Move Over Barbie, This Summer We’re Embracing Polly Pocketcore

Split of Jennie Kim in a Polly Pocketcore look and a bow-shaped purse

Polly Pocket was That Girl. Sure, she was teeny tiny and if you dropped her in the house you ran the risk of having your beloved toy sucked up by the vacuum, but if you kept her safely ensconced in her compact-sized home, there was no limit to what you could dream up for Polly—especially when it came to her wardrobe.

After Mattel took over the Polly Pocket biz, she grew a few inches and was therefore easier to dress and less of a choking hazard, but she didn’t lose her sartorial magic. The new Polly was just as cute and stylish as her predecessor and her new distant doll relative Barbie; she had the coolest closet ever, all made of flexible rubber for quick change situations. Polly had hats, boots, pastel pants, miniscule bags and everything in between, and her closet was your playground. Her signature teeny-tiny aesthetic is still setting trends today amongst big kids who long for the days of playing dress-up with an itsy bitsy clotheshorse—just take a scroll through TikTok or a wander down the most fashionable neighborhoods to see Polly style all grown up.

Jennie from Blackpink wearing a Polly Pocketcore dress

The Trend

Slowly but surely the Polly Pocketcore aesthetic has been seeping into our day-to-day lives, one plastic shoe or funky pant at a time. Polly is practically right at the center of the Venn diagram of Y2K everything and Barbiecore brightness.

It started with the Jacquemus Le Chiquito mini bag explosion of 2019, where anyone and everyone was rocking a minuscule microbag that could likely fix approximately two Polly dolls. You can see echoes of Polly’s plasticine style in the throwback cheekiness of celeb fave accessories line Poppy Lissiman and the brightly hued plastic and PVC pumps and platforms that have dominated the trend cycle the past few years. Even luxury bags from brands like Prada and Gucci have taken on candy colors and a puffy shape that makes them look right at home in the Pollyverse.

Honestly, if you told us that Polly Pocket was on the moodboard over at Loewe, we’d believe you, because their structural peplum dresses, viral green and pink top and skirt set, plastic cartoon pumps and playful flower-shaped sunglasses are very Pocketcore.

Some of the biggest trends for summer 2023 would also seem right at home in Polly’s closet, including the feminine and frilly coquette aesthetic and the Swiftian Eras tour friendship bracelets. Clearly, this teeny little doll has made a big impact in the fashion world, albeit indirectly. When you think about it, isn’t getting dressed each day kind of like playing with dolls, except the doll is, well, you? Will we one day be dressing exactly like dolls via virtual reality and the metaverse?

How to Wear Polly Pocketcore

Even if you didn’t collect Polly Pocket sets as a kid, you can still channel the tiny but fashionable doll this summer and beyond.

Color is key to the Polly Pocket look; this is not a time to reach for your quiet luxury black, navy and camel tones! Put them aside and think pastel purple, hot pink, lemon yellow, tangerine and bright aqua. Instead of going full pink like Barbiecore, experiment with the full rainbow and base your outfits around solid colors with just a pop of print for the most Polly-like silhouette.


This is also the time to trot out your best “fun pants,” pairing them with a colorful tank, cropped cardigan and bright baguette bag, or to toss a neon blazer over your favorite minidress and platform shoes.

Sandy Liang Polly Pocket jewelry

Accessories are also essential to any Polly-worthy look; the girl has sunglasses, hats, bags and shoes galore stuffed in those compact closets, so feel free to follow her lead! It probably goes without saying that jelly shoes, beloved colorful footwear of the late ‘80s through the early ‘00s, are very Polly energy, as are the Melissa brand PVC mules and pumps, which give off a doll-esque vibe without being actual cartoon shoes. A cute heart-shaped clutch or mini bag would be a fun touch—For Bitches makes bow-shaped ones that fit the bill—as would a bold floral necklace or a heart-shaped ring.

For a clever wink to the Polly aesthetic, tuck a cute compact or hand mirror in your bag or your pocket and pretend the doll herself is hanging out with you giving you fashion tips. Think hearts, stars or seashells and think of Polly every time you check your lip gloss.


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