Anatomy of the VSCO Vibes

By Ella Seltzer

So you’ve heard my take on WASP fashion, on obnoxious designer fashion, and on fast fashion. So in one of my very on-brand rants, I will viciously take apart “VSCO girl fashion.” This cringy, everything-in-pastel look mimics the overdone trends we all see on the popular VSCO feeds. For those of you who don’t know, VSCO is a photo editing and sharing app that in recent years, has transformed into an unwanted hybrid of Tumblr and Instagram. Even though this entire ‘vibe’ lacks any taste in fashion whatsoever, the VSCO girl aesthetic has unfortunately become the new hottest look, but also a great new source of satire for me.


*If you haven’t figured it out by now, this is satire.*


In both serious and mocking renditions, the Hydroflask is first, and arguably the most important, VSCO girl essential. As the clunky clarion call of any faux-trendy VSCO girl, these actually nice water bottles are so easily meme-d by their accessorized nature. Even though it’s a water bottle, why use it as one when you can just wrap all your new scrunchies around it! Made in numerous colors, this unlikely accessory is the perfect compliment to your dream “I just rolled out of bed and have totally mastered the messy cute look” VSCO picture. To add to the insanely loud decibel level of these water bottles, the full VSCO girl aesthetic also calls for a huge, heavy key lanyard hanging off of the handle. It’s not bad enough to just have one lanyard though, the full look comes from having an obscene, unrealistic amount of keys on one super long lanyard. Super important to leave room on the handle for your friendship bracelets!! 


As for the actual outfit, the look of the most successful VSCO girl is hallmarked by the extremely oversized t-shirt. This atrocious look is somehow the unifying style of both VSCO girls and Southern sorority girls alike. Coupled with either spandex, Nike shorts or worst of all, biker shorts, these sack-like shirts build on the “messy-cute” aesthetic that all VSCO girls strive for. Even though all your free sports-team t-shirts will suffice, it’s so much better to go out of your way to spend money on and buy shirts in these outlandish sizes. 


Onto the best accessory of all of the VSCO girl anatomy: the scrunchie. Started as an actually functional hair tool, these oversized hair-ties work so much better as a not-stylish bracelet. It’s always good to keep at least two around, some as a bracelet and some on your Hydro Flask so that you’re always prepared to throw your hair up into the “perfect” messy bun. Preferably fabric, velvet, or really any style from Urban Outfitters, you can’t go wrong by accessorizing with a gentrified hair-tie! 


One of the last, and potentially most defining part of the VSCO vibe is the shoe choice. Whether it’s Crocs, Birkenstocks, slippers, or slides, the one theme that is absolutely dire across any shoe choice is lazy comfort. You should strive for a shoe that translates how “chill” and “effortlessly cool” your vibe is, so any slip-on shoe that looks like what you might put on right out of bed, or to run an errand works to complete the look.


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