-shirt combos.
For everyday, stick to one mermaid-esque piece at a time. This silky maxi skirt by Ghost is giving low-key mermaid tail, but when paired with silver ballet flats, a white T-shirt and a black blazer, it doesn’t feel OTT. Pearls are a no-brainer, and if you’re a jewellery fan, you likely have some in your arsenal that you can pull out this week and feel very of the moment.
Zara’s silky printed shirt would look fab with jeans and tan sandals by day, or team it with the matching dress for evening.
This is when the sequins and sparkles come out to play. ASOS Design (the best of its own-brand ranges, IMHO) has released a Little Mermaid collection which should be your first port-of-call. This sparkly midi skirt is crying out for a hen do, while the fringed two-piece is a fun occasionwear option that ticks all the Ariel boxes.
For a festival
Festival fashion is free-spirited and fun-loving, so mermaidcore slots right in. If you only want to dip your toe into the trend, team a crochet cardigan with denim shorts and a shell necklace, but those vying for a part in the second movie should go all out. Think a diamante mesh mini dress (top marks for a swimsuit underneath) or a fringed skirt and a sparkly crop top. Even Ariel would do a double-take at your outfit.