The Marie Kondo-invented phrase “spark joy” came up a lot when discussing how this “eclectic cutie” style (the alternate name Yu Ling fittingly gave it) looks at home. Although any trend can be usurped into one that requires a lot of money, the root of the weird girl aesthetic is a DIY sensibility of mismatched silverware and clashing decor. It’s a world where it’s okay to decorate whole walls with art you’ve painted during craft nights with friends.
“I always call my place an organized chaotic mess, and I feel like that’s how my style is even in my clothing, it’s like more is more,” Sara explains. “[There are] a lot of things going on at all times. I love having my walls different colors, I love very child-like home decor, just fun things that spark joy.”
In the realm of interiors, the Weird Girl aesthetic translates to “objects in your house that make you smile” as Odd Eye cofounder Taylor Fimbrez describes it. Instead of clashing patterns or five different fabrics, the home decor version of this trend might look more like elevated Peewee Herman set design—that ’80s humor found in outsized pieces like these giant screws or trompe l’oeil coffee shop displays. “All of the really goofy, zany shit sells immediately whereas things that I think are really cool and high design sit around for a while,” he explains of his store’s inventory. “Post-COVID especially, people are just looking for a good time.”
Taylor describes Odd Eye as a “high-end Spencer’s Gifts,” name dropping the mall landmark where intimidatingly cool teens would flock for lava lamps, obscene shirts, black-light decor, and gag gifts in the ’90s and early aughts. “They had all the cool posters and all this weird shit you hadn’t seen before, obviously pre-internet,” he says. The art-you-can-take-home aspect of museum design stores was also a huge inspiration.
The influences behind Odd Eye also seem to resonate with the vibe conjured by the Weird Girl aesthetic—a funky boutique or Main Street thrift shop versus an austerely curated and lifestyle-y kind of store. “I’ve had accidental weird girl aesthetic growing up my entire life,” Yu Ling says. She cites her own childhood as having shaped her penchant for collecting and finding ways to repurpose furniture and unlikely items into decor. To conform to one specific aesthetic, she maintains, signifies having the money to adhere to that tightly curated realm.
So, many fashion and design trends right now do come down to that undeniable truth: We’re all just trying to have a good time where we can, whether that’s building our own Barbie Dreamhouse or assembling the wildest outfit the denizens of your local bodega have seen. I, for one, hope that the weird girl aesthetic—or whatever its other incarnations might be—sticks around for a while. It’s all subjective, of course, but this concept feels oddly like the healthiest and most relevant take on the times we live in. The best version of the weird girl aesthetic is sustainable, inventive, unencumbered by bland social media curation, not too heavily nostalgic, and fun with intention.