How to Pull Off the Butterfly Trend Without Looking Like a 12 Year Old


Butterflies are officially back!

Butterfly prints and motifs have slowly been making their way back into fashion over the last few months (who could forget Taylor Swift’s embellished butterfly jeans?!) but they made a huge splash during Paris Fashion Week where Undercover sent models down the runway in terrarium dresses filled with live butterflies. Now *that* is how you do the butterfly trend right!

Of course, this isn’t the first time that butterflies have had a resurgence. Moschino sent butterflies down the runway in 2017, as did Versace (the brand even re-embraced the winged insects for their collab with Dua Lipa earlier this year).

moschino butterfly fashion trends 2023
Moschino Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2018 fashion show
Courtesy of

But maybe it’s because I grew up in the 90s and Mariah Carey’s Butterfly was the soundtrack to my tween years, but I still associate butterflies with being young.

So how do you rock butterflies without feeling like you’re 12 again? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Check out a few of my favorite ways to pull off the trend like an adult below.

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1. Opt For Abstract

camila cabello butterfly dress
credit: @camila_cabello/Instagram

Instead of opting for a straight-up butterfly print or graphic tee, choose something a little less obvious and a little more abstract.

The perfect example? Camila Cabello’s ethereal gown during Paris Fashion Week (above). Camila wore a gorgeous Iris Van Herpen white mesh and satin dress that paid homage to the butterfly while still remaining sleek and sophisticated.

2. Go Back to Black

rachel brosnahan outfits butterfly dress trend
credit: Thenews2/

Instead of going for the bright colors and pastels typically associated with butterflies, try going in the other direction. A black piece, particularly if it’s black and mesh, can up the sex appeal and allow you to wear the print in a way your 12-year-old self would never dare.

3. Accessorize

2023 fashion trends butterflies
credit: @chiaraferragni/Instagram

Trying the butterfly trend doesn’t necessarily mean your whole outfit needs to be covered in wings. Instead, go for a subtle accessory like a necklace or a pair of pumps that will compliment your outfit without taking it over.

4. Remember Your Undergarments


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A post shared by Fleur du Mal (@fleurdumalnyc)

Incorporating butterflies into your lingerie collection can add a fun but feminine touch to your wardrobe. Fleur Du Mal has a pretty collection that features butterflies embroidered onto mesh. It’s sexy, girly, and whimsical in all the best ways.

And if you don’t feel like hiding your gorgeous bra under your clothes? Layer on a sheer top to show it off instead.

5. Don’t Forget to Have Fun

dua lipa versace butterflies trend 2023
credit: @dualipa/Instagram

At the end of the day, fashion is all about expressing yourself. So throw out all the rules and where whatever the hell you want. Because let’s be real, being an adult is *so* overrated.


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Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.