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What Is “Night Luxe?” Breaking Down TikTok’s New Aesthetic

Remember when an appropriate response to, “what are you wearing tonight?” was “jeans and a cute top?” No more! “Night luxe,” a new aesthetic taking over TikTok, is marked by an expensive taste in clothes and an even more expensive taste in drinks. The mood board of this aesthetic is all-black everything, dimly lit bars, dirty martinis, yellow cabs, stilettos, and oversized blazers.

The tag #nightluxe on TikTok has more than 31.2M views, with videos collecting comments like, “this makes me nostalgic for a life I never had,” and “night luxe is one of my favorite aesthetics hands down.” The new viral vibe joins a family of TikTok terms as the intersection of the “that girl” and “villain era” descriptors, and the opposite of the “coastal grandma.” The term describes a lifestyle more than a type of person, but what does it mean?

Like any good TikTok style trend, “night luxe” is as aspirational as it is beautiful. Conversation in the #nightluxe underworld is beyond makeup tutorials and shopping hauls. It's about curating a life that is more bougie, more interesting, and more glamorous than the one you’re currently living, just as the “that girl” trend was about curating a cleaner, healthier, and more productive life.

“Night luxe” in conversation is like a vision board come to life, aspiring for a Carrie Bradshaw kind of lifestyle, most often associated with metropolitan cities like New York and London.

One reading of the “night luxe” trend is as the aesthetic that will define the modern roaring twenties, as flapper style defined the original roaring twenties. Since the days of lockdown, people have been talking about a new roaring twenties, an era marked by excessive partying and glamour in response to a dark few years. Switching green tea for green tea shots and yoga pants for Gucci tights is definitely emblematic of that change.

Both aesthetics are offshoot branches of the “cool girl” tree, but in practice, they are quite different. Equally hard to attain and coveted, “night luxe” channels abundance and social elitism, while “that girl” promotes hustle culture and healthy (read: occasionally toxic) habits.

Some comments on the #nightluxe family of videos have tied this vibe to pop culture, saying it depicts “the women The Weeknd sings about.” Others have described it as an iteration of the “NYC vs. LA” dichotomy.

Despite the fact that the rising interest in the “night luxe” aesthetic can be related to the discipline of the “that girl” trend, they are not direct opposites, and thus, can exist together at once. “That girl” can channel her “night luxe” aesthetic for the weekend, and return to matcha lattes and meditation apps on Monday. It’s all about balance.

This vibe is not just about what you wear, it's about where you go. Dive bars, while timelessly fun, are not welcome in the world of night luxe. If you want to channel your inner night luxe energy, wear a black dress to an overpriced lounge-style bar and order a martini (dirty, not espresso). Other than an LBD, the night luxe dress code is satin, sequins, and leather.

Wardrobe, drink order, and reservations aside, the “night luxe” aesthetic needs one thing to survive – mystery. There are no “night luxe” routines in the way the “that girl” trend unfolded. The exclusivity of nightlife is the lifeblood of this trend, and on TikTok, a blurry photo of an olive martini or a pointed toe heel will take you farther than a snap of your green juice.