Are you a fan of Mac Demarco, 1975, Joji, Tame Impala, or the likes? Perhaps you’ve always enjoyed pastel aesthetics, vintage clothing, and thrift shopping too. Deemed a less edgy alternative to the Tik-Tok E-boy trend, the soft boy aesthetic celebrates young men who embrace stereotypically feminine clothing, hobbies, and traits.
What is The Soft Boy Aesthetic?
As a growing community, the existence of ‘soft boys’ pose a direct challenge to mainstream toxic masculinity and represent the youth’s rebellious desire for freedom of self-expression. For this reason, it comes as no surprise that this aesthetic – most notably personified by Harry Styles, Timothee Chalamet, and almost the entire K-POP male population – is often adopted by individuals with high self-awareness and artistic tendencies.
Soft boys pride themselves not just in their fashion-forward nature but also in introspective hobbies like photography, meditation, music, literature, and art. In this article, we will suggest the best soft boy aesthetic ideas to showcase your sensitive side without breaking the bank! These ideas will encompass everything from fashion to hairstyling and self-improvement, so read on to find out more!
How To Look Like a Soft Boy?
Soft Boy Hairstyles
If the soft boy aesthetic appeals to you, then looking the part is essential. While all men, in general, can possess feminine traits, soft boys, in particular, take their feminity a step further through their unique physical appearances. One clear tell of this aesthetic is a man’s boyish and youthful hairstyle. Soft boys are often seen growing their hair to medium length and maintaining a slightly unkempt style.
Thankfully, those who can enjoy neater and shorter looks can still achieve the soft boy aesthetic! The curtain hairstyle which was first popularized in the 90’s is a common look adopted by soft boys of all ages. This hairstyle is distinguished by a long fringe and strong middle part. Though often difficult to maintain, this hairstyle is suitable for all hair types and is floppy and easy-going – perfect for both casual grunge dressing and formal get-ups.
Fade + Buzz Cut
However unexpected, Drake’s music and public mannerisms do qualify him as part of the soft boy aesthetic. Simply think: ‘Certified Lover Boy’ and ‘Take Care’. Drake is what most would consider the ideal combination of a conventionally masculine appearance mixed with an unapologetically more feminine sense of introspection. In 2021, his iconic fade and buzz cut hairstyle sported a distinct revamp with the addition of a shaved heart. This seemingly insignificant addition sent shock waves through the mainstream, appearing on the heads of every neighborhood’s toughest guys and even the softest.
Soft Boy Clothing
Whether you’re in your early twenties or pushing thirty or forty, the soft boy aesthetic is extremely versatile and easy to curate. Fun and outgoing, this style is based on a standard set of vibrant wardrobe essentials.
Prioritizing comfort and vintage sensibilities, this aesthetic can be adapted to both formal and casual dressing with a few minor tweaks. To start – invest in a pair of loose or regular slim-fit jeans. Avoid pieces with distinct designs such as cut-outs, embroidery and print. This pair of jeans will serve as the base of your daily casual outfits.
For more formal occasions, select a pair of regular slim fit or skinny chinos. Avoid loud or overly vibrant colors as this may make your bottoms difficult to pair or reuse consecutively. When in doubt, opt for a classic black, navy blue, or dark grey. A looser fit will also add to your overall soft boy aesthetic as it can help you appear youthful and put together with minimal effort.
|Amazon Essentials||Men’s Classic-fit Wrinkle-Resistant Flat-Front Chino Pant||$12.06||BUY NOW|
|IZOD||IZOD Men’s American Chino Double Pleated Pant||$26.82||BUY NOW|
|Levi’s||Levi’s Men’s 569 Loose Straight Fit Jean||$36.44||BUY NOW|
|Dickies||Dickies Men’s Relaxed-Fit Carpenter Jean||$29.99||BUY NOW|
Now that you have the base of your outfit sorted, it’s time to review the interchangeable elements! Get creative with your shirts, pullovers, hoodies, sweaters and more! These are the elements of your wardrobe that will best portray your personality and individualism. In essence, the bolder – the better.
Consider investing in a mix of quality oversized vintage long sleeves, bowling shirts, striped shirts, formal button-ups, polo tees, and of course basic crew necks. These variations will not only look good on their own, but offer a variety of layering possibilities. So be diverse when choosing your fabrics and pairing textures, as these elements will highlight your fashion-forward nature!
|QWENTMTNTY||Striped Shirt Vintage Button Up Long Sleeve for Men||$16.07||BUY NOW|
|Anchor MSJ||Anchor MSJ Men’s 50s Retro Camp Bowling Shirt||$27.88||BUY NOW|
|BeRetro Store||Men’s Vintage Cuban Style Bowling Shirt||$79.95||BUY NOW|
|Aelfric Eden||Aelfric Eden Mens 90s Vintage Oversize Shirt||$18.99||BUY NOW|
|The Star Wars Store||Star Wars Vintage Psych Rebels T-Shirt||$22.99||BUY NOW|
When it comes to picking the right shoes, men who portray the soft boy aesthetic often opt for a classic pair of sneakers. Not only will these shoes not go out of style, but they are also extremely versatile and can be used for a myriad of occasions. The most popular options include Nike Air Force Ones, Converse, Vans, Nike AirMax, and Adidas Stan Smiths. Available in a variety of colorways, these shoes will easily pair and add character to any look.
Regardless of brand, always invest in a reliable pair of white sneakers first, as these will add a polished finish to both formal and casual attire. Once you’ve settled on your first pair, you may then proceed to purchase other pairs in fancy designs or other monochrome colors. These additional pairs can help to further tie your unique outfits together and showcase your fun and youthful personality.
Besides sneakers, one lesser-known soft boy aesthetic tip would be to incorporate a pair of sturdy army boots to your collection. These boots, preferably in black, will give your outfits an added edge, and help to balance your feminine outlook with more masculine elements. What’s more, they can be paired the exact same way as sneakers and can help give new meaning to repeated outfits.
|Nike||Nike Air Force||$225.00||BUY NOW|
|adidas||adidas Originals Men’s Stan Smith||$177.12||BUY NOW|
|Vans||Vans Old Skool Trainers||$66.00||BUY NOW|
|Converse||Adult Chuck Taylor All Star Vintage Washed||$59.31||BUY NOW|
|Dr. Martens||Dr. Martens Boot||$154.95||BUY NOW|
No outfit is complete without the right accessories. While many men shy away from over-accessorizing, the soft boy aesthetic encourages it. Pile on the chains, cuff links, rings, bracelets, and earrings! Just remember to keep your accessories uniform and stick to similar materials. If you’re going for silver Cuban link chains, then pair them with silver dangling earrings and a nice silver strap watch.
Similarly, if you opt for gold or leather elements, try your best to keep things cohesive. Other great yet understated accessories you may include are leather belts with eye-catching clasps, wire-rimmed round glasses, leather or polyester fanny packs, and oversized and opaque sunglasses with distinct shapes such as cat-eye, shield, or retro square.
Ultimately, how you accessorize is entirely up to you! When in doubt, simply choose shapes and colors which match well with your physique, skin tone, and desired appearance. Cat-eye sunglasses work best with vintage-inspired aesthetics, while shield sunglasses exude a more mysterious aura. Furthermore, a good watch and an assortment of well-placed rings can add a sense of bougee-ness and intentionality to your outfit.
|Amazon Collection||Men’s Sterling Silver Italian Solid Figaro Link-Chain Necklace||$58.20||BUY NOW|
|Jewlpire||Diamond-Cut Miami Mens Cuban Link Chain Necklace||$15.99||BUY NOW|
|Fiasaso Store||22 Piece Hoop Dangle Earrings in Stainless Steel||$14.99||BUY NOW|
|Hicarer Store||12 Pieces Hoop Dangle Earrings in Stainless Steel||$13.59||BUY NOW|
|EIELO||9Pcs Stainless Steel Band Rings for Men||$17.99||BUY NOW|
Soft Boy Hobbies
A true soft boy aesthetic extends far beyond the circumstantial physical appearance. True soft boys emulate this aesthetic in every aspect of their lives. Committing fully to the lifestyle with a set of artistic hobbies.
If you love music, consider learning an instrument, starting a band, or mixing some beats. Regardless of the genre, music is a universal form of art – thanks to its intricate and emotional combination of vocal and instrumental sound. Music is also widely considered an avenue of psychological escape. As such, the mere act of listening can be considered one of your hobbies. Besides being relaxing and enjoyable, listening to music can help reduce stress, improve memory, promote cardiovascular health, increase pain tolerance, and reduce the risk of depression.
When in doubt, one hobby that will never cease to impress is photography. This modern art form is the direct result of technological advancement. Whether you choose the increasingly popular film noir aesthetic or the significantly more tedious route of modern image manipulation, photography is an impressive skill that will not only make you appear cooler but may actually kickstart a potential career in media.
After all, the saying is “a picture is worth a thousand words”, and photography is the best medium to showcase your sentimental side. Adopt this hobby to tell stories and capture moments through photos. There’s no downside to photography. Future you will definitely be thankful for the memories!
|KODAK Store||Kodak Ultra F9 35mm Film Camera||$51.88||BUY NOW|
|HOLGA||Holga 120N Medium Format Film Camera||$59.95||BUY NOW|
|AUTPIRLF Store||Mini Digital Camera||$54.99||BUY NOW|
One thing most soft boys have in common is a deep interest in literature. Put simply, literature encompasses all forms of written and spoken material, especially those with artistic motivations. The field most commonly refers to works of the creative imagination and can include poetry, theatre, fiction, philosophy, journalism, and even music. Literature in general is a popular hobby for most soft boys as it enables them to experience the world in ways that can’t always be expressed in words. Plus, it is also deemed a medium of expression which allows these men to easily or obscurely share their thoughts and opinions without mass scrutiny.
As mentioned previously, soft boys are not just artistic. In fact, many of them are highly self-aware and tend to be more introspective than the average person. As such, mindful practices such as meditation appeal to this community of men. Depending on their personal desires and motivations, soft boys are able to perform a variety of non-religious mindful practices such as spiritual meditation, movement meditation, loving-kindness meditation, and transcendental meditation.
Through these practices, soft boys are better able to train their attention and awareness, to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. They also experience enhanced positive emotions, creativity, patience, and tolerance. Besides encouraging these men to live in the present moment and be open to new perspectives – the benefits of meditation can also fuel a soft boy’s ability to be artistic, level-headed, and confident in all that he does.
Is The Soft Boy Aesthetic For You?
Thus far, the soft boy aesthetic has done wonders to shed light on toxic masculinity and the lack of support for men’s mental health. Whether or not you consider yourself a soft boy or deem the aesthetic appealing, this latest Tik-Tok fashion trend is here to stay for the foreseeable future. While looking the part may help bolster your confidence, being a true soft boy is in fact a highly individualized experience. Sharing many similarities with the soft boy aesthetic may not necessarily make you one, nor does being a proud soft boy make you any less masculine. We hope that as you progress on your fashion and self-discovery journey, you will create your own positive trends that resonate best with who you are. Till then, this guide is here to help all aspiring soft boys!