Heroin chic’s nihilistic cousin lobotomy chic is back again, in full force with her dissociative smokey-eyed stares and ever-expanding doomful pouts. Amassing roughly 10.5 million views on TikTok alone, the aesthetic has been knocking about the internet for a few years now, coining itself a hybrid of Tumblr indie sleaze, Americana, female manipulator waif, and soft girl nymphet. The stylish resistance thrives in its Tim Burton-esque beauty techniques and reclamation of a historically male gaze aesthetic. It’s a bleak ode to girlhood, revelling in apathy and a lack of care. As sad girl winter approaches, the lobotomised babe is due a stylish update, with this season’s hottest hyper femme staples in ironic tees and bloomers, and bizarrely blighted glam topped with tiny specs and a deadpan stare. It’s blasé, messy, chaotic, and ridden with infuriating indifference, and we are here to show you how to get the 2023 lobotomy look.
Harking back to the origins of this new philosophy, the memefied lobotomy has been romanticised to the point of no return by niche internet users, who find it rather funny to declare they are getting theirs at Claire’s Accessories this weekend. “Live Laugh Lobotomy,” say thousands of TikTokers. It may be quite an insensitive approach to a type of brain surgery popular in the 1930s for disconnecting the frontal lobe to other parts of the brain, but snowflakes may have just about given up trying to fight the PC cause. Like the opposing route to the online phenomenon #Corecore (a masculine take exposing the flaws of capitalism), its popularity is proving, yet again, that it’s all getting just a little bit too much for our overstimulated brains.
So to be a hot young lobotomised babe, we are exploring all the ways you can nail your mindless meandering into a new era of thinking less and posing more. Ironic, really, in that the effort required to be vague and brainless requires a detailed set of trends you must abide by… Either way, scan through our list of the most stoic style statements you can recreate.
Long floaty dresses
You’re running out on the moors, time is ambiguous and it could be dusk or dawn for all you know. You have drifted out of bed to go on your hot girl lobotomy jaunt and there is only one item to throw on: a sheer, nightgown-esque floaty dress of dreams. Even better if it has a high neck, referencing some vague historical trend of ruffs and large sleeves cinched in at the wrists. The goal is to look so effortless that you may as well be a floating ghost, so make sure this sheer number is floor-length and lightweight. Take tips from the queen of the lobotomy stare Gabriette, who pairs her Burberry number with matching patterned tights and crushed velvet purple kitten heels – perfect for flicking off when the urge to lounge may occur.
Diddy deadpan specs
Detached darling Amelia Gray has perfected the deadpan stare. So much so that the only accessory to highlight how interminably bored she has become is the use of glasses – preferably uber-superficial ones you don’t even need. Let the eyes do the talking that you cannot, and take major inspo from Miu Miu librarian-core FW23 with super messy hair and teeny specs combo.
Ironic iykyk tees
The goal of lobotomy chic is to be as niche as possible, to the point where it is almost nonsensical. Nothing screams shitty Gen Z internet humour quite like the ironic tee. The best thing about fitting this item plucked straight from the bottom of your wardrobe into the lobotomy chic style is that it can be as basic as you please. Cropped pink number with ‘Daddy’s Girl’ scrawled across? Slashed off-white with ‘Sex doesn’t sell, voyeurism does’? All are welcome, just take a look at Euphoria’s Chloe Cherry (better known to insta doom scrollers as @perfect_angelgirl) and her slew of timely tees. Take notes on her perfectly dissociative pout too – glossy lips slightly ajar to top the look off.
Uber mini skirt and bloomers
It’s girlhood at its finest: ahh the mini skirt. Miu Miu have you covered on this basis, ruffled iterations including bloomers and barely-there itty bitty skirt galore. As lobotomy chic takes inspiration from the likes of kinderwhore, dark nymphet, and coquette, they embody all it means to be a prime pink bedroom-walled girl, draped across her bed in knee-highs listening to Lana and unsure whether her skirt is of more resemblance to a belt than practical item. But that’s the joy of the lobotomised babe, as she pairs hers with any bow-clad item she can find in her wardrobe. Or take inspiration from maximalist Clara Perlmutter (known as @tinyjewishgirl on Insta), who goes for a Regency core lacy inspired get up.
Oversized, bejewelled crosses
A deep set, vintage oversized cross necklace is the only thing you should be wearing for a fabulously aloof take on a staple accessory. Think of its punkish origins in the subculture, a finger to the man (or men, in this case), and a timeless ode to glamour. Lourdes Leon sports her heavy chain with a silver cross dangling across her chest, complete with a blood-red lip and bedazzled corset in this vampiress take on lobotomy chic.
They may be known to the unfashionable majority as slipper socks, but if you’re one of the lucky few aboard the lobotomy chic train to nowhere, you know comfort takes hold first and foremost. Lounging to really digest and subsequently ignore the dire state of the world requires comfortable and warm footwear, namely, Bottega Veneta’s new Domenica knitted boot, coming in a red (vernis) and cream (sea salt) colourway this season. Post-nap smudged mascara, askew silk house coat, and a quick flash selfie that gives your skin a glossy grey finish will really tie your new loboto-boots together.