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With ‘Vacationcore’ you can dress as if you escaped to Europe – no plane ticket needed

Scroll on any social media app and it’s hard not to feel like everyone you know is in Europe right now. And whether it’s Bella Hadid-style vacation photos or “what I’m bringing to Europe” videos, fashion’s latest ultimate flex seems to be escaping the United States. (Given the current US political climate…)

While both holiday wear and European style have always had a major impact on the global fashion industry, social platforms have catapulted them into everyday summer wear by 2022. ” by wearing your vacation skirt in your hometown or turning off the air conditioning in your Virginia home to “live an Italian summer”.

According to Instagram, the hashtag #EuropeanStyle has grown by more than 40% on the platform in the last 90 days; #EuropeTrip grew by more than 25%. This, said Larissa Gargaro, Meta’s Fashion Creators Strategic Partner Manager, is in equal parts due to more people traveling after a number of pandemic restrictions were lifted, the rise of the #GRWM trend and the return of fully personalized fashion weeks. In the US, it’s another example of escapist styling, much like the cottagecore trend that has taken over our feeds for the past two years.

“Europe has always been romanticized, and this is especially true of luxury fashion – there’s something idyllic about dressing in the style of these places, especially in the summer months,” says Gargaro. “While the socio-political climate is unstable everywhere, the trend certainly has to do with a desire to escape the reality of what is happening in the US and embody the energy and spirit of elsewhere.”

Gargaro notes that fashion has always traveled more than any other vertical “because fashion is a form of expression that can break through language barriers.”

“What a French maker posts from her weekend trip to Marseille can affect an American in the Hamptons or a Brazilian in Rio,” she says. Gargaro expects this to continue and evolve – towards more experimental and escapist holiday wear (dressed in ‘goth’ one day, the next with maximalist prints and colors), more transformative or purposeful travel experiences (such as going to workshops or spending time in nature), and holiday core entering the digital avatar space (with Meta’s digital clothing store, for example).

Other industry trends, like the vintage revival that we’ve seen growing and growing in recent years, have only exacerbated the popularity of holidaycore. According to Noelle Sciacca, The RealReal’s Fashion Lead, European designers’ interest in the resale market has increased, which can be traced back to holiday core.

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“Gen Z and millennials have redoubled their search for vintage Roberto Cavalli,” she says. “These mid-length dresses and Y2K halter or one-shoulder tops work really well for us.” Also great: bright colors and prints.

“When you dress for a European vacation, you almost take advantage of this alter ego of your personal style,” she says. “It’s different from your everyday regular pieces. It really gives us a chance to jump outside of our style, comfort zone and our normal outfit routine.”

Of course, the elephant in the room is that not everyone can afford a vacation abroad, let alone a full wardrobe of luxury resort clothes. Like most things in the fashion industry, this is where holidaycore or “europecore” has become the main currency for social media.

After 2020 saw a shift in influencer and celebrity culture as we know it – with people getting tired of out-of-touch posts – there has been a pivot to experiences that surpass products as the ultimate flex online: Dua Lipa “shit posts” now blurry party photo dumps and Iris Law shows us a taste of her “making lunch” on a family vacation.

For regular, non-famous folks, Natalie Kingham, a fashion consultant who previously worked as a purchasing director for MatchesFashion, recommends thinking long-term about your holiday wardrobe.

“The kind of shopping habits I see are people who resist buying things all summer because they have so much from the year before and the year before, especially if you buy wisely and invest in good fabrics,” she says. “However, customers tend to update it a little bit every year, even if it’s just one great bikini or new sandals. It just refreshes everything.” Kingham also recommends supporting local artisans as you travel, rather than doing a Shein trek right before your flight.

Kingham doesn’t think “vacationcore” or “europecore” are going anywhere – neither is our desire to escape our daily reality by playing dress up. However, this doesn’t mean you have to be in the South of France this summer to experience some much-needed dopamine dressing. Rubber shoes, stackable necklaces, flowy prairie skirts and matching combos are no longer reserved for holidays. Like cottagecore, it’s all about a state of mind.

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