Meet us in the rose garden because women’s romantic style is abloom. Consider us smitten. Bows, lace and ruffles—oh, my. If these feminine attributes pique your interest, chances are you identify with this aesthetic. Perhaps these delicate details already adorn your closet. Or, maybe you’re a budding romance enthusiast inspired by this year’s women’s fall fashion trends. Either way, we’re here to highlight the components behind reprised and revised romantic clothing style. Keep reading to channel your inner idealist. From core concepts to key pieces, you’ll feel confident as a darling of this dreamy look.
What is Romantic Clothing Style?
Wondering what romantic clothing style is all about? It’s a dreamy form of dressing characterized by soft silhouettes and textures, feminine touches and a dash of nostalgia. Think tiered dresses in pastel hues and statement sleeves galore. However, before we swoon over the fashions, you might be curious about where the romantic aesthetic stems from. Here’s a quick history lesson.
The term comes from the Romanticism movement or Romantic Period. This was a time when art, poetry, creative expression, nature and music were at the forefront. The era favored imagination over logic and reason, which translated into the world of fashion as well. Women abandoned rounder waistlines and opted for more defined cuts, with empire waists inspired by Grecian silhouettes. Bustling full skirts and decoratively embellished gowns ranked high for romanticism. The cagey undergarments that typically upheld women’s dress were left by the wayside in favor of more comfortable options. Now that you know where this charming trend originates, let’s take a look at the modern versions. From 19th-century inspired styles to feminine fashion choices with a gothic twist, there’s something for every escapist.
19th-Century Romantic Style
One iteration of romantic style sweeping women’s fashion takes cues from the 19th-century version of this aesthetic. What makes this trend different from other romantic clothing styles? Let’s take another trip down history lane. In the 19th century, the term “romantic” was synonymous with sentimentality. Tenderness and nostalgia trickled through many creative endeavors. This era enveloped a more modern, free-flowing perspective through flowy fabrications, earth tones and golden adornments. Bodices had a round or v-shaped neckline with a variety of chemisettes (or tuckers). Large white lapels extending down the front called pelerines became a popular 19th-century accessory, particularly in the 1830s.
Ready to put a 21st-century spin on this vintage style? Instead of a chemisette, slip into a blouse with a lace-lined collar or frilled button-down. Wear it tucked into a paper bag waist trouser and accessorize with ornate pearls or gold-doused earrings Congratulations on becoming a sartorial time traveler.
Feminine Romantic Fashion Style
The name of this look says it all. While femininity is multifaceted, women’s romantic style defines it as embodying softness, lush textures and a hint of vintage-inspired pieces. Embrace ruffle accents, twirl-worthy tulle and lavish lace which are some of the key components of this alluring aesthetic. This look is also known for its high waistlines, sleek silhouettes, French lace, embroideries and billowing sleeves. For what to wear to a garden party, try a Marie-sleeved maxi with grass-friendly flats. You’ll be the master of crush-worthy style in no time. With the main components of the refined romantic in mind, let’s explore another side of romantic fashion—the Gothic style.
The Edgy Romantic Style: The Gothic Revival
Before you fill your wardrobe with light, airy colors, let’s not forget the edgy style side: the gothic revival. As with other subgenres of women’s romantic fashion, this dark slant on the trend takes inspiration from the past. The neo-gothic genre aimed to bring dark and eerie forms to life. From the supernatural musings of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” to the morose tales of Edgar Allan Poe, gloomy glamor was everywhere. As you might have guessed, these mysterious themes showed up in wardrobes as well.
Gothic revival romantic clothing incorporates brooding themes—usually in black—and soft earth tones are a popular go-to. To wear this mode today, try channeling your inner steampunk with lace and corsets over a simple T-shirt. Throw on a studded headband and a black midi skirt for an industrial touch. Lace and corsets channel your inner steampunk for an edgy ensemble. Looking for a hot-weather outfit that still brings a spectral splash? Wear a tiered nap dress with lug-sole sandals while you re-read “Dracula” in the sun. For cooler days, choose a luxurious velvet frock and swap sandals for combat boots. A moto jacket seamlessly ties it all together. After dabbling in the dark side of romantic fashion, let’s explore the popular colors and prints behind the romantic aesthetic.
Romantic Style Colors and Patterns
Before exploring the pieces that define women’s romantic clothing style, let’s check out the most coveted colors and patterns. This generally leans into pretty pastel and earth tones. It pulls inspiration from nature. Picture buttercup yellows reflecting sunlight and the mossy greens of a thriving hillside. Swoon for soft blush decorating sunset, or cheery blues like the sky in the morning light.
In terms of patterns, you can’t go wrong with florals. Large, water-color-style flowers bring a little flirtation to your ensemble. Feeling demure? Reach for ditsy florals and smaller patterns to embody a graceful vibe. If nature-inspired prints aren’t for you, don’t fret. A gingham pattern is the perfect flower-free way to embrace this trend. With prints and colors underway, it’s time to discover the fabrics and silhouettes for romantic style.
Fabrics and Silhouettes to Add Romance to Your Wardrobe
You’ve got the colors and designs of this aesthetic down pat. Now let’s discuss the fabrics and silhouettes to comprise a romantic style. When choosing materials, opt for natural fibers. Cotton was the fabrication front-runner in the 19th century, and remains ideal for present-day romantic outfits thanks to its breathability. Silk-chiffon and linen are also perfect for capturing the relaxed, flowy romantic style. Rather than a structured geometric piece, romantic fashion celebrates creative expression through draped gowns or sheer, lightweight shapes. When shopping for this trend, seek out a-line silhouettes, wide-leg pants and dramatic sleeves. With these concepts in mind, you’ll be ready to hone your romantic style personality.
4 Key Wardrobe Pieces for a Romantic Style Aesthetic
With a few key pieces, you, too, can be a romantic at heart. Not sure where to start? Take an approach similar to French style. Mix elaborate pieces with easy staples like denim and sneakers. On the other hand, if you’re ready to dive headfirst, you’ve got the all-clear from us. However you approach romantic fashion, here are four key pieces to give you heart-eyes.
1. Feminine Tops to Fall in Love With
Tops are at the center of every woman’s wardrobe. Choose a delicate garment to capture the ethereal feel of romantic outfits. They’re especially helpful if you’re a dynamo of denim or a skirt connoisseur. When finding your perfect blouse to tie together your look, drama in the sleeve or neckline effortlessly showcases romanticism. Think of a tie-strap, a billowy bell sleeve or a bow neckline. Asymmetrical styles are also a darling of the movement.
When considering top fabrications, bring out your inner romantic with a lace or crochet rendition. Lace can be delicate, daring or both. Mix a dash of balletcore to your outfit by wearing this intricately woven wonder over a tank top. Complete your ensemble with a simple skirt and ballet flats. If you prefer a gothic revival approach, look no further than lace in black or burgundy. It adds an element of mystery, working especially well for nighttime events as a subtle layering foundation. If 70s fashion is calling your name, opt for a crochet top in a neutral beige tone. Pair it with a patterned skirt or maxi dress to channel a boho style feel. Lastly, for those facing chilly climates, reach for a lovely layer with a cable-knit cardigan to enhance your look.
2. The Romantic Style Dress: Draped in Whimsy
Now that we’ve dabbled in tops, let’s explore our favorite one-and-done piece: the flowing frock. Dresses with ornamentation are the pinnacle of women’s romantic fashion style. These iconic garments will have you imagining you’re running through a meadow with a wicker bag filled with wildflowers. The playfulness is palpable. The mood is light and airy. Add frills and thrills with a ruffle dress, both glamorous and elegant. Let this ethereal frock stand out with simple kitten heels or pointed-toe flats. Defining the waist is essential to this trend. Try empire and A-line styles to capture this nostalgic silhouette. Lastly, the yoke-top dress is another frontrunner for this aesthetic. This option, in tandem with a crochet or intricate lace bodice, is instantly intriguing. It’s an ideal cut for heading to the farmers market or stylishly catching up on summer reading.
3. The Mesmerizing Midi Skirt
Just like our beloved dresses, the skirt is an essential component of a woman’s romantic outfit. The midi is a type of skirt that’s rising in popularity because it marries fashion and function in one piece. It’s long enough for favorable coverage, yet short enough to allow an elegant quickness and ease of motion. Dress it up with a chiffon off-the-shoulder blouse and delicate sandals. Or, give it a sartorial spin with a daring satin hair clip. From serene walks along the shore to sip-and-paint dates with your pals, the midi can take you anywhere.
4. Romantic Style Accessories: Alluring Accents
Accessories add a delightful touch to women’s romantic fashion style. A padded bead-studded headband or ribbons tied in a bow are lovely ways to incorporate subtle feminine flair. Infuse print or color into your look with a peach silk scarf. Fasten it around your neck or add it to the strap of your purse for extra personality and playfulness. Pile on the pearls to add grace and elegance to a romantic fall wedding ensemble. Comfort is essential, so rather than sky-high heels, lean into a lower shoe that offers height without discomfort. How romantic.
Feeling inspired to take romantic fashion for a spin? If you’re ready to romanticize your closet with swoon-worthy styles, our stylists are here to help. Take your style quiz and order a Fix. Sit back and relax while five curated pieces arrive at your doorstep. With try before you buy, you can keep what you love and send back the rest. Returns and shipping are always free, giving you even more peace of mind.