Gen Z Vs Millennial Style: Please Stop Shaming Millennial Fashion


Streetstyle imagery by Photography courtesy of launchmetrics.com/spotlight. Background imaergy by Adobe Stock. Graphic by Danielle Campbell.

For a group that preaches fashion freedom, the young demographic can be pretty strict about what “rules” the older generations should follow.

It started slowly with some jokes about side parts. Next, came the word “cheugy” and making fun of “business casual clubwear.” But coming after mom jeans? For millennials, that meant war.

Back in October, creator @indigotshai (who happens to be a millennial herself — the betrayal!) released a video about styles that age millennials. In it, she shows a street style image of a woman wearing a black sweater, tucked into her high-waisted jeans, and accessorized with black ankle boots. A perfectly reasonable outfit, no? Apparently not.

@indigotshai True Life: Becoming Karen 👖 #millenialhumor #microinfluencer #microinfluencertiktok #creatorfund #discoverunder1k #discoverunder5k #greenscreen ♬ original sound – Indigo ! 🇵🇸

“I can’t believe I’m even having to explain this right now, but stop. Just completely stop with the mom jeans,” Indigo exclaims in the video that has now been seen 1.4 million times. “They are embarrassing at this point. This look is so painfully old. I’m beyond words that I even have to discuss this.”

Doubling down, the content creator released a companion video shortly after that added skinny jeans, lip fillers, overly arched brows, cat eyeliner, and slip dresses to the unofficial “do not wear list.” She even went as far as to call brown suede booties “the Facebook of footwear.”

Whether you call it mom jean loyalty or the straw that broke the camel’s back, millennials arrived (and continue to arrive, as the video is once again trending) in hoards in the comment section, blasting Indigo for her bold opinions. “Imagine the personal growth, hell even the outward community growth that could happen if you dedicated this energy to actual problems,” responded one person. “I’m 30. I’m ok with knowing an 18 year old doesn’t think I dress cool,” wrote another. “Leave us alone already fr. We are tired,” echoed many. Thirty and forty-somethings haven’t been this united since the Game of Thrones finale.

So as our resident zillennial (I’m on the cusp of both demographics, thus occupying neutral territory), I feel it is my responsibility to say the following: Gen Z — you need to calm down.

@bobrownn Millennial (1981-1996) VS GEN-Z (1995-2012) – SPRING OUTFIT 🌸🌼💗 – Let me know which style suits you the best 👀 SAVE FOR LATER & hit the + for daily #stylinghacks & #womenswear 💗 #genzstyle #styling #millennial #millennialfashion #stylingtips ♬ Players x Without Me – ARNEL REMIX

For a group that claims that fashion has no rules, you are certainly imposing many on your older cohorts. What happened to fashion freedom? What happened to embracing your own unique style? What happened to trying cottagecore, tenniscore, gorpcore, businesscore, Barbiecore and every other core that lasted approximately 0.7 seconds on TikTok? You’re allowed complete clothing autonomy but millennials aren’t? That’s not fair.

Also, aren’t you the generation that values sustainability above all else? How environmentally friendly is it to expect millennials to buy a whole new wardrobe every time you come up with another fashion ick? I have shirts that date back to my early university days that may not pass your trend test, but they’re classics that I’ll happily keep out of landfill for as long as I can. And if we’re pointing fingers, let’s not forget you may have resurrected thrifting but the famously unethical Shein is predicted to surpass both H&M and Zara in the next year. And who do you think is their main demographic? Just saying…

@allaboutskinstudio #duet with @user4217435045036 #corecore I love the world of social media and skincare but its so sad to me that such a young girl felt the need to start an anti ageing routine at 12. #antiaging #teenageskincare #antiageingskincare ♬ 原聲 – onlyflip

But Gen Z, please listen closely to what I’m about to say: it’s OK to get older. It’s not something you should be afraid of, but embrace. Yes, the #GrandmaCore hashtag has over 200 million views, but teens are still sharing their anti-aging skin care routines and freaking out about how they look in AI aging filter (more on this here). Millennials aren’t in their twenties anymore, and that’s alright. They aren’t supposed to be — that’s literally how life works! They’ve come out on the other side, slightly bruised, but (hopefully) more comfortable in themselves and in their style. They have pre-school drop-offs, board meetings, therapy sessions and a million other events where wearing organ-defying corsets and platform flip-flops won’t cut it.

So please, Gen Z: Leave millennials alone. They’re famously the most stressed generation alive — living through multiple recessions, housing crises, pandemics and wars will do that to you — so they truly can’t take on the pressure of pleasing random 18-year-olds (or self-hating fellow millennials). This is the circle of life. Just as millennials made fun of Gen X’s original mom jeans and loafers, here they are refusing to let them go. There will come a time when your low-rise cargo pants and tube tops will be the butt of every Generation Alpha joke, and it’s coming sooner than you think. Wouldn’t hurt to make some older, wiser allies.



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