Where to Shop the Barbiecore Aesthetic in Philly
Life in plastic, it’s fantastic. Stand out in hot pink selections from some of our favorite local boutiques.
Maybe it was the image of Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling rollerblading around Venice Beach as they film the upcoming Greta Gerwig-directed Barbie movie. Maybe it was Anne Hathaway arriving at Valentino’s fall/winter show in sparkling head-to-toe fuchsia. Or maybe there’s just enough of us for whom “On Wednesdays we wear pink” isn’t frequent enough.
Regardless, the Barbiecore aesthetic is brightening up runways and sidewalks alike with all things hot pink. Valentino’s Fall 2022 collection is awash in the hue, and you couldn’t miss it at last month’s Paris Fashion Week.
Elena Brennan, shoe designer and founder of Bus Stop Boutique in Queen Village, explains: “The Barbiecore aesthetic is built on nostalgia and joy, a much-needed mood booster after the last few years. We’re craving nostalgic, simple, sunnier, carefree times, so it makes absolute sense that this ‘80s-inspired, unapologetically pink aesthetic is the ‘it’ style of the summer.”
Not ready to go the full Elle Woods? Gregory Seitter, personal stylist at Boyds, says, “How to achieve the Barbiecore aesthetic will vary depending on the person’s style. For the less daring woman, it might mean a muted pair of pink denim jeans and a near-neutral blouse. For the more daring, it might be an eye-catching hot-pink micro-mini dress.”
Whether you’re looking for head-to-toe pink or just a pop of color, here’s where to shop the Barbiecore aesthetic around Philly.
“Barbie’s been setting the trends since the 1950s with her pink aesthetic,” says Seitter. “The Barbiecore aesthetic is here to stay and it is not going anywhere anytime soon.” Balmain is leaning into the look hard with fall-appropriate dresses like this knit mini ($2,195) and this hot-pink twist on tweed menswear ($2,795). Seitter also recommends adding a pop of hot pink with on-trend mini bags, like these from Bottega Veneta ($1,150) and JACQUEMUS ($595). Looking for something a little sportier? Try this padded hoodie from Moncler ($1,150).
1818 Chestnut Street, Rittenhouse.
The Best of Philly-winning boutique is not one to chase trends, setting the tone since 1971 — so they’re onto next season with some transitional pieces that prove that pink is appropriate 365 days a year. Co-owner Ellen Shepp credits the resurgence of all things Barbie to our collective nostalgia for childhood loves, and recommends pieces like the fuchsia Moschino tweed jacket ($1,380) and pinker-than-pink long-sleeve Balenciaga dress ($1,890) pictured above and in-store right now. We also fell in love with this metallic bag by Think Royln ($128).
1811 Chestnut Street, Rittenhouse.
The latest BUS STOP X shoe collection designed by Brennan, LOUD explores the psychology of color through playfulness and intentional design. One of the styles in this new collection — the Pink Topaz strappy sandal ($295) in pink suede with a two-tone gold-and-pink recycled fish skin and a shimmery pink pearl metallic patent-leather heel — is the perfect Barbie shoe. “The pearlized pink iridescent accent on the heel adds just a hint of shimmer and sparkle,” says Brennan. “We love these Pink Opal sandals paired with a pink mini dress in any shade of pink, a bold pink floral dress or a pink jumpsuit.”
727 South 4th Street, Queen Village.
Of course, this list could never be complete without the ultimate purveyor of Barbiecore before it was Barbiecore. The brand’s founder once said, “Anything is possible with sunshine and a little pink,” and moving its headquarters from Palm Beach to King of Prussia has not dimmed that ultra-bright outlook and aesthetic. With a “Resort 365” attitude, Lilly Pulitzer peddles splashy candy-pink prints all year round, from dresses to pullovers to shoes to planners. Our favorite current offerings to achieve that Barbie-chic style are (pictured above): the Donna Square Neck Romper ($188), the Pollie Midi Dress ($258), and the Clarise Shift Dress ($228). But you honestly can’t go wrong with any of their items.
25 Coulter Avenue, Ardmore; 160 North Gulph Road, King of Prussia; and 2009 Dune Drive, Avalon, NJ.
You may remember this show-stopping fuchsia Lili bag ($390) from our August issue, and we’re still obsessed. The calfskin-and-suede bag has a removable strap so you can take it from day to night effortlessly — kind of like when Barbie’s gown transformed into a mini with the magic of Velcro! Lithuanian-born, Center City-based designer Jurgita Stahlecker only sells her bags online, and they sell out fast, so don’t say we didn’t warn you.
“Our approach has been towards more sustainable fashion that our customers can wear for years to come, versus for a single season,” prefaces Laura Anne Lamprou, co-founder of LILA Philadelphia. “However, there are definitely a few pieces from the store that speak to the Barbiecore trend. I’m thinking — all pink!” We were immediately drawn to the breezy Giornata dress ($155) and the heart-covered June dress ($188) whose über-adorable print is kept from sugary-sweet territory by its more conservative silhouette and midi length.
4339 Main Street, Manayunk.
We’re still not over this boutique leaving Rittenhouse, but it’s worth the drive for a selection of pink perfection from brands like LoveShackFancy and Hemant & Nandita. Plus, these incredible Aminah open-toe “Barbie” heels ($505) and candy-pink Paris Texas knee-high boots ($778) are everything. “Mix and match your 50 shades of pink monochromatic head to toe,” recommends Jamie Tucker, chief of fashion at the boutique. “The comeback is always stronger.”
53 West State Street, Doylestown; and 8411 Ventnor Avenue, Margate, NJ.