• 03/18/2024

15 of the Worst Gen Z Fashion Trends According to Millenials

A woman wearing cargo pants and a crop top.

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Generation Z, born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s, is known for its unique and often questionable approach to fashion, constantly pushing boundaries and challenging conventional norms. While many Gen Z fashion trends are creative, some have raised eyebrows and sparked debates about taste and style. 

Gen Z vs. Millennials

Gen Zers and Millennials clash in many regards, and fashion is no different. Millennials, born between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s, often lead toward a mix of grunge, minimalist and casual styles, focusing on comfort and individuality.

In contrast, Gen Z embraces a more eclectic and daring approach to fashion. Influenced by social media and sustainability movements, Gen Z tends to gravitate toward vibrant colors, bold patterns and a commitment to sustainable and ethical fashion choices. The fast-paced nature of online trends has also propelled Gen Z toward a more fluid and inclusive interpretation of style, blurring traditional gender norms. 

Trends typically follow a 20-year rule, where an item will come back in fashion within two decades. However, the rise of social media has led to micro-trends, fads that last only a few months. Although Gen Zers are often praised for their commitment to sustainability, they’re also notorious for falling victim to these short-lived trends.

15 Questionable Gen Z Fashion Trends

As one of the younger generations continues to redefine the fashion landscape, their bold and experimental choices have sparked both admiration and skepticism. Here are some controversial fads Gen Z is bringing back.

  1. Cut-Out Pants

Cut-out pants, while daring and attention-grabbing, have sparked debates about functionality and modesty. These pants seem to sacrifice comfort for the sake of making a bold statement. 

  1. Baguette Bags

Baguette bags, inspired by the iconic Fendi design from the late ‘90s and early 2000s, have made a resurgence in Gen Z fashion. While many appreciate their sleek and compact design, millennials argue that these small bags offer limited practicality, as they often can’t hold more than a few items. 

  1. Cargo Pants

Consumers have met the revival of the cargo pants with both praise and criticism. While some appreciate the utilitarian aesthetics and ample pocket space, others argue that the oversized and baggy nature of these pants may not be the most flattering choice for everyone. Plus, this isn’t exactly what women meant when we said we love pockets.

  1. Micro Mini Skirts

Micro mini skirts have become a bold fashion statement as they’re often no wider than a chunky belt. Some advocates argue that they empower individuals to express their confidence and body positivity, while critics question the appropriateness of such minute skirts.

  1. Platform Crocs

The collaboration of fashion and comfort has given rise to platform Crocs, a trend that has left many divided. Supporters applaud the fusion of quirky comfort and elevated style, while many millennials question the unconventional footwear.

  1. Oversized Blazers

Oversized blazers, a nod to ‘80s and ‘90s power dressing, have become a staple in Gen Z closets. Many appreciate the effortlessly chic and androgynous aesthetic, which is all the rage right now. However, the oversized fit drowns out individual body shapes, challenging traditional notions of femininity.

  1. Ballet Flats

Ballet flats are arguably one of the “better” Gen Z fashion trends. A classic and timeless footwear choice, these flats have resurged within Gen Z circles. Praised for their simplicity, comfort and versatility, many embrace ballet flats for their ability to complement various outfits.

  1. Y2K Revival

One of the most popular Gen Z trends is the revival of Y2K fashion. These pieces include butterfly clips, low-rise jeans, corset tops and bedazzled everything. While this might be a nostalgic trip down memory lane, perhaps there’s a reason we left these items in the early 2000s.

  1. Sheer Clothing

Sheer clothing has definitely pushed boundaries, allowing individuals to play with transparency and layering. While some embrace the liberating quality of sheer garments, millennials remain skeptical due to their impracticality and lack of comfort. 

  1. Denim Maxi Skirts

Denim maxi skirts have emerged as an enduring trend, blending the casual charm of denim with the more elegant silhouette of a maxi skirt. These skirts appear to offer a perfect balance between comfort and style. However, the weight and stiffness of the fabric limits movement and compromises comfort.

  1. Tiny Sunglasses

Gone are the days of oversized, face-shielding sunglasses. Gen Z has embraced the trend of tiny sunnies, reminiscent of the ‘90s. While they may look cool, practicality seems to take a backseat — more so when worn indoors or at night. Critics question the functionality of sunglasses that barely cover the eyes and offer minimal protection from the sun. 

  1. Patterned Denim

Patterned denim is a popular choice among the younger Gen Zers. Graffiti-like prints, swirls, flowers or animal prints in bright colors often cover these baggy jeans. What millennials might describe as visual chaos, Gen Z celebrates the expression it brings to denim.

  1. Extreme Crops

Another controversial fad is the extremely cropped long-sleeves, where the hem sits mid-chest. Obviously, Gen Z wears these crops with layers, however, it’s definitely a questionable look. The debate revolves around whether these extreme crops are a form of self-expression or a step too far in the pursuit of edgy fashion. 

  1. Resin Jewelry

Resin jewelry often includes psychedelic swirls and quirky designs, but it’s become a bit of a head-scratcher in the fashion industry. The appeal is there — it’s artsy and gives off a DIY-vibe, however the older generations believe it might be taking the whole handmade aesthetic a bit too far.

  1. E-Girl and E-Boy Aesthetics

The rise of E-girl and E-boy aesthetics has been met with mixed reviews. Characterized by bold makeup, colorful hair and a combination of edgy and childlike clothing, these trends have raised questions about the fine line between self-expression and perpetuating stereotypes. This look typically includes hair scrunchies, thick winged eyeliner, exaggerated blush, facial stickers, chunky boots, baggy shirts, fishnet stockings, layered tops, skater skirts and glasses.

The overall aesthetic is usually alternative and anime-inspired, with the use of dark colors with pops of vibrant hues. Wearers of this style will mix vintage, thrifted and newer pieces to create an eclectic look. 

Questionable or Stylish? It’s Up to You

Fashion is an ever-evolving cycle, and Gen Z continues to experiment with bold, unconventional trends that challenge traditional norms. While some may view these trends as the epitome of self-expression, millennials in particular have other thoughts. In fact, we can’t credit Gen Z with the majority of these trends, as many of them are reinventions of fads from decades ago.

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