#HOTGIRLSUFFER: IS Emo Officially Back?

Move over, Hot Girl Summer. It’s been a year since COVID started and countries are trying to get back to normal, but the fear, angst and moodiness of 2020 still lingers. While some of us are able to travel to different parts of the globe, quarantining is still a standard and vaccines are slowly rolling out in APAC whereas they’re readily available in the States for everyone to party there like it’s 2019. With some of us going through the second wave (yuck!), we’re still confining ourselves to the same four walls of our bedrooms, working from home and blasting Spotify at full volume. Making up for the dearth of concerts, nothing feels more alive than the sound of guitars injecting raw venom into our brains, ready to make us scream and whip our hair back and forth.

Though the 10s were dominated by EDM, pop and hip hop, being stuck in the pandemic gave us no choice but to listen to sad music. By default, it was the sounds of the ’00s calling us back to tap into our teenage angst. Way before MGK, Willow Smith and Olivia Rodrigo invaded our Spotifys, Emo Night was up and running long after the demise of the genre. Heck, *I* went to Emo Night and covered it on Vice Asia. Strangely, the article was out the month COVID was first reported to the world. If there was one thing that helped me to survive the horrors of 2020, it was Spotify, where I bumped my Fall Out Boy, Taking Back Sunday, My Chemical Romance, Motion City Soundtrack and as of recently with the second lockdown, Paramore. Convos with friends and sending memes about emo’s revival made me realize that emo was never really dead. It was in hibernation. It was waiting for the next generation to tap into its angst and indeed it did! Now that it’s in full swing again, let’s welcome the season of Hot Girl Suffer.

Coined by my cousin, Hot Girl Suffer is the chaotic twin of Hot Girl Summer. Moodier, saltier and sassier, Hot Girl Suffer is emo to the core. Though moody isn’t the vibe for the summer, you can still be in bikinis and rock your ass out to the entire Tickets to My Downfall at the beach, then cry along to “The Only Exception” in your bedroom while you’re scrolling through Depop for old Paramore merch or rewatching Jennifer’s Body. Weatherproof for the seasons, emo is just as seasonless as your tried and true Chucks. Just as you’re about to go on Spotify to blast pop punk classics, let’s introduce you to the Hot Girl Suffer starter pack:

  1. Skate Sneakers
Avril in DC Shoes

Do you remember Warped Tour? The majority were wearing sneakers in 102F in the middle of summer. If Converses were the gateway drug to sneakers, nothing was more cooler than wearing skate shoes. Though I never wore skate shoes back in the day, boys in my middle school were dripping in DC, eS and Etnies. Skate shoes were THE trend. Most of the girls in my school only stuck to Adidas and Converses save for a few who wore DC. Now that skate sneakers are officially back in style, it’s inevitable that this classic silhouette is going to hit the streets soon thanks to Travis Scott, who brought it over for his Dior collaboration.

DC Shoes Chelsea – $60 USD

Less chunkier than the traditional skate shoe, this sneaker is easy to pair with other classics from your closet. No Dickies and ties needed.


DC Shoes Court Graffik – $60 USD

Stan Smith who? These Court Graffiks are the big sister to the Chelsea. Classic, yet retro, these ’90s inspired shoes are bound to look SO good with low rise jeans and a band tee. Throw on a shoulder bag, you’re set to go!


2. The Little Black Top

The basic black tees of your teenage years got an upgrade with the little black bustier. Delivering a little bit of venom in style, the black bustier is for the emo girl who glowed up glam. Not for the shy, this daring top is cute, yet cheeky. Vamp it up with a heavily tatted boo by your side.

Left Hand LA Madonna corset – $100 USD

This top is one of a kind and daring. Just pair it with PVC pants or a plaid mini.


Matte Frame Aslant Top – $60.42 USD

This top is a happy medium of full length and cropped, but the classic tight fit is SO emo-appropriate. Pair it with skate shoes and baggy pants for that classic throwback look.


3. Heat-friendly hair

Do you remember the days when you had to wake up two hours early to straighten your hair every morning before school? The super sleek straight hair is BACK! AS one of the staples of pop punk and emo beauty, slick straight hair anchors a look. It never gets old. Though the heat is a major buzzkill, the perks outweigh the pain.

INH Flame Fighter – $36 USD (as a bundle with Super Shine Serum)

Heavily teased and flat ironed hair looked cute in pics, but it did a number on your hair back in the day. Prevent your hair from breakage with this Flame Fighter spray, which aims to protect your hair. I’ve tried it and it’s literally one of the best in the game! It made my hair healthier after blow drying it to pieces.

INH Super Shine Serum – $36 USD (as a bundle with Flame Fighter)

Fried ends are your worst enemy and you don’t have to spend a fortune to get good hair back. I used this serum and it’s really done wonders to make my hair look fresh out of the salon. Even though my color did fade, this serum is great for colored hair as it brings shine to the hair.



You can’t go wrong with a good wig. Coloring your hair is a fortune and I, myself, am not willing to drop thousands to maintain my color. Rather than pay for additional sessions, I’d buy a wig as an alternative to bleaching my hair. INH’s wigs are so cute, well-cut and chic. I also adore Estelle’s wigs for realistic-looking ombre dye jobs that look and feel just like real hair!

INH Luna Wig – $97 USD


Estelle Wigs Mid Dark Brown Mixed Dark/Light Blonde – $94.58 SGD


4. Low Rise Jeans

Ah, another relic of the ’00s resurrecting from the grave. Hip hugging and body con, these jeans are made for the hotties who are ready to flaunt their goods. Long stigmatized for its butt-grazing waistline, what’s great about low rise jeans is that you don’t have to suffer from having to squeeze inside your high waisted jeans any longer. Low rise jeans are so perfect for the days when you just need to accommodate your food baby. It’s also really great to finally show off that vintage band tee in its full length glory after years of tucking it inside your 501s. Cropped or full length, your tops balance out the low waistline.

If you need to surf through the ‘Net for jeans, I highly recommend Depop and I’ve got plenty of ’em on Soeng Signature! Skinny or flared, there’s a bunch of classic low rise options! You can save a bunch of time and $ if you shop secondhand.

Soeng Signature Reworked Bike Shorts – $67.50 SGD


Vintage Rock & Republic Low Rise Corduroy Jeans – $45 SGD


5. Band Merch

OMG. THE CLASSIC!! I can’t tell you how much I really MISS going to concerts. Since virtual concerts are our only option in Asia, tour season is still kicking hot in America. No matter how many times band tees are considered a “trend”, it’s forever a classic. Hands down.

Paramore DIY Punk Shirt – $30 USD

To commemorate the legacy of Riot!, Paramore asked fans to design tees for them. As a fan of Paramore, this album meant a lot to me. This is the only way how I can make up for the years I missed out on seeing them. 😉


Olivia Rodrigo Sour Butterfly Longsleeve – $45 USD

Olivia Rodrigo is really growing on me and I think what sealed the deal for me is when she put in some pop punk guitar riffs on “good 4 u”. This sweatshirt reminds me of Anna Sui’s tees from the ’90s and the Neo-grungy vibes she served in SS 1995.


Published by

Michelle Varinata

Lapis - (n.) a layer Shrek once said that "onions have layers" as he was peeling one. Like an onion, I have layers. Born in Jakarta and raised in Singapore, I grew up being surrounded in a multicultural environment. Then, I moved to the States, where I lived in NYC and L.A. The creativity, hustle, bustle and vibe of those cities inspired me to become a blogger, journalist and influencer. Writing by day and living it up by night, I slay in the streets one OOTD at a time. Full-face makeup included, too. ;)

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