- I’m a 24-year-old stylist who appreciates self-expression, individuality, and repurposing clothes.
- Adidas Gazelles, chunky loafers, and vintage bags are back in fashion as current trends.
- A jersey headband, jorts, and funky printed pants are fresh staples every generation should have.
Generation Z — people born between 1997 and 2012 — has championed a fearless approach to fashion by breathing new life into retro trends, repurposing forgotten garments, and celebrating individuality.
As a 24-year-old stylist, I believe fashion is all about self-expression. But here are nine essential wardrobe additions that’ll bridge the generation gap and keep your style fresh, relevant, and cool.
Gen Z has turned the once dreaded school-uniform shoe into a must-have staple. A chunky loafer brings edginess and comfort to any outfit.
One of my favorite ways to wear chunky loafers is with a puff-sleeve dress or baggy denim pants. The shoe balances the look, making it more casual and sleek.
I love styling knee-high socks — also known in my generation as “granny socks.” They’re especially versatile in sheer black or nude, which can usually be purchased at your local drugstore.
You can even opt for sheer compression socks to be fashionable while aiding circulation, if that’s something you’re looking for.
A great way to style these is by wearing a colored pair, like neon green or magenta, with a neutral outfit. I personally like to pair these socks with dresses, loafers, or kitten heels.
I’ve noticed that a lot of people in my generation absolutely love printed pants.
Camouflage is a perfectly timeless print for older generations to incorporate into their wardrobes. They can be worn as everyday pants while still being fashionable enough to wear on a night out.
I especially love shopping for these in the men’s section because they have a baggier fit (usually at a fraction of the price). Brands I recommend considering include Abercrombie & Fitch and Balenciaga, but if you’re on a budget, head to your local thrift store.
A chunky, practical sneaker — often referred to as a “dad” shoe — is an underrated staple that some people in older generations might already own. I think they complement any shorts, pants, and even dresses, but they also support your feet.
The shoes are great for casual walks and dressing down a fancy outfit, and Nike, Salomon, and New Balance are my favorite brands.
Vintage bags are trending among my peers, especially if they’re from the early 2000s. Popular brands include Juicy Couture and Diesel, but one that isn’t name-brand is seen as just as fashionable.
If you don’t already have one in your closet, thrift stores and consignment shops typically have plenty. Spend a day searching for a vintage bag that speaks to you — there are endless styles, brands, and sizes for everyone.
Jean shorts — or jorts — are popular because they bring comfort while meshing well with tons of different personal styles. I usually pair them with long-sleeved white tops, oversized T-shirts, or cropped tank tops.
To find the best jorts, I recommend thrifting (or even repurposing full-length jeans), or trying the brand TOTEME as a high-end option.
There’s a reason celebrities wear dark-framed, dark-lensed sunglasses — they protect the eyes, can be budget-friendly, and go well with everything.
I think having one pair that matches every outfit is crucial to perfecting a Gen-Z look. My favorite sunnies aren’t too big or too small and go with all of my style choices.
Adidas Gazelle sneakers, first popular in the 1960s, are back and here to stay. You may have owned a pair in the past or wore them to gym class, and now they’ll look just as good on a casual trip to Trader Joe’s.
I wear these shoes to instantly elevate my entire look. It’s fun to style them with a pair of oversized jeans, a classic white T-shirt, and gold jewelry.
A lot of fellow Gen Zers are wearing jersey-material headbands in a nostalgic way, as they were popular during our middle-school days.
The cheap and simple accessory comes in many different colors, but my favorites are white, baby blue, and black. They’re good for working out, dressing up athleisure, or dressing down outfits.
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