From Y3K to Indie Sleaze: Brat Summer’s 4 Key Fashion Trends

2024 is officially a brat summer. Here’s how to make the most of it by capitalizing on its fashion trends and fun occasions.

Earlier this month, Charli XCX released her highly anticipated album brat to both critical and commercial acclaim. Rolling Stone states that, “the forward-thinking artist has been ahead of the curve for a long time, but no era has felt as purely Charli XCX as this one.” 

Social media has caught on as well, with lime green outfits, nails, and artwork all mimicking the low-res and green album art. #brat has almost a million posts on TikTok, and #bratLife has over 44k. Billboard has officially declared 2024 a Brat Summer. And Charli herself has been promoting what a brat summer looks like beyond a two-tone color palette. It’s a little grungy. It’s very Y2K-influenced. And it’s unapologetically loud. Imagine waking up in the clothes and makeup you wore out to a club the night prior, and you’re on the right track. 

collage of brat summer trends: indie sleaze, western sleaze, y3k and tomboy femme

In fact, several of today’s hottest trends can easily fall into the brat summer aesthetic. People are shopping for Y2K and Y3K, indie sleaze, tomboy femme, and western sleaze fashion to fit this bright, bold, and brash fashion moment. Here’s how retailers can connect with them.

Brat Summer Fashion Trend #1: Y2K & Y3K

Y2K-inspired looks have been hot for some time . . . But Y3K is the next fashion frontier!

First thing’s first. The popularity of Y2K aesthetics lives on! In fact, #y2k is currently at 22.8 billion views on TikTok, and the number keeps climbing as younger crowds continue to go out to events following the pandemic. Due to its nostalgic and maximalist (more is more) qualities, this trend continues to appeal to both Gen-Z and Millennials.

Now, on to Y3K, aka Y2K’s younger sibling. This trend name refers to an emerging futuristic fashion and style aesthetic trending on Pinterest, where searches for “Y3K outfits” are up 6030%! This look still includes the silhouettes of the early aughts, but gives them a darker, chrome-infused, and sometimes anime-inspired twist. 

y3k fashion trend collage of images

What makes these trends? 

  • Dressing Style: Athleisure, Edgy, Graphics
  • Print/Patterns: Acid Wash, Camouflage, Chrome, Metallics
  • Embellishments: Cut-out, Distressed, Graphics, Grommets, Logos, Rhinestones, Faux Fur, Velour

Who is wearing it well? 

Megan Thee Stallion has brought colorful and futuristic spins into her Y2K-inspired fashion lately, stepping her wardrobe up with a forward-thinking and trend-setting Y3K theme. 

Who is the stand-out Y3K brand?

With faded denim, silver accessories, and a grunge-yet-futuristic look, Diesel is the leader of the pack, when it comes to producing Y3K-inspired fashion.

Brat Summer Fashion Trend #2: Indie Sleaze

With #indieSleaze gaining more than 164.6 million views on TikTok, this trend is described as “grubby, maximalist, and performatively vintage.” It’s inspired by 90’s grunge and 80’s opulence, making it Gen-Z’s take on Millennial’s hipster fashion. 

Its cousin trend, Rocker Chic, brings a similar vibe, but with additional band t-shirts, motorcycle boots, studs, and faux fur.

collage of indie sleaze fashion trends

What makes this trend? 

  • Dressing Style: Boho, Edgy, Graphics 
  • Colors: Bright Colors, Dark Colors, Neutrals Dark 
  • Prints/Patterns: Checkerboard, Plaid, Stripes
  • Embellishments: Cut Out, Distressing, Faded, Fishnet, Frayed, Graphics, Media, Vintage 
  • Fabrics: Denim, Leather, Twill

Who is wearing it well? 

Chloë Sevigny was an original hipster fashion icon, and she still is rocking the indie sleaze look today!

Who is the stand-out Indie Sleaze brand?

American Apparel sold all the indie sleaze staples in the 2010s. Though toned down since then, their collection still boasts basics that are excellent building blocks for the indie sleaze aesthetic.

Brat Summer Fashion Trend #3: Tomboy Femme

With over 97 million posts about tomboy style on TikTok, Tomboy Femme, a social media trend is all about “blending masculine and feminine together and a balance between cutesy, delicate and laid back.” Tomboy Femme is perfect for day-to-day wear, as well as office wear, as this trend blends closet staples like blazers, skirts and trousers with delicate silk, linen and lace pieces. 

collage of tomboy femme fashion trends

What makes this trend? 

  • Dressing Style: Classic, Edgy, Feminine, Minimalist 
  • Print/Patterns: Floral Print, Stripes, Solid
  • Embellishments: Embroidery, Lace, Shirring, Ruffles 
  • Fabrics: Cotton, Lace, Linen, Satin, Silk

Who is wearing it well? 

Willow Smith strikes this balance well by blending colorful and playful makeup and accessories with super structured blazers. 

Who is the stand-out Tomboy Femme brand?

Zara offers dozens of boxy oversized blazers that will strike a perfect balance with any ultra-feminine accessories you pair with them.

Brat Summer Fashion Trend #4: Western Sleaze

Western Sleaze is for parties and festivals, or even for casual, everyday dressing. Young people are taking inspiration from nostalgic internet content and our current obsession with the Wild West, thanks to Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter album release and the subsequent Coastal Cowgirl and Coquette Cowgirl trends it inspired. This aesthetic leans into a rugged and reworked look with faux fur, whipstitching, and distressed accents.

collage of western sleaze fashion trends

What makes this trend? 

  • Dressing Style: Boho, Edgy 
  • Colors: Black, Brown, Cream, Dusty Mid-Tones, Neutrals
  • Print/Patterns: Psychedelic, Solid
  • Embellishments: Belts, Buckles, Fringe, Ties
  • Fabrics: Leather, Mesh

Who is wearing it well? 

Beyoncé spearheaded this trend, and obviously, we must pay our respects to the Queen who is wearing it so well!

Who is the stand-out Western Sleaze brand?

The Wrangler Western Women’s collection covers the gamut of cowgirl-inspired trends—from Coastal, to Coquette, to Sleaze.

How AI Helps Retailers Capitalize on Of-The-Moment Trends

Trends can pop up quickly, especially in this era of social media. Since Charli XCX’s album is such a hit, we don’t expect the brat summer to end anytime soon . . . but retailers and brands need to capitalize on them as quickly as possible, in order to drive the most revenue!

Luckily, AI makes this easier than ever through product attribution. Lily AI injects the language shoppers are actually using throughout your entire retail ecosystem. These words and phrases are called product attributes, and they connect people to products through on-site search, Google search, and more. 

So, if someone searches for “indie sleaze slinky dress for a concert” and your products are attributed with the latest trend and occasion language, they’ll find the exact products they’re searching for in your catalog. 

And then both you and your customers will make the most of this brat summer!

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Fashion model holding a teal purse while posing in a maroon sweater.