Taylor Swift performing "I Knew You Were Trouble" at the Eras Tour, photographed by Paolo V
Photograph by Paolo V., Courtesy of Wikimedia

Taylor Swift, Chappell Roan, and Charli XCX are all on tour, and the revival of the pop girly comes with them. The pop girly is no longer the fangirling tween from 2012, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but has grown up with these pop stars, and brings a new fashion sense to the scene. 

Definition: “pop girly” is a new iteration of the girly pop – a feminine, positive and pink-loving person with a variety of interests, they’re about all things pop. Interests include pop stars, pop music, and now, pop fashion.

Charli XCX in particular is known as a fashion icon. In contrast, Taylor Swift (although fashionable) pays less attention to trends and instead uses her outfits as ‘easter eggs’ to clue fans into her next moves. However, not only are these stars inspiring trends by what they’re wearing, but fans are creating trends centering on their tours.

The Fashion

DIY culture isn’t just a lodestone in Punk music—the pop girlies are joining in and posting about all the tips and techniques they have on TikTok. Taylor Swift’s Eras tour inspired many fans to create unique concert outfits based on the star’s changing wardrobe that reflect the eras of her music. Since that tour started, there have been thousands of videos created by Swifties documenting their progress towards their final bedazzled product.

Chappell Roan’s more recent tour is just as influential as Taylor’s on the fashion tendencies of her fans. Roan goes a step further than the other stars, though, and themes her concerts. She tells her fans the theme via Instagram, and they make their fits accordingly. Roan’s concert fashion is pink, glittery and feminine like Taylor’s and Charli’s and the other pop stars making their way to festival and concert hall stages: and so is the fashion of the pop girlies supporting them. 

This isn’t to say that the pop stars all look alike. Despite similarities, all have different inspirations that lead to sects within the pop girly fashion scene. Chappell Roan, for example, is heavily influenced by drag culture and wears heavy makeup and dramatic looks that wouldn’t be out of place on RuPaul’s. Taylor Swift typically plays it safe with stereotypically pop star outfits featuring sequins and fringe and the occasional floaty gown for her more soulful songs. Charli is edgier, with slightly alternative looks and moody makeup. The pop girlies can be distinguished by their muses as they pay homage to their DIY digs.

Pop Girly, Image via AI, The Untitled Magazine

The Music

The pop girlies are reclaiming the music scene in addition to their fashion takeover. Sabrina Carpenter is about to go on tour after making rounds in the festival circuit, and Olivia Rodrigo has two more stops left in her “Guts” tour. Pop music is revived, and it’s because of the fans. Gen Z is pushing hard to get rid of the “pick-me:” A girl who’s “not like other girls” and looks down on all things feminine, and perhaps that’s why pop music is doing so well. As a genre, pop music—and especially female pop stars—has been criticized as empty and commercial, and its fans have been characterized as young empty-headed girls.

Now, people of all genders, races, and ages are celebrating these pop stars and the music they create. They are pushing back against the stereotyping that pop music faces, and enjoying the genre. These artists are exploding, too. They are creating so much new music to go along with their tours, and the combined efforts of the musicians and the fans have led to this renaissance.

Pop music is back, and it’s here to stay. The Pop Girly, too, has carved out a place in this decade as a major player in the music and fashion world and is bringing positivity and a focus on equality to the industry.

Sabrina Carpenter Live at Capital’s Summertime Ball 2024 from Youtube

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