Fashion Style Categories – Add to the list, please!

Hi all,

I’m helping one of our faculty to create an assignment using a trend forecasting database.  I need the most complete list of fashion style categories and fashion subcultures that can be devised.  (Unless someone can point me to an existing list that I can reference?)  Can you contribute to the list I’ve created so far?  What’s missing?  Thank you for your help!  Sandra Ley (FTC SIG Moderator /




Author: Sandra Ley

Sandra Ley is the visual arts and fashion design librarian for Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona.

34 thoughts on “Fashion Style Categories – Add to the list, please!”

    1. Thank you, Ksenia! I added Mori Girl to the list. Lagenlook was new to me so I had to look it up. It seems it means “layered look” in German, a style, but not a style tribe, I think. (Which is one of the challenges of having this list… Do we want to include all fashion styles, or simply all the style tribes we can think of. I’m still not sure. I wonder what everyone else thinks… Weigh in, if you like! 🙂

      1. Hi Sley, what would be the difference between a style and style tribe? Haven’t you think about making a kind of fashion styles map that would group similar styles into style families (where for example natural style would be close to rustic, mori girl and bohemian). I think that could be very interesting and extremely useful for people studying fashion and style categories. 🙂

        1. It’s a wonderful idea, Ksenia! 🙂 I’m not sure if you’re a student or in the profession already, but if you’re interested in working on this as a project, would you please contact me off-list so we can discuss it? Sandra

        2. I forgot to answer your question. Here’s a quote from Berg Fashion Library:
          “The latter part of the 1990s also witnessed a proliferation of newly coined academic terms to replace the traditional notion of subculture. Concepts like “neo-tribe,” “styletribe,” “lifestyle,” “taste culture,” and “scene” were introduced in order to do justice to the perceived fluidity and diversity of contemporary youth cultural formations. “Subculture” increasingly came to be seen as obsolete, and, by the new millennium, the notion of “post-subcultural studies” has become the main paradigm of youth cultural theory.” (Muggleton, David. Brill, Dunja. “Subcultural Dress.” The Berg Fashion Library. The Berg Fashion Library, Sept. Web. 6 Oct. 2014.) “Style” is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “A distinctive appearance, typically determined by the principles according to which something is designed.” I believe the difference is when one chooses to dress in order to identify with a specific subcultural group. And this is exactly the one issue I have with our “Styles” list here; it muddles the two.

  1. Hi! (: i didn’t read the comments but here Lol but here are the styles the majority of people at my school wear
    -beach bum
    -hipster (but that’s slowly getting out of style)

  2. Hello,

    I just ran across your post and I’m not sure if the information is still available but I would love a copy of the finished list if possible. Thank you!

    1. Yes! It’s amazing how easy it is to forget some major styles. And just how many distinct styles there are out there! Thanks for the suggestion. Sandra

  3. how about kawaii gyaru and ulzzang? i think those are pretty cool and i know that there are lots of people who could pull it off!

    1. Hi Lia, I confess I had to Google those both terms. But – fabulous! Yes, I will certainly add them to the list. However, wouldn’t it be far more interesting to have an entire list of Japanese styles? It seems that there are so many of them. Would you know where we might find such a list? 🙂 Thanks again, Lia!

      1. Nice work you’ve been doing. iThink Afro retro, Ankara style and kampla blend should fit the list too.
        Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld from Glo Mobile.

  4. Thanks for this post- I can’t seem to find a pictorial chart of this list anywhere. What would you call the fashion where people look fancy but wear black clothes, sleek hairstyles, tattoos, and maybe some color to their hair?

    1. Based on your description, I think you’re referring to goth, but emo and perhaps rockabilly might also be described in the same way. If you send a Google image, I’d be happy to take a look.

    2. My friend wears that style. It is actually more characterized as grunge street style. So its not completely grunge but it has a casual sense. They often wear checkers too

    1. Sorry for the delayed response, Melissa. First I was on holiday, and then I had to think about your suggestion for a while. It threw me because multiple unique and distinct styles of dress emerge from Vintage dressing (flapper, Rockabilly, mod, etc.). However, I suppose one might dress only “vintage” and adopt any style(s) from the past, so long as the elements are culled from actual vintage pieces. For that reason, I think you’re right to suggest adding “vintage” to the list. Any dissenters?

      1. At first sight i would associate ‘vintage’ with port: vintage port is a qualitative denomination, referring not only to the fact that it is good old port , thus still drinkable, but, importantly, stems from an exquisitely good year. In association with fashion, i see vintage as a retail category, like: “this shop sells vintage clothing only”, similar to bookshops that restrict their merchandise to first editions only, or an art gallery that sells original art work. As opposed to remakes, newly made, revised editions, re-issues, licensed or unlicensed copies, facsimile …etc.

        Or more general: to me vintage clothing is a category referring to the temporal origin of a demoded garment that is still in good shape materially, so that it still can be worn and finds people who like to wear it. But this is evidently not enough, since this could be said about any second hand clothing too…

        What makes a vintage garment stand out against ‘mere’ second hand clothing is, that it has what you could call a certified aura of authenticity. And for me, that is precisely the reason why vintage should, unlike second hand clothing, be on the list of styles. Not as a term for a specific style, though, but as a kind of auxiliary category, comparable to retro, mix & match, classic, casual, eclectic, post-modern… etc.

        In order to stimulate the submission of more contributions to this blog’s list of style denominations, maybe it is a good idea to collect as many style denominations as possible, without worrying (too much) whether a suggested term has been actually coined by a genuine style or that it is a ‘mere’ auxiliary category that helps to describe a style? So here’s my submission: retro; mix & match; casual; eclectic; post-modern. All of them auxiliary, i believe…

        Fred Goudswaard
        librarian AMFI – Amsterdam Fashion Institute

  5. What about Valley Girl, Metrosexual (for men), and career/working woman? I’m not sure they are actual style genres, but they come to mind.

  6. Style denomination is a bit of a swamp… but here is my contribution to it:

    Glam rockers
    New Look
    New Wave
    Rock’ n Roll
    Skin heads
    Teddy Boys/Girls

    Lists in books:

    Surfers Soulies Skinheads & Skaters (1996)
    >>> with a six page glossary!

    Streetstyle: From Sidewalk to Catwalk / Ted Polhemus (1994)
    >>> table of contents= list of style names!

    If necessary i could scan the relevant (7) pages + send them to you.

    1. Thank you so much, Katherine & Fred! I appreciate the help. The A to Z of Fashion was very useful, available via the BFL database. Fred, the two titles you mentioned I’ll simply purchase for our collection — no need to photocopy, but thanks for the generous offer. If anyone wants me to upload the final list, or e-mail them a copy, just let me know.

  7. Hi Sandra

    You should be able to locate others in the Berg Fashion Library under Browse –> People & Organizations –> Socio-cultural and subcultural groups. I will send you a screen shot — there are other categories where style groups exist there too. Happy hunting! Kathryn

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