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So, you’re on TikTok and you come across a few familiar trends being worn by Gen Z fashionistas. Unless you live under a rock, you know that Gen Z has taken over social media over the last year or so—and they’re a pretty outspoken group of young people. These hip twenty-somethings may claim they’re reinventing the wheel of fashion, but the truth is, us Millennials introduced these trends to the world in the ’90s and early 2000s and everything is just coming full circle. Sorry, kids, but it’s the truth!
Millennial trends have been cemented into society for decades now; shoulder pads, high-waisted denim and neon everything are all styles that have made their way back to the limelight in recent years, but we know who did it first. I’ve scoured my mom’s closet for chic vintage pieces that are now must-have items, from old Chuck Taylors and Levi’s 501s to mini bags that only fit my lip gloss. It’s not about practicality, it’s about style.
The gist of it all is that what goes around truly comes around. Nothing is ever out of style for long; certain trends are just more popular than others at different times. With this in mind, keep that dress you think you’ll never wear again, or that bag you think you’ve outgrown! Your future self will thank you.
My closet and jewelry drawers are now filled with items I wore when I was 10 years old, so it goes without saying that I regret every butterfly clip I ever let fly away. The nostalgia is real. Come with me as I take you on a journey of 10 Millennial trends that are now the main character in the fashion world—you make it all look good, Gen Z, but we did it first.
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1. Plastic Rings
Who doesn’t love a playful accessory that won’t break the bank? Sometimes, all an outfit needs is that finishing touch, and a statement ring is the perfect add-on to complete any look. Just remember who did it first!
2. Middle Parts
A middle part can take some of us out of our comfort zone, but truly, it’s a beautiful way to frame the face. Perfect for wearing your hair down or an updo, get inspo from Gen Z stars like Bella Hadid or Kendall Jenner, but don’t forget to credit the OGs (cough, LiLo, cough) who were rocking the look way back when.
3. Bucket Hats
Simon Porte, the designer behind Jacquemus, has paved the way for many, designing with fashion-forward tastemakers in mind. Bucket hats are just one old-school accessory that Jacquemus RTW has a ton of buzz around. Bucket hats are the epitome of function meets fashion; keep your face protected from harsh UV rays while also turning heads at the beach.
The smaller the bag, the better for this coming summer. Reticules, or especially small handbags, have been spotted all over the runway for SS21, but we know they were millennial must-haves first. In the wise words of Alexis Rose, “That’s so cute for me.”
5. Oversized Blazers
A trendy wardrobe starts with a good oversized blazer. It’s the easiest, most fashionable staple in your closet, bar none. Nothing takes a look from the workplace to the bar like a blazer in timeless black or white—although I’ll never say no to a fun summer color.
6. High-Waisted Denim
OK, I know they’ve moved on to low-rise denim now, but for a time, Gen Z paired everything with high-waisted pants. High-waisted denim is flattering on everyone and offers comfort and fit for a sophisticated look. See, Gen Z—we gave you more than just skinny jeans!
7. Denim Skirts
Denim skirts are back and here to stay. Versatile and just a touch retro, a denim skirt adds variety to the denim in your wardrobe. For summer, pair your favorite graphic tee with this light wash version by Levi’s.
8. Cropped & Floral Cardigans
Cardigans may be my favorite trend to ever make a comeback. Perfect for cool summer nights, layer your look with a chunky floral knit cardigan for an effortlessly chic look. Full disclosure—cardis didn’t look this cool back when millennials wore them, but they still did it first.
9. Claw Clips
Along with scrunchies, claw clips are a go-to for casually undone, flirty summer hair. Say goodbye to perfectly primped locks and hello to natural waves accessorized with millennial-beloved clips of all shapes and sizes.
Cue Juicy Couture. My closet in high school was filled with a rainbow array of Juicy tracksuits. Now, velour tracksuits are back in an array of colors and designs with a more modernized touch that still plays up just the right amount of nostalgia.