Rom-com core is the latest Gen Z fashion trend. Here's how to wear it.

Fun fact: I became a fashion writer after binge-watching romantic comedies when I was an impressionable teenager. Cliche? Yes. Do I regret my choices? Absolutely not. If anything, it's just reaffirmed that I should base all major life decisions around rom-coms - including what to wear.

16-year-old Basmah pictured herself parading around the streets of New York City wearing Prada heels and a Max Mara coat, hopping from one glamorous event to the next. And while not all of it panned out the way I thought it would (I’m still in Sydney and instead of Prada, I’m wearing DISSH), my younger self would be pretty chuffed to know that it all worked out.

Watch: Fashion Crimes: Festival Chaps. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

Pushing aside the age-old question of, "How can they afford their designer wardrobe and their fancy Upper East Side apartment on a journalist salary!?", there's something about rom-com fashion that makes us feel warm inside. Maybe because it takes us back to a simpler time or because rom-coms sell us the ultimate dream, proving that a woman can have a man who loves her, a job that fulfils her and a happily ever after.

On TikTok, #romcomcore has amassed over 68 million searches, with thousands of videos showing people romanticising their lives through fashion. For years, romance movies have provided people with a dopamine hit, so it makes sense that the clothes they wear on screen also evoke positive emotions.

@jennehdavid Replying to @tesaw It's all true! #romcomcore is my time to shine 🌼 #90s #90sfashion #shania #clueless #isobel #hamishmacbeth #winona #amelie ♬ There She Goes - The La's

It's exactly what Aussie costume designer Amelia Gebler set out to do when designing the outfits for the film, Anyone But You. Set in Sydney, Australia, Amelia drew inspiration from '90s rom-coms, while adding her spin to it to honour the city's stunning harbour and picturesque views.

"Having the chance to delve into this world to create some cool looks and lean into the romance and nostalgia of the genre was really special," Amelia told Mamamia.

"And making a film set in my hometown of Sydney, Australia was something I also couldn’t say no to. The Australian summer beach lifestyle has its own particular style, so I was really excited to show that to the rest of the world."

Working with stars like Sydney Sweeney means access to some of the world's biggest designers, such as Zuhair Murad, Miu Miu and local labels Zimmerman and Carla Zampatti. However, for us regular folk, these brands tend to be out of reach.

But when it comes to recreating looks straight out of a rom-com film, it's more about the overall aesthetic and specific pieces that set off '90s nostalgia - something that can be achieved without having to drop thousands.

"I’d say the overall style is kinda timeless and classic, with an upbeat and playful twist," said Amelia. "The great thing about a really good rom-com is that they just don’t age."


With years of experience under her belt, there is no better person to advise us on rom-com core than Amelia.

"I don't think the '90s look is going away anytime soon, and people are really leaning towards more comfortable and accessible clothing in 2024," said Amelia. "It seems like this year, it's about the preppy vibes - think Jennifer Aniston from Friends."

So, if you're wanting to lean into rom-core more this year, then here are the pieces you should invest in.

Sneakers that scream sporty.

As Amelia said, outfits in romance movies are all about comfortability and accessibility - two huge trends that we'll be seeing a lot of in 2024. While sneakers are nothing new, there is something to be said about the shoe that goes with literally everything. Instead of choosing a more chunky sole, pick a sneaker that is slimmer and more streamlined, so it can pair well with feminine silhouettes like slip dresses, and suit more masculine pieces like cargo pants.

Here's what I recommend: 

Adidas Originals Handball Spezial, $170.

Image: Adidas, The Iconic.


 New Balance 574, $160.

Image: New Balance, The Iconic.


 Keds Champion Organic Cotton Sneakers, $89.95.

Image: Keds, The Iconic.

Girly ballet flats.

So, you've already added sneakers to your shoe collection - but we're not done just yet. Ballet flats are making a huge comeback, and with rom-com core trending, we're going to be seeing them everywhere. Personally, I enjoy a Mary Jane-style flat or something with a pop of colour. I would pair them with a floral skirt, a knitted cardigan and a ruffled blouse. All four of these pieces together will result in a softer look, perfect for when you're trying to look like the main character in a romance movie.


Here's what I recommend:

Dazie Bonnie Studded Mary Jane Ballet Flats, $69.99.

Image: Dazie, The Iconic.

SPURR Mary Jane Flats, $59.99.

Image: SPURR, The Iconic.


Atmos&Here Monaco Leather Flats, $119.99.

Image: Atmos&Here, The Iconic.


Casual cargo pants.

Rom-com core isn't just about florals and femininity - it's also about looking effortlessly cool. You see, main characters in rom-coms usually stand out without trying, so if you pay attention, you're going to see multiple pairs of cargo pants. Wear it with a cropped or oversized t-shirt, depending on what you're comfortable with, and throw a denim jacket on top if you want to add something extra.

Here's what I recommend:

Atmos&Here Curvy Jade Relaxed Cargo Pants, $59.99.

Image: Atmos&Here Curvy, The Iconic.


Cotton On Bobbie Cargo Pants, $59.99.

Image: Cotton On, The Iconic.


Atmos&Here Kaia Tailored Cargo Pants, $79.99.

Image: Atmos&Here, The Iconic.

A slinky slip dress.

You're going to need something for date night so get yourself a nice, flattering slip dress. The beauty of a slip dress is that it can also be worn as a skirt - just throw a chunky knit or oversized shirt on top and you've got yourself a 2-in-1. If you want to keep it casual, wear a pair of sneakers, but if you're heading out to somewhere more fancy, then grab yourself some strappy heels. Try to keep it simple and let the dress do the talking, so no unnecessary accessories.


Here's what I recommend:

Sunday In The City Mexican Radio Slip Dress, $119.99.

Image: Sunday In The City, The Iconic.

Assembly Label Linen Slip Dress, $90.

Image: Assembly Label, The Iconic.


Pull&Bear Long Tulle Ombre Dress, $79.99.

Image: Pull&Bear, The Iconic.


A cute cardigan.

Cardigans are closet staples - and for good reason. Not only do they help provide coverage when needed, but can help elevate any outfit when paired with the right pieces. Because we're talking rom-com core, wear a cardigan with a midi slip skirt, and some delicate jewellery. You can also wear it with the cargo pants or slip dress I recommended earlier.

Here's what I recommend:

You + All White Knit Cardigan, $49.99.

Image: You + All, The Iconic.


& Other Stories Tie-Front Ribbed Cardigan, $115.

Image: & Other Stories, The Iconic.


Forcast Nicolette V-Neck Knit Cardigan, $49.99.

Image: Forcast, The Iconic.

At Mamamia, we independently curate and write about products we rave about in our group chats and think you should know about too. If you purchase a product we have recommended, we may earn a small commission.

Featured Image: TikTok @likaarevadze/@charissa_fawn/Getty.

Calling all beauty & fashion lovers! Take this short survey now to go in the running to win a $50 gift voucher!