Since the 1940s, Chicana ladies, in towns such as El Paso (known as Chuco Town), Los Angeles, and Tucson, redefined what it meant to be a woman in America. While women at the time were expected to stay home and be good girls, pachucas wore men’s clothes and hung out with their boyfriends. They spoke Caló, challenged gender norms, and were way ahead of their time. They were also stylish. Pachucas of the ’40s and ’50s (and since) were all about victory rolls, bumper bangs, and pompadours. Pencil skirts, button-ups, and round toe pumps, or their own zoot suit.
These pachucas gave Chicanas the inspiration to continue the aesthetic, a mix of Mexican and American style, into what we know as the chola look. Since the 1970s, chola style has been marked by statement hair, dark lips, long-winged eyeliner, Dickie’s, Ben Davis, and hands decked with chola bands. Shadow plaid flannels, white tank tops, webbed initial belts, and Nike Cortez. It’s a tough mix of feminine and masculine style, done the Chicanx way.
Today, there are modern-day cholas and pachucas who continue to rock these iconic looks, live this lifestyle, and add their own influences and modern fashion trends into the mix. We wanted to share 15 of these stylish Latinxs on Instagram who nail chola and/or pachuca style.
Mayra Ramirez, a.k.a Hella Breezy reps the Bay Area every chance she gets. She is the co-founder of the women-owned Somewhere Else Art Space, a member of The Homegirl Syndicate, and a member of the Bay Area chapter of Chulita Vinyl Club. Hella Breezy also models for several dope brands and can be seen rocking white tanks, khakis, black and white Cortez, Raiders jackets, and a Selena tee, as wells as red lips, winged liner, ’40s pompadours, and 1960s inspired hair and makeup.
Lala (born Casey) Romero is one half of the chola mega-brand Bella Doña and its beauty sister, Sweet Street Cosmetics, founder of Palm Tree Dreams, and co-founder of the Scam and Jam event. But this L.A. Latinx is also a singer-songwriter, bringing her chola meets Old Hollywood pachuca glam aesthetic to her videos. This includes big vintage hair, animal print, of course that iconic eyeliner, long acrylic nails, Nike Cortez in all colors of the rainbow, and graphic tees.
Entrepreneur and “sometimes model” Lisa Love looks like she literally stepped out of the 1950s. Her style is puro Pachuca perfection — throwback hairstyles with flowers, off-the-shoulder blouses tucked into Mexican skirts, flannels, pinstriped pants with suspenders, and pedal pushers.
If you were asked to name a film that portrays not only the chola aesthetic, but its lifestyle, there’s a good chance Mi Vida Loca would be your instant response. One of the 1993 film’s stars is Angel Aviles, who plays Sad Girl. Today, she is a life coach, motivational speaker, and business owner, but her Instagram page still gives us chola vibes (and inspiration!). You’ll see Angel rocking old school fedoras, big hoops, and brown lipstick with dark lip liner, and sharing cool products that have been emblazoned with her character Sad Girl.
There are cholas who like to get inspiration from a certain decade for their aesthetic. This is certainly true of ‘OG’reeneyez Martinez. While she stays switching things up, sometimes opting for a modern aesthetic, her general chola look is totally 1970s. She will style her hair feathered back, rock fedoras and hand webs, wear shadow plaid flannels, noticeable blush, and the super dark super long eyeliner (even at the beginning of the eye) that represented the ’70s chola aesthetic.
You might have seen Zandra modeling Bella Doña gear and putting on Sweet Street Cosmetics. But this Latina has her own dope style that is totally 1990s chola. Think half ponytails and 49ers jackets, pastel eyeshadow, ’90s light wash high waisted jeans, airbrushed tops, Dickies overalls, and floral slip dresses.
Chicana Claudia Alexandra Feliciano, a.k.a. rapper Snow da Product reps for Mexicanos and Latinos in her fierce lyrics. Her style is also worth following. While her style has a mix of influences and aesthetics, you’ll see her in beanies, Raiders jerseys, a serape print poncho to show off her Mexican pride, and a Virgen de Guadalupe jean jacket.
Natalia Gold is the other half of Bella and Sweet Street Cosmetics, is co-founder of Scam and Jam, and is the founder of Honey B Gold. And her style is just as chola fabulous as the brands she runs. She rocks huge hoops, 1960s-style eyeshadow, leopard print, bodycon dresses, nameplate necklaces, and acrylic uñas out to there.
Winnonah Sarah looks and dresses like a true OG chola. Her incredibly long hair features bangs and layers that are often styled back away from the face in a ’70s chola style, and her intense black liner and white shadow also bring to mind the 1970s. Winnonah will rock a 1940s/50s pachuca rose behind the ear, and wear everything from a bandana top to a floral dress to shadow plaid flannels and Chinese slippers.
Jennifer Torres is another Latinx who has modeled for Bella Doña and Sweet Street. Her look is very ’90s with a healthy dose of chola. You will see big hoops, winged liner, burgundy lipstick, Nike Cortez, on-trend acrylic nails, and sculpted baby hairs.
It’s safe to say that if you have your chola aesthetic on point, you will probably end up modeling for Bella Doña. Genai also has appeared in the cholarific gear and has a style that also grabbed the attention of Vogue when they wrote on chola fashion. Like many other young cholas, her style skews towards the ’90s chola look, with sleek center-parted hair, baby light blue jeans, ornate acrylic nails, sculpted baby hairs, hoodies, and other oversized clothing.
Next on our list of Latinxs rocking the chola style flawlessly is @iam_dorysdee. The founder of DxCollective, a brand featuring Old English, Virgen de Guadalupe, and L.A. emblazoned shirts, rocks classic red lips, tons of tats, button-up shirts buttoned all the way up, gold hoops, and flannel shirts.
@anythingforselenaaas is a makeup artist in Los Angeles who creates epic makeup looks that cholas and everyone else love. Eyeliner is super dramatic, with bold colors, negative space, and drawn on lashes, eyebrows are barely there with a whisper of a line, and lips are done in every color, and sometimes none at all, with a black lip liner.
Another Latinx makeup artist who brings home the chola/pachuca aesthetic is Alejandra Garcia. The Chicana in Los Angeles wears her hair big, has her acrylics on point, wears her hoops in gold, and dons a flower in her hair and an off-the-shoulder bodycon dress like a vintage pachuca.
With pachuca and chola style, there are many who will take the look and add some goth vibes to them. The result is edgy, moody, and really cool. Makeup artist Cat Soto has just this look. She will pair a green beanie with matching green lips, and black brows and liner with black lips, and don fedoras, flannels, Aqua Net, and T-shirts with Old English font.