What fashion trends is Gen Z more into than Millennials? YPulse’s trend research dug into it…
- Gen Z and Millennials are interested in more than just hashtag-driven fashion, and what they’re wearing on social media isn’t always what they’re wearing IRL
- But when it comes to the big fashion trends that Gen Z and Millennials are interested in, there are some big differences
- Gen Z is more likely than Millennials to be interested in streetwear, while loungewear is appealing more to the older gen
YPulse’s new Fits for the Feed trend research digs deep into Gen Z and Millennials’ style. It can feel more difficult than ever to keep up with what young people want to wear. From #cottagecore to #pearlcore, hashtags seem to rule the fashion conversation, and trends seems to move faster than ever. The balance of power in fashion has shifted completely, with social media, and the young creators who thrive there, the ones dictating what trends—not waiting to be told what’s cool by the industry. But are the niche and sometimes OTT fashion aesthetics that thrive on social media what young people actually wear in real life? And what other fashion trends are they actually into?
Yes, hashtag-driven style can seem to appear and disappear at the blink of an eye—or scroll of the feed. But some trends are still longer lasting, and our research shows that what Gen Z and Millennials are wearing on social media isn’t necessarily what they are wearing everyday. We’ve been talking about Gen Z’s obsession with Y2K fashion for some time, and athleisure has gone from a trend to a near uniform over the course of years, and these trends are still staples in the fashion landscape.
But to find out what Gen Z and Millennials are really interested in wearing day-to-day, YPulse’s Fits for the Feed research also asked Gen Z and Millennials about a list of almost 20 different fashion trends and categories, from streetwear to work from home outfits to fast fashion. While no list of fashion trends could possibly be exhaustive (we asked about #cores and aesthetics in another question), their responses give us an interesting look at some of the style differences between these generations:
Gen Z is more interested in streetwear than Millennials
When comparing the top ten ranking of styles that both generations are interested in, streetwear is number one among Gen Z, who are more likely to say they’re interested in the style than Millennials. Rolling Stone has said that streetwear is difficult to define, but the style has roots in hip hop and skater culture (they say the biggest streetwear brands include Supreme, Off White, and Palace). It combines a desire for comfort with an interest in high end and limited edition. However you might define it, it’s clear that the behemoth of a trend is not going to die off on Gen Z’s watch. Once upon a time, we called out that Supreme was killing it with Gen Z, and this generation’s interest in streetwear hasn’t slowed.
According to YPulse’s Fits for the Feed research, Gen Z is more likely than Millennials to say they use the clothes / accessories they wear day-to-day to express themselves, and their interest in streetwear over other more generic sporty styles could be an indication of that. Of course, it should be noted that streetwear is a top three style among Millennials as well, so while Gen Z is more likely to be interested it’s still clearly popular with the older gen as well.
Gender-fluid clothing is also more popular among Gen Z
Gender-fluid clothing made the top ten ranking for Gen Z, but didn’t crack the top for Millennials. YPulse’s Gender Blur trend research found that Gen Z is also more likely than Millennials to say “they have characteristics of both genders,” and that Gen Z is more likely to have actually purchased gender-neutral clothing. Interest in gender-fluid or neutral clothing has only increased as this generation has aged up. It’s also interesting that some of the other top styles they’re interested in, namely streetwear and loungewear, are very gender-neutral friendly.
But both generations are preferring comfortable styles
Gen Z is less likely than Millennials to say they’re into loungewear and activewear, but they still rank highly among the younger gen. It’s also notable that comfortable styles rank highly among both generations, and our Fits for the Feed research found that comfort is the top driver of style in their day-to-day lives.
While the type of comfortable gear might vary slightly, streetwear and athleisure certainly have some commonalities as well, showing that these generations aren’t necessarily dressing in opposite fashions, just preferring different iterations of comfortable sporty wear. There is some other crossover between the rankings as well: Both gens are equally interested in early 2000s fashion, fast fashion, and secondhand clothing.
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