I’m a Millennial and My Mom’s a Boomer and Here are the 7 Summer Fashion Trends We Actually Agree On
I love talking fashion with my mom. For years we would excitedly sit down to watch Project Runway together and chat at length about our opinions. Sometimes our thoughts lined up exactly (we both loved Mondo Guerra), other times we were at opposite ends of the spectrum (Laura Bennett? Not my favorite), but either way, our conversations about clothing have never been boring. And while we both love a fabulous, if impractical, runway look, last week I decided to chat with her about the top summer trends folks are actually wearing out and about. Here are all the styles my mom Judith, a boomer, and I, a millennial, agree are too cute not to try in 2022.
1. Costal Grandmother
As a coastal grandmother herself, my mom’s thoughts were very unsurprising. “Well, of course I like this. It is attractive and comfortable.” Judith has been rocking a version of this look for years and I’m elated to copy her best looks in all their flowy, linen glory. Her only note: White pants can be tricky, especially in very lightweight, breezy materials. My advice, as a fashion editor, is to look for styles that are a Goldilocks fit between too tight and too loose (a straight-leg cut that has some shape but doesn’t cling to your thighs is best). And always double check how they look in direct sunlight to see just how see-through they might appear.
Shop the trend: Eloquii Striped Linen Pants ($100); PrAna Railay Shirt ($89); Reformation Nashville Linen Shorts ($68); Jenni Kayne Cropped Cotton Cabin Sweater ($295); Chico’s Flare Sleeve Chambray Top ($99); Faherty Summer Sands Linen Pants ($158)
2. Non-Traditional Pearl Jewelry
My mom and I are both suckers for pearl jewelry, and not just classic studs or necklaces either. Misshapen Baroque pearls and mixed-media designs are very fun, and while they happen to be super trendy right now, they also won’t look dated should the tides turn a few summers from now. While a traditional pearl necklace can be pricey, jewelry that incorporates just one pearl or mixes in pearls of all shapes or colors is often much less expensive, and you’re still investing in real freshwater gems.
Shop the trend: Missoma Baroque Pearl Twisted Link Necklace ($335); Linjer Mathilde Pearl Drop Earrings ($163); Tuckernuck Mini Pearl Hoop Earrings ($48); Monica Vinader Keshi Pearl Bracelet ($250); Roxanne Assoulin Pearly Whites Necklace ($120); Gorjana Parker Pearl Bracelet ($65)
3. Mini Skirts and Dresses
“I wore many mini dresses and skirts in the late ‘60s and ‘70s and must say I looked great in them,” admits Judith. “I still admire them on younger women, but wouldn’t be eager to wear one myself.” She’s a bit wary about wearing minis now, and is skeptical of how many other boomer women would be chomping at the bit to break out short skirts of their own, but both Judith and I agree that, regardless of age, people should wear whatever makes them feel comfortable and confident. I will also add, minis are actually much easier to pull off than maxi lengths, which can look heavy and dowdy if you don’t get the proportions right.
Shop the trend: Madewell Linen-Blend Tulip-Hem Skirt ($90; $60); Ollari Deco Mini Skirt ($178); UO Notched Pelmet Mini Skirt ($49; $15); Eloquii Tiered Mini Dress ($100); French Connection Whisper Sheath Dress ($100); Reformation Jeune Dress ($218); Rachel Antonoff Gwen Dress ($265)
4. Birkenstocks and Other Double-Buckle Sandals
If I had to associate one item of clothing with my mom, it would probably be Birkenstock sandals, and she and I are both thrilled to see this podiatrist-approved shoe taking a turn in the spotlight. “Yes! I love my ‘stocks,” says Judith, “and anyone of any age can wear them.” Even if you’re not a fan of the OG double-buckle shoe, there are tons of Birkenstock look-alikes out there. And unlike flip-flops or super-strappy styles, the simple double-strap design is super flattering on all foot shapes, for a fabulous finishing touch to any outfit.
5. Coordinating Button-Up Shirts and Boxer Shorts
Judith and I agree on these adorable, easy-to-wear pairs, but with a few caveats. “These sets are very cute, but not for boomers. And please don’t wear this to work if you ever go back to the office,” she implores. I agree that they feel a little juvenile for women in their 60s or older, unless they’re sporting them as a beach cover-up. (Then again, just as with mini skirts, you do you!) In fact, this trend as a whole works best for casual weekends or lazy Sunday activities than it does for drinks with friends or meet-ups with coworkers. (And, yes Mom, I promise I won’t wear boxers to the office.)
Shop the trend: AYR The Deep End Shirt ($125) and The Staycation Shorts ($95); Abercrombie & Fitch Oversized Button-Up Shirt ($60) and Poplin Pull-On Shorts ($45); Anthropologie Stripe Shorts Set ($120); Djerf Avenue Breezy Shirt ($119) and Breezy Shorts ($99); 4th and Reckless Linen Oversize Shirt ($53) and Linen Beach Shorts ($43)
6. Mini Handbags
Despite the fact that mini handbags are an impractical choice for most occasions, they’re just so darn cute. My mom and I agree that as long as you can easily fit your phone, wallet, keys and maybe some lip balm or an extra face mask in there, a mini bag can be a fun twist on a more traditional clutch or crossbody. Just don’t put your life savings into these little cuties. “I do not approve of spending large amounts of money on handbags,” says Judith, and this is especially true if you can’t even get good use out of them day-in and day-out.
Shop the trend: Madewell Leather Carabiner Crossbody Bag ($110); JW Pei Joy Shoulder Bag ($89); Charles & Keith Ruched Mini Bag ($59); ASOS Top Handle Mini Bag ($23); Olga Berg Marlo Ball Mesh Bag ($110)
7. Bucket Hats
I think Judith would approve of just about any trend that also prevents sunburn, but adorable bucket hats (and their floppy cousins, the garden hat) are an absolute win in both our books. On a practical front, the wider brim helps protect your face, ears and neck from harmful UV rays. And sartorially, they feel fresher and more stylish than a plain ol’ baseball cap or straw boater. You can play into those Y2K roots with a little mini dress and some platform sandals, or give your bucket hat a posh twist and wear it with a button-up shirt, flared cropped trousers and backless loafers instead.
Shop the trend: GRLFRND Carly Bucket Hat ($78); ASOS Bucket Hat ($12); Vans X Tierra Whack Reversible Bucket Hat ($42); J.Crew Canvas Bucket Hat ($50; $35); Faithfull the Brand Floral Linen Bucket Hat ($79)