Coastal grandmother, Barbiecore—it’s not that I don’t pay attention to the trends as they bubble up on TikTok and Instagram. It’s more that my mom self can’t always visualize quite how to implement them. For example, a beige color palette as prescribed by Coastal Grandma sounds nice, but it’s not exactly kid friendly. (My 5-year-old son’s hands are a mix of paint and popsicle stains at all times.) Same with Barbiecore. Can I really see myself wearing bright pink heels to school drop-off? Pink Birkenstocks, maybe…but that’s the limit.
Still, that’s where the latest TikTok trend, dubbed ‘Tomato Girl Summer,’ peaked my interest: Best defined as a vibe that reflects “aspirational Italian leisure chic,” it felt dreamy, but also attainable, even in the midst of my mom life.
After all, according to those who’ve made the effort to make sense of it, a Tomato Girl Summer speaks to someone who “appreciates the slower, finer moments.” She can be found “lingering over an afternoon espresso,” “strolling along the beach,” or “sauntering to the farmers’ market for flowers.” (Also, tomatoes.)
Fashion is a part of it, sure—another aspect that felt appealing to a mom, who style-wise, tends to feel more frazzled than fabulous most days. Red—the hue of tomatoes—is the core color of the Tomato Girl, which feels bright and poppy and fun, but there’s no exact prescription for pulling off the aesthetic. Instead, it’s about relaxed and low-effort glamour. A floral print dress, an oversized pair of sunglasses, a head scarf. Think Gwyneth Paltrow in The Talented Mr. Ripley or anyone from the cast of White Lotus sipping Aperol Spritzes at sunset. Hell, it’s George and Amal Clooney, the Lake Como edition. Yes, please.