Clean Girl Aesthetic – What The Trend Is + Clothes and Outfit Ideas

collage of women wearing clean girl aesthetic clothes styled with slicked back hair and minimalist makeup including simple skirts and tank tops and a neutral brown trench coat

By now, you’ve probably heard of the viral (and effortlessly chic) clean girl aesthetic. You’ve seen the slicked-back buns, obsessed over the latest nail trends, and wondered how you can achieve the perfect “no makeup” makeup look. And we’re right there with you! That’s why we wanted to create the ultimate clean girl aesthetic guide — from the beauty essentials that made it famous to the best clothes and outfit ideas to recreate the look.

So whether you want to elevate your beauty routine or finally create a capsule wardrobe, we’re breaking down the must-haves for this timeless style. Keep scrolling for our complete aesthetic guide, plus our favorite clean girl outfit ideas to add to your mood board!

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What is the clean girl aesthetic?

a woman wearing minimalist white clean girl aesthetic knit clothes including a cropped tank top and midi length skirt with a slicked back bun
outfit: Reformation | shoes: Reformation

The clean girl aesthetic is a sleek and minimalist fashion look that focuses on natural makeup, classic clothes, and pared-back beauty. It’s all about looking fresh and “clean” rather than glammed up — think: dewy skin, slicked-back buns, and simple outfits.

Unlike many other aesthetics, the clean girl style goes beyond microtrends, instead celebrating timeless fashion and trend-defying beauty looks. If you’re searching for an aesthetic that will never go out of style, especially one where you can invest in your closet staples, this is it!

What is the clean girl aesthetic controversy?

a woman wearing slicked back hair and a minimalist light brown outfit with gold jewelry to achieve the clean girl aesthetic look
gold hoops: Pretty Little Thing

Like many TikTok-viral trends, the clean girl aesthetic has its good parts…but it also has some controversies. Here at GWS, we believe that every aesthetic and internet trend is what you make of it, so we wanted to highlight both the good and bad aspects of the clean girl look. Here are our thoughts…

The Bad

  • Proper credit: When you think of the clean girl aesthetic, celebs like Hailey Bieber, Sophia Richie Grange, and other (predominantly white) influencers likely come to mind. However, the general “clean girl” style — aka, slicked-back hair and hoop earrings — has been a mainstay look of Latinx and BIPOC fashion way before this aesthetic hit our TikTok FYP. Because of this, it can be problematic to call this look a new “trend” without crediting the communities that started it in the first place. It’s also important to acknowledge that the clean girl aesthetic only went mainstream after white women started wearing it. That doesn’t mean that you can’t rock the style if you’re not in those communities — but maybe shift the way you think and talk about it first.
  • The language: Listen, we love a “girl” trend as much as the next, ahem, girl, but this title can also be a bit limiting. After all, we would never want to exclude people who don’t identify as a “girl” from rocking this style. Plus, the term can sometimes come across as infantilizing or ageist. While in many ways it’s empowering to embrace girlhood in mainstream culture, we should all be a little less worried about aging, amiright?
  • Clean vs. dirty: Similar to the word “girl,” the term “clean” also has its issues. When we call a certain aesthetic “clean,” it can imply that other styles are “dirty.” While some aesthetics have embraced this idea (hello, indie sleaze!), it may also cast a negative light on beauty and fashion looks — or even lifestyles — that don’t live up to the sleek and minimalist standard. We can’t all have perfect glowy skin or a wrinkle-free wardrobe, but that also shouldn’t stop us from trying out a certain aesthetic!

The Good

  • Natural beauty: The clean girl aesthetic is all about embracing your natural beauty and features, rather than spending hours (and tons of money) trying to change your look and appearance. While there’s nothing wrong with aesthetics that focus on maximalist makeup and fashion, there is something refreshing about celebrating who we are without all of that, too. This is especially true for people who don’t want to (or don’t have time to) put on a full face of makeup every morning. Because we shouldn’t need an hour of glam to be considered beautiful!
  • Sustainability: One of the mainstays of the clean girl aesthetic is classic clothes and timeless basics. Because of this, the clean girl look is WAY more sustainable than many other microtrends and viral aesthetics, which encourage you to buy the latest clothing items just in time for them to go out of style (and end up in a landfill). Instead, the clean girl aesthetic focuses on simple and universally flattering clothes that can easily be mixed and matched for years — if not decades — to come. We see a capsule wardrobe in your future!
  • Accessibility: While many people focus on the lack of inclusivity when it comes to the clean girl aesthetic (as we mentioned above), we think this style is actually pretty accessible to a large group of people. Most of the clean girl look staples can be found in your current wardrobe or makeup bag, so you don’t need to go out and spend a ton of money on trendy clothes. And since this is such a minimalist look, it also doesn’t take a lot of time or products to recreate. Plus, clean girl fashion is designed to be classic and timeless, making it great for all ages — whether you’re 18 or 58.

TLDR: Ultimately, the clean girl aesthetic is just that: an aesthetic. While its important to acknowledge the nuances of this viral style, we also think that anyone can try it out — no matter your body type, skin color, age, or income. Everything is what you make of it!

As one of our editors noted, “As a person that a lot of these sites claim is excluded from the clean girl aesthetic, I personally think it’s empowering when a site makes an attempt to include examples of people like me and how I can achieve the look, rather than telling me I should boycott it. I can’t speak for all BIPOC people or all people older than 25 or all people with kids (all of which I am), but there are people like me who love this aesthetic and the good things it stands for, too.” Enough said.

The Essentials of the Clean Girl Aesthetic

a woman wearing a clean girl aesthetic style white button-down shirt with a minimalist makeup look and slicked back hair with a center part
clean girl aesthetic outfit: Banana Republic

Ready to embrace your inner clean girl? To help you incorporate the clean girl aesthetic into your daily beauty routine, we’re breaking down all the essentials of this look — from the best clean girl makeup to our favorite minimalist manicures. Grab your favorite lip gloss and let’s get into it!

GWS Pro Tip: Another criticism of the clean girl aesthetic is that it’s meant to look effortless, when in reality it takes a whole lot of time and effort to pull off. Again, we believe that this comes down to how you interpret the style in your daily life. Sure, you could spend hours recreating Hailey Bieber’s glazed skin and glazed nails…or you could embrace the minimalism of the aesthetic with a simple bun and 5-minute makeup routine. Its totally up to you!

Clean Girl Aesthetic Hair

woman with minimalist slicked back bun clean girl aesthetic hair paired with silver hoop earrings
hair accessories: Princess Polly

A slicked-back bun is THE hairstyle of the clean girl aesthetic. Unlike the messy bun trend of years past, this style is all about a perfectly polished and pulled-back look. Because of this, it’s a great hairdo for days when you’re on the go and don’t want your strands to get in your way. Plus, it’s universally flattering and works with all hair types (our curly-haired editors can confirm!).

To get the look, part your hair in the middle before pulling it back into a tight bun (either at the nape of your neck or the crown of your head — both channel the clean girl aesthetic). It helps to use a boar bristled brush and styling cream or hair wax to smooth down any flyaways and achieve maximum staying power. From there, you can pull the rest of your hair into a bun, twist your strands into a braid, or leave your locks loose in a sleek ponytail. We love!

Note: This isn’t the only style of hair for the clean girl aesthetic, but it is the most iconic! To achieve the clean girl look, embrace hair that’s simple, understated, and allows your glowy skin to take center stage. Which brings us to our next point…

Clean Girl Aesthetic Makeup

Hailey Bieber wearing minimalist clean girl aesthetic makeup and short chin length hair with a white spaghetti strap top
Hailey Bieber’s skincare line: Rhode

The clean girl aesthetic makeup look is actually a no makeup look. This aesthetic is all about embracing and accentuating your natural beauty, so less really is more. Think: dewy skin rather than full coverage foundation, shiny lip gloss instead of lipstick, and soft brown eyeliner instead of a bold black wing.

If you want to rock a clean girl aesthetic makeup look, a fresh and glowing complexion is essential. To get that freshly washed look (aka, the “clean” part of the “clean girl” aesthetic), opt for dewy and creamy makeup versus matte or powder. Products like tinted moisturizer, liquid blush, and creamy highlighter will give you that lit-from-within glow. Simple, but SO effective.

The clean girl aesthetic is also part of a growing beauty trend that prioritizes skincare over makeup. Consider this your sign to ditch the makeup and focus on products that benefit your skin (instead of clogging it), like hyaluronic acid serums, nourishing face masks, and alllll the moisturizer. Your complexion will thank you!

a woman applying Summer Fridays deep hydrating serum

Want to level up your skincare game? Then don’t miss our list of the best skincare brands for every budget — plus our must-have products for a glowing complexion!

Clean Girl Aesthetic Nails

minimalist french manicure clean girl aesthetic nails with slightly pointed tips
photo: @nehajiandani | nails: Glamnetic

Chic and minimalist nails are the perfect finishing touch to your clean girl aesthetic look. Forget over-the-top nail art and bold designs — a clean girl inspired manicure is classic, understated, and perfectly polished (pun intended!). Kind of like your bare nails, but better!

For inspo, just look at Hailey Bieber’s famous glazed donut manicure or the recent milky nails trend. A simple twist on natural nails, these clean girl aesthetic manicures look, well, clean. Want something a little more bold? You also can’t go wrong with a classic French manicure or a neutral chrome design.

GWS Pro Tip: If you don’t want to spend a bunch of time and money on a nail appointment, press on nails are one of our favorite ways to rock a clean girl aesthetic manicure look. Just pop them on, and you’re good to go!

Clean Girl Aesthetic Clothes and Outfits – Our Favorite Looks That Achieve The Trend

minimalist athletic white tennis-style mini dress clean girl aesthetic outfit styled with slicked back hair
clean girl aesthetic outfit: Abercrombie & Fitch

A clean girl aesthetic outfit is classic. It’s cool. And, most importantly, it’s comfortable. While this aesthetic is most famous for its beauty routine, we’re also big fans of clean girl style. Low-key and luxurious at the same time, it consists of elevated basics, matching loungewear, and subtle jewelry.

To help you channel the clean girl aesthetic, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite clothes, looks, and outfit ideas that perfectly capture this chic and effortless style. These outfits go beyond trends to give you something timeless, minimalist, and impossibly chic. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like an off-duty model as you run errands, hit up brunch, or head to the office, this is the style for you!

The Best Places To Buy Clothes to Put Together a Clean Girl Look

minimalist blue cropped tee and light wash blue jeans clean girl aesthetic clothes
clean girl aesthetic outfit: Reformation

While you can probably recreate most of these outfits with the clothes already hanging in your closet, we wanted to shout out a few of our favorite brands that embody the clean girl aesthetic style. Whether you’re looking for a closet refresh or just want to add a few pieces to your capsule wardrobe, these are the best places for the look!

  • Reformation: If we could describe the clean girl aesthetic with one brand, it’s Reformation. Not only are their clothes chic and sophisticated, but they’re also sustainable — which totally aligns with the clean girl aesthetic. Ditch fast fashion and microtrends and opt for Reformation’s timeless dresses, luxurious sweaters, and drool-worthy shoes instead.
  • Quince: We recently did an in-depth review of the affordable luxury brand Quince, and safe to say we’re totally obsessed. With everything from chic cashmere sweaters to elegant silk skirts (all for under $100), Quince is a no-brainer for clean girl aesthetic clothes on a budget. They even have wallet-friendly jewelry to complete your look!
  • Aritzia: If you’re searching for elevated basics to build your clean girl aesthetic outfits, Aritzia has the best of the best looks. Their clothes are the definition of everyday luxury, with wardrobe essentials you’ll love for years to come. Create unlimited outfits with their chic trousers, classic button-downs, and cozy loungewear — the options are truly endless!

Now let’s get into the outfits!

1: Oversized Blazer + Trousers

clean girl aesthetic clothes look with a classic oversized gray blazer and black trousers paired with a white blouse

An outfit that instantly makes you look like you have your life together (even if you really don’t)? Say less! This outfit is the pinnacle of the clean girl aesthetic, with elevated clothes that look effortless and elegant at the same time.

Recreate this clean girl look with wide-leg trousers, an oversized blazer, and some pointed-toe kitten heels. Finish with a slicked-back bun and some barely-there makeup, and you have a sophisticated outfit that oozes quiet luxury vibes — minus the luxury price tag!

Shop These Wide-Leg Trousers

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2: Simple Elevated Basics Outfit

minimalist straight cut jeans and a black fitted off-the-shoulder top clean girl aesthetic outfit

This outfit look is proof that you don’t need to buy a whole new wardrobe to achieve the clean girl aesthetic. All you really need is a basic black or white tee, a pair of classic blue jeans, and some sleek pumps. It doesn’t get much more simple or timeless (or more wearable) than that!

The best part of this clean girl outfit? You can recreate it in 10 minutes or less! Elevate the look with classic accessories like gold hoops and a leather bag, and you’re pretty much golden.

Shop These ’90s-Inspired Blue Jeans

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3: Athleisure Clean Girl Aesthetic Outfit

woman in a minimalist matching black athleisure set and baseball cap clean girl aesthetic outfit with a gray sweater draped over the shoulders

Give your off-duty look a clean girl aesthetic upgrade with a chic matching lounge set. It’s just as comfortable as your go-to baggy t-shirt and leggings, but WAY more stylish. Whether you’re running errands or working from home, this athleisure set will make you look AND feel polished.

Complete this low-key outfit by layering a crewneck or cardigan over your shoulders (the ultimate clean girl aesthetic look!) and styling your hair in a slicked-back bun or a cute baseball cap. It’s comfy, it’s casual, and it’s effortlessly cool.

Shop This Cute Athleisure Sports Bra

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4: Cute + Classic Little White Dress

white mini dress clean girl aesthetic clothes with ruffle straps and a floral eyelet pattern

The coquette aesthetic meets clean girl style with this cute and feminine outfit! If trousers and button-downs aren’t your jam, channel the clean girl look with a simple white dress instead. After all, it doesn’t get much more timeless than a LWD, especially in this cute and classic silhouette.

Up the clean girl vibes with a simple beauty look and sleek black accessories, like these minimalist sunglasses. It’s a warm-weather take on the timeless aesthetic and an outfit we plan on wearing all summer long!

Shop This White Cotton Mini Dress

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a woman applying a classic designer fragrance to her wrists

A clean and fresh scent is another essential part of the clean girl aesthetic. Find your signature scent with our list of the best perfumes for women!

5: Monochrome Beige Clean Girl Aesthetic Outfit

woman in minimalist beige tank top and trousers outfit clean girl aesthetic clothes with a brown sweater tied around her neck

If we had to choose just one color to represent the clean girl aesthetic, it would be beige. While it may not be as exciting as hot pink or fiery red, it IS a timeless hue that goes with everything. Plus, there’s something so luxurious about neutral clothes — they’re the perfect mix of quiet luxury style and the clean girl aesthetic look!

For a sleek and elevated clean girl aesthetic outfit, you can’t go wrong with a monochrome beige look. Pair a neutral tank with beige trousers, and throw a matching sweater over your shoulders to tie it all together. Tres chic!

Shop This Silk Beige Cropped Tank Top

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6: Timeless Beige Trench Coat Outfit

minimalist trench coat and black trousers and crop top outfit clean girl aesthetic clothes

Want to give any outfit a clean girl aesthetic makeover? Just add a trench! There’s something about a trench coat that screams “clean girl” — it’s classic, it’s practical, and it’s an impossibly chic look. Opt for this sleek beige one for a timeless look, or mix things up with a trendy vegan leather one instead.

Whether you’re rocking a simple t-shirt and jeans or a classic black dress, a timeless trench is the perfect finishing touch to the clean girl look!

Shop This Classic Beige Trench Coat

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7: Classic Oversized Clean Girl Aesthetic Outfit

woman in an oversized white button down shirt and grey trousers clean girl aesthetic clothes styled with slicked back hair

If we have one tip for putting together a clean girl aesthetic outfit, it’s to not overthink the look. This aesthetic is the definition of less is more — from a simple bun to minimalist makeup to classic clothes. Case in point: this understated ‘fit!

For clean girl aesthetic clothes you can wear anytime, anywhere, just style a pair of trousers with a classic white button-down shirt. Bonus points if they’re oversized — and if you rock them with the iconic clean girl bun!

Shop This Classic White Button-Down Shirt

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Our Favorite “Clean Girl” Inspired Guides To Help You Achieve the Look

clean girl aesthetic style outfit with a classic light brown trench coat styled with black jeans and slicked back hair
clean girl aesthetic outfit: Pretty Little Thing

Love the clean girl aesthetic look as much as we do? We’ve rounded up even more fashion and beauty guides to help you get the look!

Starting with beauty, don’t miss our list of the best skincare brands (plus our fave products) to help you achieve a clean and glowing complexion. And speaking of clean beauty, we also rounded up the best clean brands for your sustainable skincare routine. Elevate your look with some of our editor-approved Sephora products, and you’re pretty much golden!

When it comes to your clean girl aesthetic outfits, comfort is a must. Check out our list of the comfortable heels to complete your ‘fit!

Any other aesthetics you’re currently loving? Let us know in the comments below!

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