Fashion has undoubtedly changed quickly this year, as COVID has sparked a slew of trends—but what are the top styles that Gen Z and Millennial females want to wear right now?
Ah, quarantine fashion. When COVID hit, sweats and slippers quickly became the uniform of 2020. But it wasn’t long before new fashion trends started hitting social media (which was the only place most young people could display their looks for the last six months). First, sweats got an at-home makeover as influencers went tie-dye crazy. Then, comfy but cute styles like nap dresses began to trend. Hints of where fashion might go next began to appear—including Y2K looks and (of course) branded designer face masks. Ethereal cottagecore looks began to flood TikTok and Instagram, including the new star fashion item of the summer, designer Lirika Matoshi’s Strawberry Dress, which was all over social media and inspired plenty of think pieces.
So, are young consumers tiring of their comfy clothes and clamoring to buy fancy fruit frocks? After months of seeing fashion trends play out on social media, our recent fashion and style survey went to the source and asked young consumers what trending styles they’re most interested in right now.
Let’s start with young females. When we asked them to pick the trends they’re most interested in now out of a list that included some of the most recent hot styles, here’s what Gen Z and Millennial women were most likely to choose:
Despite the online popularity of items like the brightly-colored and decorated Strawberry Dress, young females are more likely to be interested in wearing minimalist and subtle colored clothing than brightly colored or fanciful cottagecore looks. It’s yet more evidence that social media fashion is escapism but not always a reflection of what young females are wearing at home. Glossy also reports that young shoppers currently prefer “comfortable, seasonless” fashion over “runway trends.” Since the start of the pandemic, quarantined young consumers have helped create a loungewear and athleisure boom, and their fashion interests have been changing. Workwear brands continue to suffer, while some designer brands have been forced to shut down. According to Klarna, Millennials are spending 34% more on athleisure, while Gen Z is spending 34% more. Sweatsuits and other loungewear have even made their way to high fashion runways, according to Refinery29, who reports even Rodarte, known for stylish “ethereal dresses,” displayed an athletic-inspired sweatsuit and pajama sets at New York Fashion Week.
When looking at the differences between Gen Z and Millennial females, there is a lot of alignment—both groups are most likely to choose the most comfortable trends as the ones they’re most interested in. But Millennial females were unsurprisingly more likely to say they’re interested in work from home outfits. We’ve found that over half of employed Millennials are currently working from home, and Harper’s Bazaar has suggested that “biz-leisure style” is the future of post-pandemic fashion as young employees working from home combine their sweatpants with a blazer or track pants with a button-down shirt during Zoom meetings.
Gen Z females meanwhile, are more likely than their older counterparts to say they are not interested in any of the trends listed—staying true to their reputation for prizing uniqueness and individuality.