5 Gen Z Fashion Trends Millennials Just Can't Get Behind, And 1 Both Generations Love

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Gen Z (those born between 1997 and 2012, roughly) has really been coming into its own in recent years, developing its own signature style just like every generation before. And while Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996, roughly) may only be one generation ahead of the new vanguard, there are definitely a few trends they just can’t get on board with. Here, five fashion trends Gen Z absolutely adores that those over 25 aren’t so eager to adopt, plus one trend both groups will happily wear.

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1. crocs

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, Millennials just cannot comprehend how, why or when Crocs became cool. And yet they’re definitely a must-have item for those under 25, and not just for weekend errand running or wearing around the house. There have been multiple Gen Z-approved celebrity collaborations—Justin Bieber, Post Malone, Bad Bunny—over the past few years that have sold out ridiculously fast, and big names like Ariana Grande, Kendall Jenner and Lebron James have all been spotted wearing the controversial shoe in recent years, providing Gen Z with even more fashion inspo, and maybe even inspiring a few stubborn 30-somethings as well. For now though, Millennials are happy to let Gen Z keep this trend to themselves.

y2k gen z fashion trends
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2. all-out Y2k

Millennials might be OK with sporting a cow print bag or psychedelic print top mixed in with more classic wardrobe staples, but head-to-toe 2000s fashion is definitely a no-go for them. They wore cloud print mesh tees, butterfly clips, Spice Girls platforms and all things Delia*s back when they were first in style, and aren’t super keen on repeating those outfits again so soon.

3. resin Jewelry

This ‘70s throwback is once again trending with the Gen Z crowd, but Millennials haven’t been so quick to jump on board. They’d rather make a statement with mixed metals, gold chain links and baroque pearls than colorful resin rings or bangles. Gen Z, on the other hand, isn’t afraid to play with all those styles at once.

4. pattern Clashing

Each successive generation inherently works to change the fashion rules set by those before them. So, while Millennials once stuck to a handful of foolproof print combinations, Gen Z is throwing caution to the wind and mixing anything with everything. In the same way that Boomers may find it hard to break the habit of matching your handbag to your shoes, Millennials have a harder time accepting such an aggressively cavalier approach to outfit building. But to those under 25, if you feel good in your mismatched polka dot top and toile skirt then who’s to tell you they don’t look good, too?

gen z fashion trends cropped cardigans
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5. cropped Cardigans And Baby Tees

Midriff-baring T-shirts and cardigan sets feel inherently juvenile in a way most Millennials just aren’t quite comfortable wearing anymore. They’d rather rock a Rachel Green-approved hip-length cardigan and matching knit shell top or an oversize graphic tee, while Gen Z is more than happy to pair their preferred shorter silhouettes with loose mom jeans or a pleated tennis skirt.

gender fluid fashion gen z fashion trends
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6. both: Gender Fluid Fashion

There are, of course, a handful of fashion trends both Gen Z and Millennials can agree on, but perhaps the most exciting is the rise of unisex fashion. This movement is both about designing clothing for all bodies rather than just women or just men, as well as sporting styles usual enjoyed by only one sex, like skirts for men or boxer shorts for women. For some it’s a statement on gender identities, for others it’s just a matter of prioritizing comfort, but either way both generations agree on wearing what makes you happy, no matter who it was originally designed for.



Abby Hepworth is an RRCA-certified running coach who has worked in fashion for over 10 years. Want to know what shoes are in this season? She's got you. Need recommendations on...