11 Gen Z Style Trends That Older Generations Should Adopt


It’s always a safe bet to look to the past for style inspiration: You can’t go wrong if you’re borrowing Brigitte Bardot’s patented cigarette pants and cat eye look or channeling Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy’s sleek white blouses and minimal color palette.

Still, it doesn’t hurt to draw inspiration from younger generations from time to time. Sure, some of their street-style trends may give you bad Y2K flashbacks, but Gen Z is fast emerging as a high-style fashion force to be reckoned with, said Elizabeth Kosich, an image consultant and founder of Elizabeth Kosich Styling.

“Think Hailey Bieber’s statement-making minimalism, Gigi Hadid’s freewheeling freestyle looks and fashion darlings Molly and Reese Blutstein’s signature DIY creations, which ooze with homespun charm,” she said. “Gen Z-ers might just be onto something.”

And they’re onto something that could easily work for older gens, too. (Yes, you as well, millennials. Stop clinging so hard to those skinny jeans.)

Below, stylists like Kosich share 11 trends beloved by Gen Z that older generations should consider adopting.

1. Wide-Leg Flare Pants

Stylist Emy Venturini and designer Jeanne Damas in denim jeans flare pants.

Edward Berthelot / Contributor // Edward Berthelot / Contributor

Stylist Emy Venturini and designer Jeanne Damas in denim jeans flare pants.

Skinny jeans are out and have been for some time,” said Chelsea Volpe, a fashion stylist and consultant.

“Gen Z has embraced loose-fitting and flare pants, which can be made modern for the mature buyer,” she said.

Reformation, AGolde and Aritzia are all brands Volpe turns to for this trend.

2. Tennis-Core and Pickleball-Core

Guests seen wearing tennis-core staples outside the Lacoste show during Paris fashion week in March 2024.

Jeremy Moeller via Getty Images

Guests seen wearing tennis-core staples outside the Lacoste show during Paris fashion week in March 2024.

There’s nothing wrong with a little athleisure ― especially when it’s deceptively presentable. The tennis-core/pickleball-core trend is that but with more tennis skirts, vests and low-top sneakers.

“The great thing is, you can look like you’re just out of the country club and also give off a cool-girl vibe without the tennis lesson price tag,” said Kendra Sharpe, a commercial and personal stylist based in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Try a pleated tennis skirt with a cable knit sweater and some Superega sneakers to create the perfect tennis core look, Sharpe advised.

3. Platform Loafers

Gucci black loafer with golden details spotted in Berlin, Germany.

Jeremy Moeller via Getty Images

Gucci black loafer with golden details spotted in Berlin, Germany.

Equal parts timeless and trendy, platform loafers are dominating the under-30 street style scene.

“Comfy, chic and classic, what’s not to love?” Kosich said.

To adopt this trend, avoid super-sized platforms and opt for an appropriate lift at an appropriate scale instead.

“Also make sure the hardware is not an exaggerated size, color or finish to ensure the look skews more timeless than trendy,” the stylist said.

4. Thrifting

Guests attend as Spotify celebrates the GetReadyWithMusic Thrift Store event with celebrity stylist Tan France at Other People's Clothes on September 28, 2022 in Brooklyn, New York.

Noam Galai via Getty Images

Guests attend as Spotify celebrates the GetReadyWithMusic Thrift Store event with celebrity stylist Tan France at Other People’s Clothes on September 28, 2022 in Brooklyn, New York.

A recent Pew study shows that 76% of Gen Z-ers are worried about climate change, with 37% saying it’s their biggest concern of all.

“I think perhaps they’re the generation that’s most acutely aware of the impacts of pollution, overconsumption and overproduction ― something the fashion industry plays a huge role in ― because they’re the generation that’s going to have to actually live through many of the problems caused by climate change,” said Sophie Strauss, a personal stylist based in Los Angeles.

They’re into thrifting because shopping second-hand lowers carbon emissions, water usage, physical waste and more ― all things that genuinely matter to young people, even when they’re trying to look cute, Strauss said.

Plus, it’s a lot cheaper.

“Young people generally don’t have a ton of disposable income, so thrifting is a way to participate in fashion ethically without spending a ton of money,” Strauss said. “Shopping second-hand also allows you to develop personal style instead of chasing trends and helps you discover brands and designers you might not have known about otherwise.”

5. Gender-Fluid Looks

Billie Eilish at the 30th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards last month and a guest at Milan Fashion Week in June 2023 wear gender-fluid looks.

Frazer Harrison / Edward Berthelot / Getty Images

Billie Eilish at the 30th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards last month and a guest at Milan Fashion Week in June 2023 wear gender-fluid looks.

When it comes to personal style, Gen Z is going to dress based on how they feel in the moment, regardless of gender expectations, said Beverly Osemwenkhae, a personal stylist based in New York City and London.

For women, the gender-fluid trend is a blend of sportswear with an unfinished look, she said.

“Shopping in the men’s department has never been sexier! Trousers and denim sit at the hip, white shirts are left unbuttoned, sweatshirts that are perfectly over-sized and everything is styled with a sneaker,” she explained. “This trend focuses on comfort and versatility, which is a shift in fashion that’s here to stay!”

6. Mixed Metals

Gigi Hadid pairs all manner of jewels and metals during Paris Fashion Week in 2019.

Edward Berthelot via Getty Images

Gigi Hadid pairs all manner of jewels and metals during Paris Fashion Week in 2019.

Gone are the days of having to match all your jewelry and hardware to either gold or silver.

“While silver and metallics have been on the rise for the last few years, mixing both together in your jewelry stack or adding gold jewelry to a silver coated denim outfit is sure to get you some style points,” said Ashlyn Greer, the founder of Fashivly, an online personal styling service.

7. Weird, Unexpected Combos

Mismatched looks from guests at the Melbourne Fashion Festival (far left) and recent Paris Fashion Weeks.

Naomi Rahim / // Edward Berthelot

Mismatched looks from guests at the Melbourne Fashion Festival (far left) and recent Paris Fashion Weeks.

Gen Z-ers are growing up in a much less formal society, Strauss thinks, especially in the post-pandemic world where a lot of offices went a lot more casual as they switched to hybrid/work-from-home models.

“That means there are fewer stringent dress codes to stick to and a little more room for experimentation,” she said.

That means unexpected combinations of clothes from across different categories of dress.

“Big chunky dad shoes with a hyper-girlish dress and an oversized work jacket. Baggy jeans with a sexy halter top and pointy heels. Track pants with a leather bomber and a crop top,” Strauss said. “There’s a real ‘why not?! there are no rules!’ attitude to this approach that’s liberating and fun.”

8. Slip Dresses

Former stylist Maria Barteczko wearing a slip dress over a tee in Duesseldorf, Germany. To the right, fashion influencer Grece Ghanem wears a silk dress with a mustard yellow blazer during the Copenhagen Fashion Week in January 2023.

Christian Vierig / Contributor

Former stylist Maria Barteczko wearing a slip dress over a tee in Duesseldorf, Germany. To the right, fashion influencer Grece Ghanem wears a silk dress with a mustard yellow blazer during the Copenhagen Fashion Week in January 2023.

The classic slip dress has become a fan favorite with burgeoning fashionistas, thanks to its versatility.

“Striking a stylish high-low balance, Gen Z-ers layer the slip dress with T-shirts,” Kosich said. “For anyone who thinks she’s matured beyond a skimpy slip dress, think again. Consider pairing it with a long-sleeved bodysuit, oversized boyfriend blazer and chunky Chelsea boots for a chic, age-appropriate adaptation of the same look.”

9. Baddie Bows

Ami Suzuki and Aya Suzuki of music duo Amiaya are seen wearing bows outside the Miu Miu show during Paris fashion week in October 2023. To the right, Thai actress Araya Hargate wears a long white oversized shirt with ruffles and a black bow tie, outside Viktor & Rolf during Paris fashion week in January 2024.

Daniel Zuchnik // Edward Berthelot

Ami Suzuki and Aya Suzuki of music duo Amiaya are seen wearing bows outside the Miu Miu show during Paris fashion week in October 2023. To the right, Thai actress Araya Hargate wears a long white oversized shirt with ruffles and a black bow tie, outside Viktor & Rolf during Paris fashion week in January 2024.

Whether they’re wearing them in their hair or as an appliqué for their outfits, Gen Z loves a good oversized bows ― or as Volpe likes to call them, “baddie bows.”

“Mega bows are super chic, super Jackie O, super lady!” she said. “They give prep-school posh and I’m living for them.”

10. Longer Socks

YouTuber Tamara Kalinic seen wearing visible white socks and black shiny leather loafers from Prada during New York fashion week, in September 2022.

Jeremy Moeller via Getty Images

YouTuber Tamara Kalinic seen wearing visible white socks and black shiny leather loafers from Prada during New York fashion week, in September 2022.

Greer said one of the tell-tell signs of being of a certain age these days is no-show socks.

“I tell clients to have fun with lots of ankle, crew or quarter crew socks in colors, patterns, and textures and pair them with everything from sneakers and jeans to a pair of ballet flats or Mary Janes and a skirt,” she said.

Or swap out your workout socks for a quarter crew pair worn over leggings. “It’s a great way to add something more trend-forward to any outfit at a low cost,” she said.

11. Loungewear Sets

A guest wears a pale yellow hoodie sweater and matching pale yellow sport pants during Paris fashion week in January 2022. To the right, a model wears a white pullover and cropped white jogger pants during Paris fashion week in October 2020.

Edward Berthelot / Contributor

A guest wears a pale yellow hoodie sweater and matching pale yellow sport pants during Paris fashion week in January 2022. To the right, a model wears a white pullover and cropped white jogger pants during Paris fashion week in October 2020.

The ultimate in off-duty quiet luxury, the matched loungewear set is back on-trend.

“Who doesn’t love a fancy sweatsuit? Gen Z’s minimalist interpretation embraces rich neutrals like camel, cozy fabrics like velour and comfy details like wide legs and hoodies,” Kosich said. “This trend is doable at any age, though the older you get the darker the neutral should be.”





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