By now, we’ve all been inundated with micro-trend after micro-trend, and it can seem a bit excessive. However, there’s one that I’ve tended to gravitate towards more than others this summer: being a “Tomato Girl”.
At its core, a Tomato Girl has been described as someone who embodies a Mediterranean essence in the way of living simply, embracing a style filled with white linens, and obviously incorporating tomatoes into their summer meals. Think of how any Italian would essentially spend their summer season: by the beach, going to farmer’s markets, and soaking up the sunshine every chance they get.
When I first heard of this term, originally coined by TikTok user @bemusedbeanie, I have to admit that I rolled my eyes. As an American with Italian heritage, I tend to cringe at any attempt to generalize the culture of (several) European countries, as they are all so unique and different from each other. However, I decided to lighten up a bit and approach this hyper-specific, produce-inspired trend from a lens of enjoyment and recognize it for what it actually is: an appreciation of the Mediterranean lifestyle by tapping into a fun aesthetic.
But what is the best way to actually spend a tomato girl summer? According to Tomato Girl Extraordinaire Adrianne Paerels, artist and creator of an ever-increasing amount of tomato-inspired clothing and accessories, “it’s just about tapping into something wholesome within you. Whether it’s connecting to the earth by gardening, getting in touch with your family roots, or creating a more sustainable wardrobe.” She notes that she started embracing what has come to be known as Tomato Girl Summer awhile back to connect with her Italian side. “My dad and grandparents all passed in my late teens, so I had lost touch with that for a while. Then I moved into a cute house with a little space for a garden and grew a ton of tomatoes. Suddenly, I was wearing bandanas in my hair, linen dresses, and carrying a little wicker basket… it really all fell into place.”
Below, read on for some tips on how to live your best pomodoro life.
Dress the part
Think lightweight linen tops, flowy dresses, and tying a scarf around your hair. A Tomato Girl embraces effortlessness and sticks to a few summer staples to accommodate her laidback lifestyle. As far as makeup goes, I tend to reach for my beloved Aroma Light in the shade Ragù for the perfect daytime pout, or my classic (and aptly named) Aroma Lipstick in Pummarò for a bolder, evening look.
Get your hands on some passata
As we approach the end of summer, nonnas and zias everywhere are just beginning to harvest their ripest pomodori and begin to make an Italian classic: passata. This is a long-standing tradition where tomatoes are churned into a purée texture, often spread out on a table once blended and salt is added, and stored into glass jars to have a supply for the upcoming season.
Go to the farmer’s market (or better yet, your own garden)
Forget the pre-packaged, store-bought canned stuff. Wake up early one day, grab your tote bag, and head over to your local farmer’s market for the freshest produce you can find. Stock up on pomodori of all shapes and sizes to cook in your next sauce or caprese salad.
All in all, despite the typical fast-paced trend cycle of micro-aesthetics we usually see from social media, I think Tomato Girl Summer will transcend the season. True Tomato Girls have been like this for years, influenced by their childhood, travels, and culture. That won’t change once the hashtag is no longer trending. Long live Tomato Girls 🍅