Dad shirt and mom jeans, Gen Z is one generation which stands neck deep in the pool of bygone fashion trends. Kinda makes us wonder, is fashion aging backwards?
The trend savvy generation; the Gen Z or Generation Z is referred to as the people born between 1997 and 2014. These harbingers of fashion have carved a niche in the market wherein they have increasingly inclined towards trends broadly from the 90s and 70s with very little nuance.
The 90s brought to us the grunge fashion (and if you don’t know what that is, it’s Kurt Cobain) with its overall loose fit, flannel shirts, high waist stone washed baggy jeans, denim jackets, white runners, casio digitals (you know the one), casual hairstyles and an overall “To hell with it” attitude. While the 70s contributed for our very own shoulder pads, tuck-ins, bell bottoms, pop colors and all that disco ready shimmer and glitter; the bling of Prince and Jackson 5.
Well… there is more than one explanation to this head-scratchy situation. Let’s dive right into them.
This begs us to understand the term ‘Zeitgeist’; a German word which roughly translates to “spirit of time”. It represents rather invisible factors which impact our day to day choices as per the change in time. Similar social situations or rather the desire of them can thus bring back certain styles. GenZ dwells on the fantasy of simpler times… a world with no social media how so ever addicted they themselves are. They have grown up hearing about this rather “fictitious era” from their parents; the GenX. The aspiration to experience that world pushes their hands to pick something bygone from the store.
The big corporations, fashion giants,retailers and thriftiers have capitalized on the power of social media for it seemingly is convenient to subtly fuel the budding desire for a nostalgic lifestyle which multiplies as the target audience responds to it going on and on with spot-on production and spot-on consumption. Artists like The Weeknd, Dua Lipa, Daft Punk and many other synthwave artists have passed the vibe check with the GenZ by appeasing their similar desires.
An alternate and rather simpler answer would be, it always does. That’s right. Fashion theorists and scholars believe that fashion choices work in a pendulum motion where it sways between the extremes. The fashion statements of the 2000s and the first half of 2010s were about futurism. The garments were sleek and skinny with precise and defined bodycon cuts. It all swayed right back when that denim got too tight on the ankle and you had nothing but solids for tshirts.
Each generation adapts a certain something from the past and works its way through it by adding a little something of itself and leaving behind something beautiful for the future to see and appreciate, be it the e-girl which basically is goth-punk but you didn’t hear that from us. Did you?