Greta Gerwig’s highly-anticipated Barbie movie is hitting theatres around the world as we see a new trend emerge: ‘Kencore’. You would imagine as a woman who has spent most of her adult career dressing up men, that I would have childhood memories and exploring menswear dressing up Ken or making him clothes. Nothing could be farther from the truth. If you ever want to disappoint a little girl, just give her a Ken doll.

While Barbie and Ken in the world of marketing established heterosexual norms, it’s not how I remember it from as a kid. My Barbies exclusively dated other Barbies, had families together, and I presided over their polyamorous marriages. While my mom hated Barbie, and would pretty much body shame her for her unrealistic ideals, Barbie was a safe (and natural) place for me to explore sexuality and non-judgmental social norms. I don’t know a single girl who didn’t make her Barbies kiss at some point. And then there was Ken. When he did eventually end up in my collection, he was no fun. He didn’t fit into Barbie’s clothes and pretty much he was ruining my vibe. I didn’t need him in the world that I created.

I am not Gen Z, I am what you call a geriatric millennial. When I first started working in fashion, I quickly became disillusioned with womenswear where it felt like designers were making pieces for either housewives or whores. WAG culture had taken over and I found myself gravitating towards menswear which encompassed a more practical approach to dressing. Today, men and women can be shown together, and seasons are not relevant. Then we got Barbiecore, a palette of pink being pushed upon us as we finally rid of ourselves the millennial shade. When the peony hues started to appear on the men’s runway last summer, there was something punk to them. A woman in pink feels like a cliché, a man in pink is giving some major Kenergy.

With the Barbiecore trend heavily saturated, it was only a matter of time before Kencore became viral. You could say Harry Styles and Lil Nas X have been rocking similar styles for a while. Perhaps I was wrong about Ken, perhaps he wasn’t supposed to be Barbie’s romantic partner, but an example that we could have platonic relationships and best friends of the opposite sex. As a full-fledged adult, I owe it to Ken to have his moment with his iconic bright colors and pastel pinks becoming mainstream. After all, we loved Barbie for play and Kencore is nothing but playfulness. And most of all, you can go hit up some Thirft stores or flea markets if you want to get your Kencore on tomorrow!

According to Wethrift, this is how to replicate the Ken look this summer:

Opt for pastel colors – ‘Kencore’ is all about embracing bright colors for the summer months. Think pastel colors, and of course, keep on the Barbie brand with a touch of pink, for instance, you could rock a pastel pink blazer similar to Gosling’s premiere event outfit. Try to utilize complimentary colors, to really make your outfits pop, and to avoid any harsh clashes.

Embrace bold patterns – the Barbie movie aesthetic is all about maximalism, and this is certainly carried through into fashion. For replicating Ken’s style, make use of bold patterns on your clothing. The brighter and bolder, the better!

Vests and sleeveless cardigans – the perfect summer style, Ken’s fashion typically embraces sleeveless items of clothing, such as brightly-colored vests, or sleeveless cardigan sweatshirts.

Dig out the bleached denim – a classic look from the movie is Ken in denim. For the perfect look this summer, incorporate bleached denim into your outfits.

Mix masculine and feminine styles – a key theme of Kencore is challenging gender norms by experimenting with clothing that may be typically perceived as more feminine. Combine typically masculine clothes such as a suit with a ruffled shirt, or with a shirt with a frilled collar, for example.

Go baggy – this aesthetic embraces loose-fit clothing, rather than tailored and well-fitted items. Experiment with different layers and silhouettes to complete your look.

Utilize bold accessories – whether it’s a brightly colored cowboy buckle belt, large sunglasses, or vibrant footwear, and complete the maximalist look by adorning your fit in bold accessories. Remember, more is more when it comes to Kencore.