Say what you will about Millennials—we treat pets like family members, we’ll never give up parting our hair to the side, we’re cheugy—but there is no other generation with a namesake color to call their own. And while it could be argued that Millennials don’t have a signature style in the same way that the ‘70s, ‘80s or ‘90s were defined by specific near-universal trends, there are a handful of wardrobe staples we as a generation just can’t quit, no matter what’s currently in style. Here, nine of our most-beloved fashion pieces we’ll continue to wear long past their expiration date (if that ever comes).
9 Fashion Staples Millennials Just Don't Know How to Quit
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1. skinny Jeans
Gen Z may have declared death to the skinny jean but we will cling to the supremely-flattering body-hugging denim until death itself comes to claim us. We just love the way skinnies help us streamline and lengthen our silhouette, cinch in our waist and generally make us feel sexy and put together in a way that mom jeans never could.
2. over-the-knee Boots
Specially the suede Stuart Weitzman Highland boots. Seemingly every supermodel from 10 or so years ago owned these boots—Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Lily Aldridge, the Hadid sisters—which meant the rest of us all craved a pair as well to wear with sweatshirt dresses or black leggings. Plus, they go perfectly with our beloved skinny jeans. Try tucking boyfriend jeans into a thigh-high suede boot, we dare you.
3. throwback Concert Tees
This particular trend takes the form almost exclusively of washed black tees featuring rock bands of the ‘80s—AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Def Leppard, Led Zeppelin—but there are definitely other variations we love. So long as the T-shirt has a vintage vibe with washed-out colors and advertises a band we Millennials were probably just a little too young to really have known in their heyday, it’s a winner.
4. millennial Pink
This particular shade of pale pink is so ubiquitous among Millennial aesthetics—fashion, beauty, home decor, digital design—that it was named after our generation. And we will proudly continue to wear it both in large swathes and small touches until another equally universally flattering hue comes along.
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5. the Everyday Tote
It’s probably from Kate Spade, Longchamp or an in-house Nordstrom brand and can best be described as a minimalist rectangle with two shoulder straps. It is one of four colors: black, brown, tan or burgundy. There’s also a solid chance it has your monogram on it. It is the perfect size for throwing in your laptop, workout gear, childcare necessities or whatever else you might find yourself wanting for on a day-long excursion. It may not be the trendiest bag, but the everyday tote is incredibly timeless and will see you through just about any situation for years to come.
6. going-out Tops
The “going out top” was made for one purpose and one purpose only—hitting the town in style. It cannot be made to work for an office setting or parent-teacher conferences. It would feel out of place for casual Sunday errands. No, the going out top thrives most at busy bars, swanky restaurants, dance clubs and karaoke parties. And, as you already know, dear reader, looks fabulous worn over a pair of hip-hugging skinny jeans.
7. chelsea Boots
When we’re not rocking our over-the-knee suede boots, we prefer the ease of a classic Chelsea bootie. This Brit-inspired style features a low block heel, clean leather upper and two stretchy gussets on the sides rather than a zipper to make pulling them on and off easier. With such a minimalist design, they go with pretty much everything in our wardrobes—jeans, suits, minidresses—are comfortable enough for all day wear, no matter how much walking we have to do, and thus have earned a spot in the “we’re never giving this up” category of Millennial fashion.
8. aviator Sunglasses
Some summers we might experiment with huge Jackie O.-approved frames, others we might attempt to bring back Matrix minis, but in the end we’ll always return to this classic sunglasses style as our most favorite.
9. silk Camis
In many ways silk camis are just a subsection of the going-out top but are unique in their ability to work for basically any occasion. Dinner with friends? Colorful silk cami and a slip skirt. Date night? Silk cami with lace trim and high-waist skinny jeans. Day at the office? Basic silk cami under a cardigan with trousers. You will never find us without at least three variations in our wardrobe.