This Is Everything You Need To Have A Brat Girl Summer, By A Brat Girl Who Really Knows

'Brat' is more than just a fashion trend or an album, it’s a lifestyle.

Charli XCX

by Gavi Weiss |
Published on

Say goodbye to the 'clean girl' because this year, we’re trading in green juice, neutral athleisure and slicked-back buns for iced coffee, messy hair, slept-in make-up and mini skirts. Yes, the brat girl summer is officially upon us.

Charli XCX
The Brat album cover ©charli_xcx

The term 'brat girl summer' came from Essex-raised pop icon Charli XCX’snewest album Brat. Released just in time to be the official soundtrack of summer, the pop album featuring a simple but impactful lime green cover has already become one of the best-reviewed albums of 2024 and one of the most influential launches on social media this year. On its release day in early June, I found myself strutting down the pavement, blasting Sympathy is a Knife through my headphones, wearing my wrap-around sunglasses (very brat) on my morning commute to the office (not very brat). Listen carefully, brat is more than just a fashion trend or an album, it’s a lifestyle.

While this phenomenon seemingly came out of nowhere, hyper-pop – pioneered by British music innovators like SOPHIE, AG Cook, and Charli XCX – has cultivated a cult following with its own fashion aesthetic since the 2010s. And it's a style which Brat has now propelled into the mainstream. As Charli once said herself, 'it’s HARD being ahead', and this summer we’re finally catching up (or at least trying).

What are the elements of a brat girl wardrobe, you might ask? Y2K sunglasses, graphic tees, short shorts and miniskirts paired with heeled boots are all at the core. The moodboard is maximalism, a nod to the noughties with the raunchiness of rave and ‘club-rat’ style and, of course, that iconic lime green. It’s chic, messy, and unpretentious. In an interview on BBC Radio’s Sidetracked podcast, Charli explains: 'It can [also] be so trashy just like a pack of cigs and a BIC lighter and like a strappy white top with no bra, and that’s kind of all you need.'

While Charli XCX serves as reigning Mother of brat girl summer, we all know a girl is nothing without her brat squad (is this the modern iteration of the brat pack?). Social media went wild when Charli gathered 14 of social media’s biggest self-proclaimed 'hot internet girls' like Julia Fox, Gabriette, Rachel Sennott, Chloë Sevigny, and Emma Chamberlain, for her 360 music video in May, cementing the blueprint of what a brat girl should look like. Styled by LA-based stylist Chris Horan, the squad were clad in the fashion girlie's go-to brands like Eytys, Courrèges, KNWLS and VAQUERA.

Charli XCX
Charli XCX and her 'brat-squad' in the 360 music video ©charli_xcx

It's important to bear in mind that brat girl summer is about more than just what you wear, it’s about healing female friendships (anyone else crying over the Girl, so confusing remix with Lorde?), self-love (or dare I say, obsession), and debauchery, all recurring themes on the album. But while we all know our best accessory is confidence, we need the looks to pair with it. Here’s what I’m adding to my brat girl wardrobe so I can be 'so Julia' all summer long.

Shop: The Ultimate Brat Girl Wardrobe

'Von Dutch, cult classic but I still pop,' Charli sings in her hit single titled after the beloved noughties brand. Between brat-girl summer and Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie’s return to reality TV, this hat is back to being a pop-culture staple. That’s hot.

A vest top is at the core of every brat wardrobe. Just because it’s a basic it doesn’t have to be casual. Accessorise it by layering necklaces and pairing it with a skirt and heels.

Being fashionably late is very brat, and what better excuse than 'Sorry I forgot to check my heels for the time'?

Jorts are the wardrobe essential of the summer. Dress them down with a simple graphic T-shirt or add heeled boots and a dressy top for summer nights out.

This jacket was worn by none other than Julia Fox in the 360 music video.

When in doubt, add an accent of that iconic lime green.

Loving yourself is VERY brat, so why not shout it from the rooftops (or your handbag).

Gavi Weiss, Grazia’s Fashion Assistant, has a penchant for vintage clothing, '90s rom-coms and matcha lattes. You can usually find her steaming up a storm on the set of our next big photoshoot. Follow her @gaviweisson Instagram.

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