Updated: Nov 5
by Janelle Sessoms
If you’ve been on TikTok at all this past year, then you may be familiar with its impact on fashion aesthetics. For men, a big aesthetic that has emerged in popularity is the “soft boy.” Contrary to traditional masculine aesthetics, “soft boy” plays into their more sensitive side and embraces subtle feminine elements into their wardrobe. Some of that can include painted nails, longer hair, and lots of jewelry. It’s a fashion aesthetic that challenges the societal expectations of masculinity and embraces the softer side that men possess—hence the term “soft boy.” If you are looking for how you can embrace being a “soft boy” as well, here is our guide of 5 items to have for the ultimate soft boy aesthetic.
Long Sleeve Turtleneck
Rule number one of dressing like a soft boy is that layers are everything. If you aren’t layering, then you’re doing it wrong. An essential item to have to make this work is a solid-colored long sleeve turtleneck shirt. It provides the best base for layers. You can throw on a graphic tee, sweatshirt, or even a cardigan on top of it. You can play around with colors too, but it may be easier to stay with a more neutral color palette.
Oversized Crew Neck Sweatshirt
One of the best parts about this aesthetic is its emphasis on comfort. Almost everything you wear will be a relaxed fit or oversized. A key item to achieve this is a quality oversized crew sweatshirt. You can layer it over a turtleneck or collared shirt for a nice styling combo. You can also play around with wearing solid-colored sweatshirts or changing it up with graphic crewnecks. There is something about crewneck sweatshirts that completes the whole look, so they are a must-have item.
It’s already been established that dressing as a “soft boy” means embracing the more sensitive and feminine side of masculinity. What better way to show that off than with some jewelry? It doesn’t need to be done in an over-the-top way either. All you need is to wear a couple of chain necklaces or rings for accessories. You can also accessorize with painted nails or earrings. A great reference to look at is the king of simplistic accessorizing, Harry Styles. He keeps it simple with his painted nails and one earring.
Relaxed Fit Jeans
The more relaxed and looser the jeans fit, the better. Take a look back at the 90’s for inspiration. The oversized fit is the predominant style for the soft boy aesthetic. You can style it with a collared shirt and sweatshirt combo or long sleeve tee and cardigan. It’s all about feeling comfortable and relaxed. Levi’s and Dickies are popular brands for relaxed-fit jeans, but you can also hit up your nearest thrift store and will be sure to find something.
Under no circumstance can you channel your inner soft boy without finishing the look with a nice pair of sneakers. You can keep it minimal with a pair of Converse, Vans, or white Nike Air Force 1s. It’s okay to add a little bit of scruff onto them since it provides a more “worn out” element to the look. Add a pair of white tube socks with rolled-up denim pants, and you have officially entered the “soft boy” world.