Whether you’re a baby boomer just now learning of the newer generation or a millennial in a constant battle with their younger peers, one thing is for sure — Gen Z is making waves in the world of fashion and there is no way to ignore them.
This is most evident on the short-video app TikTok, where Gen Z users, typically born around the very late 1990s if not the early 2000’s today through the early 2010s, are taking a stand when it comes to style. Most notably, the Zoomers as some like to call them, have canceled skinny jeans, to the dismay and flat-out disdain of Millennials and above who had to suffer through wide-leg gauchos and low-rise flares in their own youth.
Other cancellations include having a side part in your hair, the laughing-crying emoji and rose gold, to name a few. However, some fashion blasts from the past are back in style again according to Gen Z, including skinny baguette handbags from the early ’90s, platform shoes from the same era and tie-dye from both the ’60s and ’70s and then again in the ’90s.
Since they are now the largest generation alive as of last year, maybe it’s wise to listen to the youngsters as opposed to the elders, as they have also been deemed to be more financially-stable, frugal, health-conscious and body-positive than any previous generation.
So, whether you think cow-printed bucket hats are silly or you are obsessed with slip dresses and skinny sunglasses, Generation Z and their loud and unapologetic fashion choices are here to stay.
A Coach bag has always been a classic, but now make it a baguette.
The trending style was huge in the ’90s and is back again to take the fashion world by storm. This Coach Swinger bag comes in a few different colors, each with the signature “C” logo of course.
This one even has trendy in the name.
Sold at Urban Outfitters (which already makes this cool), the yellow bag combines a fun color, the trending style and the super interesting crocodile texture to make the ultimate Gen Z style staple. Plus, the bag is only $20, making this a style steal as well.
If you feel like a newbie to Gen Z fashion, don’t worry. This bag will help you get there.
From House of Newbie and sold on Shopbop’s site, this baguette bag comes in three colors and is on sale now for just $46.80, down from the original $78. Our fave is the pink bag with a gold chain, but also check out the white and gold combo and the beige and tortoiseshell, too.
Hammitt Becker SML, $275
Hammitt bags have always been in style, but now that are in on Gen Z’s secret, too.
The Becker SML style is an upscale baguette, complete with metal hardware to give the bag some more punk flair. The bag comes in black, as well as in a mesh black version, grey and a pink gradient perfect for spring and summer.
Cow print anything
Mooove over cheetah and snake, it’s time for the cow to run the show.
Weirdly enough, cow print has taken over when it comes to trending animal prints. These jeans from Shein make the ultimate statement, coming in a Gen Z-approved wide leg and with a traditional black and white version as well as a brown cow and a very rare purple cow, too.
You’ll want to dance ’til the cows come home in this dress.
Sold at Princess Polly, a very Gen Z brand, the dress is perfect for hanging in the backyard or the barnyard with the traditional black and white cow print. The ties on the sides are an added bonus, as you can scrunch the dress to the perfect length, depending on if you pair this with your platform shoes or some lower flats.
Boohoo? Don’t cry over spilled milk when you can have this cow print outfit for a great price.
While the site does sell the entire outfit and more, the corset top is one to watch, as it can be styled with almost anything. Pair it with the pants for an all-over cow look, or simply add the top to a pair of boyfriend jeans, a jacket and heels and your Gen Z party look is approved.
We did promise there would be a cow-printed bucket hat in this list.
We promised and rue21 delivered, with this fuzzy hat that has us over the moon. At just $10 the seemingly silly hat is actually essential for your Gen Z-inspired closet and can add some style to any plain outfit with just a tip of your hat.
Scarf tops are back in style and just in time for the spring and summer.
If you need new ones in your closet ASAP, a two-pack is the way to go. Shein also made sure to package them with different colors, like the blue and red styles above, for different looks to pair with jeans, leggings, skirts or even over your bathing suit.
Some say scarf; others say handkerchief.
No matter what you call it, the Nasty Gal top is back in style, and this white one is super easy to wear and pair with any pants in your closet (even the cow-print ones from above.) The top ties in the back for a perfect fit, and has a strapless style to avoid any tan lines should you wear this to the pool or backyard tanning session.
We salute the person who called for these comfy tops to come back in style.
Sold at Urban Outfitters, this bright and cheerful pink halter top has two ties to keep it secure, one behind the neck and one around the back. While there are sizes, it also makes this an easily adjustable item, and perfect to pair with jeans or shorts as the weather starts to warm.
Well, here’s a twist on the traditional scarf top.
This wrapped halter is super sexy and a flirty way to style a scarf shirt that we’re now in love with. The top is sold at Meshki and comes in the ivory color above, as well as a bright tangerine orange for summer, a pale green for spring and a chain-print pattern as well. While there is a tie around the neck for adjustability, they do offer sizes from XS to XL so that the bodice fits just right.
For a pair that is perfect for spring, Free People has just what you need. The Just Float On Flare pants come in the pink pictured above, as well as a whopping 18 other colors that span the whole color wheel. No matter which you pick, just know you’ll be in Gen Z’s good graces for ditching the skinnies for the flares.
Boyfriend jeans are still in, don’t worry, but so are girlfriend jeans and we love that.
Liverpool Los Angeles knows how to rock a pair of jeans, and the cuffed version is our fave for spring and summer to show off whatever shoes you decide to pair with them. They come in a blue denim wash which is easy to style and ranges in size from 0 to 14 which some stretch to them.
We know about hair, but now we think the wider the leg the closer to God.
Warp + Weft subscribe to that mantra as well, stocking their site with wide-leg pants for days, including this fabulous pair of 26-inch Dakota jeans. The denim comes in both extended sizing as well as straight sizing, making for an inclusive and trendy Gen Z-approved company.
Lee jeans are as classic as they come, but this pair has since had a Gen Z makeover.
The wide-leg jeans are also two-toned, fading from a super light wash into a darker one at the ankles for a multicolored look very similar to the also trendy tie-dye styles the generation also loves. However, if the color (called Very Peculiar) is too odd for you, the pants also come in a traditional medium wash denim.
Don’t let this trend slip by without grabbing one to wear this spring.
Slip dresses are super trendy and even more so they are insanely comfortable. This satin one from Express is a silky soft little black dress, with tiny spaghetti straps and a tasteful slit up the leg. Style it up with a pair of heels, or dress it down with a sweater over top and some chunky jewelry (see below.)
Reformation Cher Dress, $218
If Reformation sells it, you know it’s cool.
This Cher dress is no exception, and even the model is Gen Z-approved with a mini handbag and square heels. The slip dress comes in the above peach gradient, as well as a light blue version that fades into a dreamy darker blue at the bottom.
The brand may be called Missguided, but they are right on track when it comes to Gen Z fashion.
The bright green dress is adorable on its own, but styled over a tee and with a pair of skinny sunglasses? It couldn’t be more on-brand. If you don’t like lime, the dress also comes in black and beige, both super easy to style and wear while the trend (and the weather) is hot.
Fall in love with this slip dress from Lulu’s. It’s in the name after all.
The dress comes in a gorgeous champagne color that will leave you feeling bubbly as ever, and the fabric is as smooth as the drink it’s named for. The slip has a super subtle floral pattern as well, for a glimmer of added detail when you swish on by.
Chunky gold necklaces to layer
If this necklace is good enough for Lizzo, it’s good enough for any of us.
The BaubleBar necklace worn by the star is an icon in its own right. The paperclip style is beyond trendy and the 17-inch length makes it easy to layer with shorter chokers and longer pendants or to wear on its own for a more simple style.
Electric Picks Layering Sets, $175 to $345
If you’re new to layering, take a lesson from Electric Picks.
The jewelry company makes it easy to layer, selling complete packages in a variety of styles and prices. Starting at $175, the sets come with two to three gold necklaces that already look great together and can be mixed with your current collection as well. Another perk of the pre-made sets is that they are 5% off together, as opposed to buying the chains a la carte.
Another take on the paperclip necklace, this one comes with a pendant and a clasp closure that takes a front-facing stance.
Victoria Emerson always has both fashion and function in mind when designing, and putting the chunky clasp in the front was a brilliant move to accomplish both goals. Plus, at a price under $50, this really can’t be beaten.
Be on the cutting edge of Gen Z fashion with Edge of Ember jewelry.
This longer pendant is a perfect layering piece to add to your mid-length chains and chokers. Featuring the evil eye to ward off any negative vibes, the golden chain measures 21 inches and is made of 18K gold plated sterling silver with blue and white topaz for the eye and stars.
Middle parts with dyed front pieces, chunky hair accessories
Don’t ask us why Gen Z only dyes the front strands of their hair, but also don’t ask us why it looks so great.
To get this look with minimal effort, choose oVertone dye when getting down to DIY business. The hair color comes in a variety of super fun shades like bright purple, pink, orange and more natural colors like brown and blonde, too. It conditions as it dyes, making it great for fashion and for keeping your colorful locks in tip top shape.
If you don’t want to commit to color just yet, there’s nothing wrong with being a poser.
Paramore’s Hayley Williams agrees, and that’s why her Good Dye Young hair color company invented the washable Poser Paint that dyes your hair only until your next shower. The paint is sold at Sephora and comes in a variety of shades including the orange and pink pictured on Williams above.
After your hair is dyed, tie it back or just rock this hair tie on your wrist as an accessory instead.
If you thought scrunchies were left in the ’90s and 2000’s you are sadly mistaken, as Gen Z not only brought them back but supersized them as big as they could get. This larger-than-life one is from Free People, and be sure to stock up now as they are having a three for $12 sale now on scrunchies big, bigger and small.
No this isn’t deja vu, we did already cover cow print.
However, these clips combine two trends and so they had to make the list. The pack of four clips comes in the above cow styles as well as in zebra and cheetah print. Get your favorite animal or snag all three for a jungle of hair accessories that make a roaring statement.
No more bad hair days now that claw clips are back in fashion.
Clipped right from the magazines of the ’90s and ’00s, giant claw clips are stylish and super functional, securing even thick hair back off your face or up in a cute messy pony or bun. The six-pack from Amazon is great, especially if you’ve gotten rid of your middle school clips already and need one of every color to start again.
Oversized tee shirts and hoodies
You’ll be smiling big once you discover big comfy sweatshirts are in style.
This one from Nasty Gal will have you grinning ear-to-ear, not only because of how cute it is but also once you see the price. The blue and white crewneck is styled to be oversized, but comes in a range of sizes from medium to XL and is currently half off the original price of over $40.
From Meshki, the Judy Longline tee is oversized but never over-styled, as you can pair it with sneakers for a chill look or bike shorts and heels for a fun night out. The shirt comes in white with the red logo and also in a grey and white combo, sold in sizes ranging from XXS to XL.
You can finally give your boyfriend back all his oversized hoodies, as this one is made just for you.
From Good American, snuggle up in this cozy oversized hoodie, which comes in an array of slightly tie-dyed colors like the above beige, blue, green and more. The crewneck is made of super-soft cotton which is also durable, and has matching sweatpants should you want the full lounge-from-home look.
We wish we were in the tropics, but this shirt is a good start.
Perfect to pair with bike shorts like in the photo, this white tee goes with everything and with any summer vibe. Sold at Pac Sun, the Charlie Holiday tee is now 20% off and comes in sizes ranging from XS to medium, but designed to look oversized.
Skinny “retro” sunglasses
Vintage Retro Cateye Sunglasses, $11.95
Can’t see the haters with glasses this cool.
Teeny tiny glasses are now in style according to Gen Z, and this cat-eye pair is super hot for the summer. They are sold on Amazon and also come in black for the same price, as well as in packs of multiple pairs, should you need new shades for each of your new Gen Z-inspired outfits.
EyeBuyDirect Suite Cat Eye Purple Sunglasses, $16 plus take 30% off lenses and an additional 20% off select frames with code SEESPRING
EyeBuyDirect is seeing spring through their shades, and wants you to get in on it too.
These purple shades are skinny enough to fit in with Gen Z, but thick enough to provide you with some much-needed UV protection should you wear them out and about in the summertime.
Prada 67MM Cat Eye Sunglasses, sale price: $130 (original price: $445)
For those on the hunt for designer deals, these shades are for you.
From Saks OFF Fifth, the Prada sunnies are super on-trend with the skinny sunglasses look, and also insanely budget-friendly when you consider that they retailed for $445 and are now only $130.
For $5, do you really care if this trend passes or not?
Shein is here for all the trends, including pastel lenses and rimless sunnies. This pink pair is our fave, but they also come in eight other colors from pastel blue and orange to purple and green.
Platform white sneakers
Gen Z is great at using their platform to talk about the issues, make change and also step it up when it comes to style.
These platform white sneakers from Lulu’s are all white, sole included, and easy to pair with fun socks like the model, or a crazy pair of denim from above. They currently range from size five to 10 on the site but act fast as these shoes may go fast.
Reebok has been in the fashion game for some time now, so it’s no surprise they also have a white platform pair to offer Gen Z.
This pair is sold at Ssense and has select sizes still available should you want to get in on this platform style. The shoes will last even after the trend is over, as they are made of durable leather with a rubber sole.
Step up your fashion game to the max, with this super elevated kicks from Fila.
Sold on Shopbop’s site, the sneakers are all white, except for a pop of color for the iconic Filas logo on the tongue and side. They are made of faux leather, so no animals were harmed in the making of your fashion statement.