Brat Green Is the Color Trend Everyone Loves To Hate

From memes and manicures to political iconography, this shade of green is taking over the world.

Brat green graphic featuring Kamala Harris, Charli XCX, Kate Moss in Prada runway, and a model from Alexander McQueen Fall 2024
(Image credit: Future)

Even if you haven’t yet pressed play on Charli XCX’s album Brat—which debuted on June 7 and has amassed 15.4 million Spotify streams, climbing to number three on the Billboard 200—you’ve probably seen the album art's signature slime-green shade.

As color trends go, brat green lacks the sunny optimism of butter yellow and the mass-market appeal of hot Barbie pink or yummy cherry red. The background color of the British pop star’s latest record is a color you won’t even find in nature—it's more akin to the radioactive glow of a nuclear plant.

But even so, #BratGreen has gone ultra-viral. Search the shade on Instagram, and the 2.6 million tagged posts will tint your phone screen green. Query the same on TikTok, and you’ll find brands like Kate Spade sharing “brat starter packs” and Twin Peaks actor Kyle MacLachlan making his own music videos in tribute to the hue with an acid green tee. It's become the color code of a potential president-to-be: After Charli XCX tweeted, "kamala IS brat," on July 21—the same day President Joe Biden dropped out of the 2024 race—Vice President Kamala Harris's campaign updated its official social media accounts to be bright brat green.

From memes and manicures to political iconography and brat-branded bratwursts, this very specific shade of green has taken over the world like a putrid plague.

Charli XCX in a blue top and boots holding her green 'brat' album

Charli XCX posing with her 'Brat,' the highest-rated album of 2024 so far on Metacritic.

(Image credit: @charli_xcx)

And brat summer is just the beginning, with the fashion world brewing its own form of vile green. In McQueen by Seán McGirr's Fall 2024 show, there were slime green three-piece knit sets and alien-hued sculpted mini dresses. Fendi, Jason Wu, and Brandon Maxwell's collections adopted the same color scheme, while Gucci’s Fall 2024 collection featured an earthly, self-described "rotten" shade of its own.

'Brat' green colored clothes at Alexander McQueen, Jason Wu, Brandon Maxwell, Fendi, and Gucci Fall 2024

Brat green at McQueen by Seán McGirr, Jason Wu, Brandon Maxwell, Fendi, and Gucci.

(Image credit: Launchmetrics)

If the color distresses you, well, that’s the point of such an off-putting shade. Rather than calming the masses with a color psychologically proven to soothe and subdue, Charli XCX chose something controversial. “I’d like for us to question our expectations of pop culture—why are some things considered good and acceptable and some deemed bad? I’m interested in the narratives behind that and want to provoke people," the singer told Vogue Singapore in her April cover story.

Charli XCX joins Troye Sivan on stage during the Something to Give Each Other Tour at OVO Arena Wembley on June 27, 2024 in London, England.

Charli XCX, joined by Troye Sivan, performing 'Brat' on June 27, 2024 in London, England.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Miuccia Prada took the same approach to her "Ugly Chic" Spring 1996 collection that garnered attention with pencil skirts, button-down blouses, and plaid pants in a murky brown-green later anointed as Miuccia sludge. Her show was a foil to the era's Tom Ford Gucci gowns and the naked dresses John Galliano sent down the runway for Dior. "Prada's philosophy behind this collection was to upend the idea of 'bad taste' via fashion and show how it's important to culture as a whole,” says fashion writer Viv Chen, the author of the style-meets-culture Substack newsletter The Molehill. "Sludge green, slime green—whatever you want to call it—then became a color forever associated with this [idea of anti-trends] within fashion.”

Models wearing various shades of green in Prada's Fall 1996 "Ugly Chic" collection.

Prada's Fall 1996 collection in all of its "Ugly Chic" splendor.

(Image credit: Getty Images/Prada)

Now, Charli has done the same. Like the unpleasantness of Miuccia sludge, brat green causes a reaction—as does all good fashion, right?

As Chen puts it, "Charli XCX cleverly uses the color and its cultural connotations to create a world and mood around her new album." The singer has provided the slime green color with a storyline and its own soundtrack of clubby hyperpop, aligning itself with an archetype of It girls—the bonafide brats of the world whose personal style skews more irreverent than effortless—think Julia Fox rather than Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. To them, the best outfits are the ones that garner stares and double takes on the sidewalk. And their most prized possession is the authentic Prada Spring 1996 piece in "Ugly Chic" chartreuse that they sourced on The RealReal.

Love it or loathe it, brat green is here to stay. But if you really can't stand the slime, have faith: soon enough, the color wheel will settle on a new shade for fashion to weigh in on.

Emma Childs
Fashion Features Editor

Emma is the fashion features editor at Marie Claire, where she writes deep-dive trend reports, zeitgeisty fashion featurettes on what style tastemakers are wearing, long-form profiles on emerging designers and the names to know, and human interest vignette-style round-ups. Previously, she was Marie Claire's style editor, where she wrote shopping e-commerce guides and seasonal trend reports, assisted with the market for fashion photo shoots, and assigned and edited fashion celebrity news.

Emma also wrote for The Zoe Report, Editorialist, Elite Daily, Bustle, and Mission Magazine. She studied Fashion Studies and New Media at Fordham University Lincoln Center and launched her own magazine, Childs Play Magazine, in 2015 as a creative pastime. When she's not waxing poetic about niche fashion topics, you'll find her stalking eBay for designer vintage, reading literary fiction on her Kindle, and baking banana bread in her tiny NYC kitchen.