Millennials vs. Gen Z

Photo by Alvin Mahmudov on Unsplash

Generations have been rivals for ages but there is a sudden criticism and hypocrisy between Generation Z and Millennials. 

“I wonder if there was this much of a focus on like the generation prior to this,” said Clarissa Merschman, junior studying journalism at Iowa State University. “Did the Millennials get attacked by Gen X. I feel like Millennials versus Gen Z is a huge topic right now but why? Seriously, why?”

Gen Z and Millennials have taken the debate to social media to argue the debacle of what’s on-trend and what’s a fad. TikTok is at the center of it all with Millennials posting parodies of Gen Z and Gen Z reacting with fuel to the fire. 

So what spectrum of the generation do you lie on? Where do Millennials end and Gen Z begin? 

Well, Millennials are ages 25-40 and born in the years of 1981-1996 while Generation Z begins at 1997-2012, which are ages 9-24 according to Pew Research

“As a barely Gen Zer, I am in the middle of both of them because 1997 starts Gen Z and I was born in 1999 so I feel like I don’t fit in with either [generation],” said Merschman. “I feel like a mediator; I support both looks.”

Most recently, a hot feud talked about was ditching the skinny jeans and side parts and trading for wide-leg pants and middle parts. For Millennials, skinny jeans are a piece of clothing they hold near and dear to their heart when they listen to NSYNC on a compact disc. However, when they were busy wearing side parts as a statement hairstyle, Gen Z switched it up with a middle part like other famous A-listers: Kendall Jenner, Queen Bey and Shay Mitchell. 

“I’m going to be honest, I made the switch and it was a conscious decision,” said Merschman. “I had a side part forever and then I realized people were getting made fun of for having side parts so I conformed heavily. But I don’t really care what parts people have. Everyone looks good with whatever parts they have.”

While fashions come and go and Gen Z declares new rules of style, past generations aren’t jumping on the bandwagon. As a Gen Z myself, here’s my hot take on how Millennials can take trendy fashion statements and keep them as classics for a lifetime.

Great-grandad look

The turtleneck sleeve scarf is cute for now but they’re too trendy and Gen Z will soon move on to the next big thing. Instead, shop smarter with sweater vests. You can keep it subtle and neutral or play around with colors. Sweater vests are bound to come back season after season. 

Business casual 

Shackets are the new flannel but let’s be real when fall rolls around they will be a no-go. Opt for a blazer instead. Blazers are perfect for when you return to the office or you want to keep things business casual on the street. Classic black is safe but you can utilize the pop of colors and silhouettes of the blazer. There is no reason for Millennials to be millennials. Marigold and Mint are popular colors for the spring, search for them in a cropped blazer. 

“I can see Millennials being more receptive to the more professional looks because they are really cool and reasonable but once people get to a certain age they’re not going to necessarily entertain corsets and such,” said Merschman. “I feel like when you’re younger you’re a little riskier with your fashion versus whenever you’re in the professional world you can make changes.” 

School girl 

Tie front cardigans are the thing for high schoolers with flat-chests but for the women out there with a large chest let’s skip it. Instead, button-up cardigan tops are flirty and flattering. There are plentiful options from embroidered cardigans to satin button-ups that will come back every spring. 

Channel your inner Stevie Nicks

I am considered Gen Z but I will not stand by and watch flared leggings become a trend. Let’s be smarter fashionistas and wear flared bootcut jeans that will go out of style but come back in 20 years unlike flared leggings. Flared jeans are so flattering and the best comeback of the 70s silhouettes. 

If you get to the end of this and still want to rock skinny jeans and side parts, no one will stop you. You might not be on-trend for the season but let’s be real these trends might not stick around so why invest. But if you do invest, other Millennials may take envy for your confidence to step outside your comfort zone. 


Follow Julia on Instagram @JULIAAMEEHAN


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