WTF is a Tomato Girl and How Do I Become One?
By Veronica Viccora
Okay. Hot take time.
I kind of hate Summer.
I know. The Summer fanatics just choked on their tiny parasol adorned Pina coladas. But I can't help it. I hate the heat. I hate the bugs that begin to overtake my Manhattan apartment. I hate that it's not just perpetually Autumn.
Or at least... that's how I used to feel.
These days, I'm trying to romanticize all the seasons because there's just no use spending a 4th of my life each year being crabby. Unless I'm eating all you can eat crabs. And the best way I know to romanticize life is by playing dress up. But I'll admit that when I first heard the term "tomato girl summer," I was confused and slightly offended. I'd assumed it was referring to the inevitable sunburn us particularly pale maidens seem to get no matter how much we try to block the sun.
Every summer is a tomato girl summer when your skin is THIS alabaster.
Upon further investigation however, I was delighted to see that it's actually just yet another TikTok trend taking over the globe. (Never thought I'd be saying that, but here we are). And if a few cute outfits can help me get past my vendetta against summer, then why not have some fun?
WHAT IS THE "TOMATO GIRL" TREND?
A tomato girl is like the coastal granddaughter's rich, older cousin. She too, is a coastal granddaughter of sorts, no doubt either living off her trust fund or, the way I prefer to think of it, the money she earned herself from starting a wildly successful tomato jam conglomerate. However, her life on the coast is more of the wealthy European variety. She has a penchant for headscarves, linen and obviously, the color red. She probably knows some secret, local's only parts of the Amalfi Coast and gets pasta al dente every time. She likely spends her days on her friends' boats and spends her evenings drinking wine on the beach while watching the sunset.
A far cry from battling cockroaches in a New York City shoebox, but I'm attempting to embody the spirit nonetheless.
Because who wouldn't want to embody this gorgeous, carefree woman? So let's talk about everything you need for a tomato girl summer including wardrobe staples, makeup tips and a bucket list designed to help you live your best Mediterranean life, wherever you are.
TOMATO GIRL OUTFIT STAPLES
The best part about the tomato girl aesthetic is that many of the staples you'll need to achieve this look might already be hiding in your closet. So rather than running out to buy a bunch of new things, it might just be a matter of rethinking how you wear and pair certain items. Whether you plan to go shopping or not though, if you want to play with tomato girl style, here are a few main pieces to look out for.
The tomato girl is one of those girls who gets asked if she's famous a few times a month. It's the way she holds herself. And the huge pair of sunglasses that make her look like she might just be a celebrity in disguise certainly help too.
GET THE LOOK
A headscarf not only provides some chic protection from the sun, it's a perfect way to add a touch of Old Hollywood glamour to an outfit, which is exactly what we want as a tomato girl. It's their versatility that makes them a truly great wardrobe staple however. When you're done exploring your alter ego as a tomato girl, a scarf can be turned into a shirt, tied around a purse handle or a pony tail, worn as a belt, etc. The possibilities are endless long after the tomato girl summer is no longer.
GET THE LOOK
Nothing says summer like a nautical sweater. It's perfect for those evenings after a long day at the beach when the air starts to cool off and you get a little chilly. A striped sweater is another beautifully classic piece that can be worn well into the future.
GET THE LOOK
It's partially the hyper feminine silhouettes that make the tomato girl trend so dreamy. Flowy fabrics like silks and linens are perfect for keeping you cool and classy in the heat. There's definitely an old world vibe to this trend so classic shapes are a great option.
GET THE LOOK
The tomato girl trend isn't ALL about the glamour. What makes it so fun is the combination of beachy casual with old world elegance. So a casual pair of breezy beach pants or linen shorts is an absolute must for any tomato girl going from the beach to drinks at her favorite restaurant in the same day.
GET THE LOOK
OCEAN INSPIRED JEWELRY
Nothing is more classic and timeless than pearls, and the tomato girl is all about classic and timeless. You can't go wrong with a pair of dangly pearl earrings or a pearl necklace. The irony is that her casual elegance means she's not generally one to dive into trends, which makes this trend so attainable. Despite her wealth, there's a down to earth quality about her, so jewelry that inspired directly from nature is the perfect way to blend a sense of earthiness with sophistication.
GET THE LOOK
Tomato girl trend or otherwise, it's not summer until a few woven baskets have made their way into your wardrobe. Cute, practical, natural and classic, a woven basket is much like the tomato girl herself.
GET THE LOOK
TOMATO GIRL STYLE ICONS
What REALLY makes a tomato girl is not what she wears, but how she wears it. So here are a few style icons that perfectly represent the inner confidence and refinement of a tomato girl.
From her wardrobe to her cat eyes, the gorgeous Sophia Loren is an absolute icon in so many ways. She's perhaps a bit more glamorous than a true tomato girl, but her classic style will forever be the perfect embodiment of an Italian summer.
We have Monica Bellucci to thank for countless incredible outfits but this stunning breezy dress she's wearing here is the perfect embodiment of a tomato girl summer.
Can you tell that the best source of tomato girl style inspiration is with Italian actresses? Like Loren and Bellucci, the incredible Monica Vitti was one of the original tomato girls and a stylish force to be reckoned with.
A more modern example of an endless tomato girl summer is @aendthesea on Instagram. It's one of my favorite pages to follow to be instantly transported to Italian seaside summers and al fresco dinners.
TOMATO GIRL MAKEUP
Like most things the tomato girl does, her ideal summer makeup look would be effortlessly chic. A natural, dewy sun kissed look is the perfect daily routine for a tomato girl. But the occasional pop of bold color like a red lip or a strong cat eye wouldn't be her go to for a night out. She may be classic, but that doesn't mean she doesn't have an unexpected wild side either.
A TOMATO GIRL BUCKET LIST
GO FOR A BOAT TOUR
If you live near a coast or plan to vacation somewhere beach, why not book some time on a boat? Even a small local cruise can be the perfect mini getaway to feel like a tomato girl. The wind in your hair, the salty sea water on your skin, it's the perfect summer escape.
HAVE A PICNIC ON THE BEACH
Why not elevate the beach picnic from sandy chips and cans of beer to a cheese board and sparkling wine? The tomato girl would most definitely go for a sunset beach picnic. And if you don't live near a beach, why not just elevate your usual picnic in the park?
HOST AN AL FRESCO DINNER PARTY
This does not need to be a fancy party. In fact, the whole aesthetic of the tomato girl is that she's pretty laid back and effortlessly elegant. As I shared in this post, a backyard dinner party only needs a few things to make it great: candles, good company, and good food. Why not whip up some pasta and serve it outside for a romantic evening enjoying the outdoors? These days, as I don't have a backyard at my disposal most of the time, I've held al fresco dinners on my fire escape. So the possibilities are truly endless.
START A GARDEN
Maybe it's just a few herbs planted in a box on your windowsill, or maybe it's a full blown tomato garden, but no matter how you're able to, nothing will bring you closer to nature than helping things grow. And nothing could be more tomato girl than cooking with your homegrown food!
TAKE A STROLL THROUGH A FARMER'S MARKET
If you can't grow your own food, the next best option is to head to a farmer's market. The tomato girl loves to cook and bake with farm fresh ingredients and more so, there's a sense of community surrounding farmer's markets that adds to the overall experience of grocery shopping in a very European way.
MAKE A TOMATO SALAD
Yup, it really doesn't get anymore tomato girl than this. But as tomatoes are deliciously ride in summertime, there are so many incredible summer tomato salad recipes. I particularly recommend this one as it reminds me of a delicious dish my friend made during my wedding in Italy.
TAKE UP POTTERY
What's more tomato girl than serving a tomato salad? Serving tomato salad out of a ceramic bowl you made. And if you're wondering what to wear to your first class, check out this post for 4 outfits to wear to pottery.
MOVE TO ITALY
Yes. Obviously this is a bit of a drastic one, but I believe that the heart of any surface level aesthetic is a craving for a lifestyle change. So for the person who was considering buying a one way ticket anyway, here's your sign to go for it ;)