“What’s cool and what’s not?” If you ask your dad, your best friend, and the kid down the street, you’ll likely get three different answers.
Each generation is characterized by its own trends, especially when it comes to fashion. What you wear, how you wear it, where you wear it… the list goes on.
The three generations also perceive their personal style differently. According to a YouGov poll, the majority of Millennial respondents considered themselves to be fashionable, whereas most Gen Xers did not think of themselves as stylish.
As an apparel brand, it’s essential to know who your market is so you can appeal to them with clothing they will fall in love with at first sight.
Let’s take a closer look at each generation and what they like!
Who Is Gen X?
Generation X is sandwiched between the Baby Boomers and Millennials. Gen Xers were born between 1965 to 1980.
They’re commonly known for their independent spirit, work ethic, and skepticism of authority. This generation grew up in an era of economic uncertainty and rapid change. They were the first group of young people to experience a digital revolution.
As such, they have a unique understanding of how technology can make life easier. They have also learned to stay flexible to survive in our ever-changing world. Gen Xers may not always get the attention other generations do, but they are a resilient and resourceful bunch who have found ways to make their mark on the world.
They’re also an incredibly diverse group with different life experiences and perspectives that enrich our culture.
Gen X Apparel Trends
Gen X fashion trends are defined by the music, movies, and television of their youth.
For example, the punk movement was huge in the ’80s. Think leather jackets, classic denim, chunky sneakers and trainers, plaid flannels, military-inspired coats and jackets, and plenty of neutrals and basics. Gen Xers are also more likely to invest in quality and timeless apparel. This may surprise you, but Gen X was the highest spending generation in online fashion shopping in 2021.
They tend to avoid trends that are too flashy, instead opting for classic pieces with a modern touch.
Who Is Gen Y?
Generation Y, or Millennials, were born between 1981 and 1996. They have been dubbed the “selfie generation” due to their affinity for posting pictures of themselves on social media platforms like Instagram.
Millennials are tech-savvy and resourceful, often using online tools to access information quickly and efficiently. They also tend to be socially conscious and environmentally aware, advocating for causes they believe in through the power of social media.
Gen Y Apparel Trends
Generation Y is often called the “YOLO” generation, which stands for “you only live once.” This mantra is reflected in how they dress. They love bold colors and pieces that make a statement without being too over-the-top.
They’ll take risks with their fashion choices, and they aren’t afraid to express themselves through clothes. From fluorescent colors to graphic prints, Generation Y takes pride in standing out from the crowd while embracing trends.
From bold prints to statement pieces, Gen Y is always pushing the boundaries of style. The key elements to any wardrobe that encapsulates Gen Y’s aesthetic include bright colors, comfortable fabrics, and personality-packed accessories—all paired with a healthy dose of confidence.
Who Is Gen Z?
Generation Z is quite the enigma. Born between 1997 and 2012, Gen Zers represent an unprecedented global generation—both in terms of size and diversity. Gen Z is the most connected, socially conscious, and tech-savvy generation yet.
They process digital content faster than most generations before them, making them highly adaptive to change. Equipped with devices that allow them to access information at lightning speed, they seem light-years ahead of their predecessors in understanding technology.
This also makes them some of the most informed individuals in history, with a strong sense of social responsibility and awareness about global issues such as climate change or gender equality.
Gen Z Apparel Trends
Generation Z doesn’t just consume trends. They’re also creating them! From oversized hoodies and joggers to chic athleisure sets, this generation knows how to make an impact.
Influenced heavily by social media, Gen Zers love to express themselves through their style. Trendy pieces like crop tops and high-waisted jeans are part of their repertoire. They also love to mix and match, so don’t be surprised if you see a Gen Zer in a turtleneck paired with Bermuda shorts!
It’s no wonder this generation will lead the way in what “cool” looks like in 2023.
How To Create Apparel That Succeeds Throughout Generations
No matter who your target market is, one thing is for sure: Everybody wants stylish, functional apparel. Gen X, Y, and Z are no different.
While each generation has unique preferences, keeping the same quality and functionality across the board is critical. So, how do you create apparel that aligns with all three generations?
Start by getting to know their tastes—what colors they like and which silhouettes they favor. Then, choose fabrics that offer superior fit and feel.
Monitor seasonal shifts in style and incorporate them into your designs as necessary. (But don’t forget to stay true to your brand’s aesthetic—overall consistency is key.)
Finally, be sure to customize your offerings to each generation. For example, Gen Xers may appreciate timeless classics, while Gen Y and Z might be drawn to bolder fashion statements.
Looking For a Luxury-Level Apparel Manufacturer?
At Scrappy Apparel, we promise you retail-soft quality and cost-effective clothing. (Don’t believe us? Check out our brand store to order samples.)
We are a completely online solution for ordering and manufacturing custom apparel. Our team of experts is ready to take on even your most creative ideas and bring them to life.
Whether you need screen printing or a cut-and-sew solution, we have the resources to manufacture apparel that gets it right every single time.