Everything You Need to Master the Ballerina Sleaze Trend

October 6th, 2022 at 10:00am

The Y2K aesthetic has dominated TikTok and Instagram, and it has infiltrated the runway. Gen-Z is eating up nostalgia through vintage fashion from different eras. What is the next fashion trend to reappear you might ask? It looks like Gen-Z is leaving Y2K fashion behind and entering their “teenage dirtbag” era.

TikTok is ushering in a new aesthetic: Indie sleaze. From distressed tights to runny eyeliner to mismatched patterns, the resurgence of the Tumblr era is fueling Gen-Z’s angst and I am so here for it! The indie sleaze style originates from the mid-late 2000s. The aesthetic is synonymous with the Tumblr era’s playful and effortless spirit of the 2010s.

Some key characteristics of Tumblr fashion are lavish displays of partying, wired headphones, smudged makeup, and a mix of baggy and tight clothing. This style can be seen in prominent fashion figures like Bella Hadid wearing wired headphones or Devon Lee Carlson sporting a mini skirt.  

Gen-Z’s take on indie sleaze mixes Tumblr fashion with balletcore: Ballerina sleaze. Ballerina sleaze combines the chic and the sleazy. It’s a grunge aesthetic paired with coquette fashion (frills, knitwear, lace, etc.). This aesthetic is all about looking put together and undone at the same time – it’s giving Black Swan. 

Looking to master this trend? CF has assembled a list of essentials that will help you rock this trend.


Tights have the power to elevate your entire outfit, especially if you’re wearing a dress or mini skirt. For extra sleaze, I recommend distressing or ripping your tights. 

Image via Princess Polly

The Tea Stockings

Available in Black. $15

Ballet Flats

Ballet flats are a fabulous summer-to-fall transitional shoe. Step into the new season in style paired with ruffle socks. 

Image via ASOS

ASOS DESIGN Locus Round Ballet Flats

Available in Black crinkle patent. $18

Statement Necklaces

Dress up your outfit with chunky jewelry and lace chokers. To give your outfit an edge, layer statement, silver necklaces. 

Image via Petit Moments

Stevie Necklace

Available in Silver. $30.

Lacework Dresses

There is nothing more effortless than throwing on a black mini dress with delicate lacework. 

Image via Princess Polly

Bel Air Mini Dress

Available in Off White. $59.

Wired Headphones

Trying to go for a vintage look? Put on a pair of wired headphones for an alternative aesthetic. 

Image via Amazon

Koss Porta Pro Black On Ear Headphones with Case

Available in Black. $39.99.

Knit Boleros

Keep warm this season with bolero sleeves. It’s the perfect accessory to dress up or dress down an outfit. 

Image via Princess Polly

Aytan Bolero Sweater

Available in Beige. $60.

Featured Image via @bellahadid. Design by Her Campus Media.