Fashion Fit For Spring: The Twee Revolution

Sophia Chang/New University

Frilly frocks, feminine necklaces, lacy necklines — cute, dainty clothing all around: all classified as Twee, the latest fashion turn to feminine wares based on Victorian-esque grandeur, taking one back to the era when tea time was imperative and dressing up was not an exception. With a more casual and modern look, though, these clothes can be seen anywhere and at anytime, no excuse needed.

Based off twee tunes – comprising a subgenre of pop that began back in 1986 — twee clothing reflects the lighthearted and catchy nature of these lyrics, principally featuring bright, warm colors that are perfectly balanced with the lightweight nature of the clothing.

Although typically not a twee sort of dresser myself, adapting to this style seems as easy as one, two, three: add some prep, confidence and feminine wiles with rococo-inspired frill and glamour and anyone should feel set to rock the style.

First, while thinking about the wide array of outfits that you can wear as a twee dresser, listen to some of the music that first served as inspiration for the entire trend itself.

There’s no place better to start than the origin. Power on your iPod, iPhone or Pandora radio, turn up the volume, and give a listen to such indie-pop inspired songs such as “Twee” by Tullycraft, “Let Me Go Home” by Camera Obscura, Lilly Allen, and Mumford and Sons.

Next, dress the part. Don’t be afraid to take up the knitting needles and make your own scarves or hats; it’ll help you save a bundle, and when someone asks where you got your scarf, you can proudly say, “I made it myself.”

Pick up cardigans, sheer or embroidered tops and dresses with cascading layers, fitted waists, fashionable add-on buttons and waist-hugging pleated shorts (floral print optional). Don’t be afraid to add some romance to your outfit with some floral decorations and lace.

Finding places to shop for twee clothing is easy. Before you hit the street, try your own rummage sale (although you’re the only buyer here). Rummage through your attic and shake through all those old boxes that have been collecting dust — who knows what could be in there.

If that search isn’t too fruitful, or the clothes are just a little too vintage, try shopping at thrift and antique stores. Just because something has been worn by someone else doesn’t mean that it won’t last for years to come.

It always seems as if vintage clothes are well-made anyway, more so than clothes you can sometimes buy at a store these days. Remember that old dress or shirt from the 70s that used to belong to a family member, but has somehow stood the test of time and is still in great shape?

Of course, if money doesn’t influence where you plan to buy some new twee clothing, there are always places that are making proto-modern re-dos of great vintage classics: look no further than places like or Anthropologie for flowy tops with playful, bold colors.

So, in addition to getting a bird cage necklace to complement your new cardigan with that to-die-for strapless floral dress, why not set the bird free and create a style that is utterly “indie”-pendent, blending elements of old and new to create a look that is totally you?