If You Hate Twee, You Aren’t Alone

Stella Fetherston, Co-Editor-in-Chief

What exactly is Twee? Well, it depends on who you ask. In my eyes, Twee is a style of fashion that can only be described as quirky. To elaborate, Twee is the excessive layering of clothes that are cute but modest, incorporating cardigans, thick stripes, polka dots and bows that are almost English teacher-esque. While it has roots in the ‘90s, the Twee we know today was popular in the 2012 to 2015 era and has been irreversibly marked by the white millennial women of Tumblr (as many indie subcultures are).  If you’re still confused, allow me to mesmerize you with this knowledge: I’m not entirely sure that anyone actually understands what Twee is. Don’t worry, though; you’ll definitely know it when you see it. 

This once popular style of the 2010s has been making its microscopic comeback across TikTok with a new trend. Users show their Twee outfits – or their criticisms of said outfits – with the song “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?” by She & Him playing in the background. And if you recognize the voice of the lead singer of She & Him, that’s because it is Zooey Deschanel’s, the crowned queen of Twee. 

Now, I have nothing against letting people wear what they want to wear. Whether you care or not, clothes are a necessity of self expression. Please don’t get me wrong: I’m also pro-funky clothes, and I believe that English teachers have immaculate style. But Twee is not English-teacher-style (even if it was it would just be a crude imitation). Twee isn’t even fresh, much less funky.  

Speaking to my demographic of teenagers here, what about Twee is even remotely appealing? Which self are we expressing with Twee? And more importantly, why would we want to express that self? 

I did some heavy research – and by heavy research I mean 15 minutes on Google  – and when scrolling through outfits I discovered why I despise Twee so much: it fundamentally lacks flavor. Twee is seltzer water that is not only flat, but room temperature. Twee is a disco ball which has had all of its shiny tiles peeled off and crudely replaced with the gray squares of silver Sharpie. Twee is the itching of a wool blanket that you are forced to use because the house is so cold. Twee is the general feeling of, dare I invoke them, middle school outfits. 

While I can’t stop the trend cycle of fashion, I know there are far better trends to cycle to. And not to diss the fashion tastes of Twee defenders everywhere, but some of these outfits are only called cute because the person wearing them is 1. White 2. Skinny and 3. Zooey Deschanel. It’s 2022, a great time for us to realize that some trends don’t need to be revived. In fact, some trends can rest peacefully in their graves forever and ever and never see the light of day ever again. And to be honest, if Twee did the latter, I can’t say I’d miss it.