As a Zillennial (a generational cusp born between the late ‘90s and early ’00s) I’m experiencing fashion whiplash thanks to the current trend cycle. While a handful of young Gen-Zs are rushing to get their hands on their first pair of ballet flats, I have memories of the lingering smell of the pair I wore in middle school. I love a fleeting TikTok style trend (hello, Mob Wife!) but I also understand the social media-induced trend fatigue. Sitting in this middle ground has made me the perfect person to investigate the thorny subject: Fashion trends that Millennials and Gen-Z can both get excited about.
Spoiler alert: It’s not as controversial as you might think. While both generations may have an occasional disagreement on how to part their hair—or more controversially, exactly how skinny their jeans should be—their style is surprisingly similar. Both agree on larger fashion movements like the current love for romantic bow appliqués and the nostalgia-fueled cheetah print resurgence, but what really ties the generations together is their shared approach to thoughtful shopping. At the core of both generations is a desire to shop more minimally and consciously, and that perspective is noticeable in our habits when buying and taking care of our clothes.
From cherry red to baggy jeans, keep scrolling for the 2024 trends that Gen-Z and Millennials can both get on board with.
1. Ballet Flats
Blame it on balletcore or the 20-year trend cycle, but ballet flats are back and better than ever. Plus, modern updates of the silhouette like gemstones, mesh fabrics, and edgy buckles breathe life into the controversial shoe. Whether you gravitate toward classic black or a more daring, edgy version, a simple flat can elevate any outfit.
2. Cheetah Print
Fact: Cheetah print is making its way back into our lives, and we’re absolutely here for it. Both Millennials and Gen-Z can agree that even though the print is loud, it does have a certain je ne se quoi that, when worn, can be treated exactly like a neutral. Despite its reputation for feeling dated in recent years, the print is undoubtedly timeless. We’re saying yes to incorporating the print back into our lives in 2024.
It’s hard to dislike something as sweet and feminine as a bow. Perhaps wearing bows feels like an ode to our inner child, or maybe they’re just plain cute. Regardless, it’s true that romantic accents like bows, lace, and ribbons have taken over in a celebration of girlhood. Whether you’re opting to style a dress adorned with a bow detail or simply find joy in adding a ribbon to your hair, this year, bows are for everyone.
4. Relaxed Jeans
Your choice of jeans will always be a personal preference, but baggier, loose-fitting styles are universally more comfortable than skinny jeans. (Even the staunchest skinny jeans defenders will agree with me on this.) Even if you feel resistant to change when it comes to your jeans, trying on a loose-fitting, baggy pair will likely change your mind. Jeans that feel like sweatpants? Who can dislike that.
5. Cherry Red
Cherry red might be the most agreed-upon trend as of late. The sultry shade manages to somehow feel both classic and completely eye-catching, making for the perfect addition to spice any wardrobe up a bit. Be it in a red top you wear out to date night or a pair of red shoes you incorporate with your neutrals, you can’t go wrong, and will thank yourself for venturing out of your color comfort zone.