Fashions may come and go, but generational trends are something quite different.
A way of dressing which becomes prevalent during the formative 12-24 years of age, generational trends last anything from 15 years to a lifetime, creating the desire for certain accessories and items of clothing which will remain constant.
The millennials, also often referred to as Generation Y, are those born between 1980 and 1995 and the first ones to really grow up comfortable with the integration of technology and the new world of media, never batting an eyelid.
Their dress sense is generally described as eclectic yet collective, and despite their yearning for individuality, the same “uniform” which pervades every generation is evident in their attire.
Here’s a look at some of the key items you’ll find in any millennial’s wardrobe.
One of the standout features for the Millennial style is the sense of individuality. Although there may be certain trends which appeal to many, this crowd aren’t keen on being a walking advertisement to any given brand.
This has caused considerable disquiet amongst a number of the big brand retailers who historically relied on their customers being seen to wear their labels with pride.
Generation Y crave something different; the chance to put together their own outfits in a way which they perceive as being unique, despite similarities to what their friends may be wearing. A label is no longer a badge of honour, but something to be minimised and where possible, eliminated.
This innocuous little shirt has become a fashion staple for the millennial guy, the must-have wardrobe item which works equally as well in the office as at a festival.
The beauty about a Henley is that it can be worn on its own, or even better can be layered up to achieve an uber-cool look with a twist of personal style.
Henley shirts have become very popular with Millennials
Slipping a Henley on over a T-shirt is one of the most popular ways to rock this item of clothing, and is practical too. If you need to switch effortlessly from daytime professional to evening relaxation, a Henley over a shirt, topped with a jacket is ideal for the office but when it’s time to hit the town, shrug off the top layer, roll up the sleeves and you’ve got a look that hits the right mark.
Bags for men
Equality comes in all shapes and sizes, and right now, it’s all about the Millennial men asserting their right to carry a bag without sacrificing their macho pride.
A leather crossover bag is the essential Generation Y accessory, somehow adding to the sense of rugged manliness rather than detracting from it. However, the modern incarnation of crossover leather bags aren’t the same fabric designs seen around in the noughties – they’ve grown up.
Think of the same basic crossover style but rather being large and voluminous in the same ilk as a pizza delivery boy style, shrink the dimensions down. Think streamlined, classic and more discreet…and most definitely made of leather.
One word of warning, if you’re thinking of giving this look a try, don’t forget to get the strap length right. Any lower than your hip and you’ll find it bouncing uncomfortably around leaving you looking more Royal Mail than regal elegance.
There are few people who don’t have at least one comfy pair of jeans in the wardrobe but there’s been a growing trend to skip past denim, moving swiftly from smarter attire to what’s often referred to as “athleisure”.
Denim is no longer universally popular, and has seen a decline among older generations and teens. However, among Millennials, denim is still hot news and remains one of the key looks which define the group.
One of the most attractive features about denim is that it can be worn with real individuality, hooking into one of the most fundamental requirements about being a millennial: the drive to be different.
No longer content with being a production line clone, millennials are looking for the denim which appeals to them – even if this is a vintage find from a thrift shop. Dressed up or dressed down, denim is popular with the entire age bracket within the millennials and it’s this portion of the population who are helping to keep sales of jeans alive.
The good old beanie hat may have been around forever but for many Millennials, it’s an almost compulsory part of their wardrobe.
Easy to wear and convenient, it not only hides a multitude of hair sins, it also provides an instant dash or urban appeal to a look.
Millennials love the beanie look
Don’t be tempted to buy cheap; itchy wool will scratch your scalp and make it impossible to wear. A good beanie is soft, supple and warm – think of a gentle hug to your head and you’ve got the idea.
Millennial style summary
Although like any other kind of generational trend there’s key themes, millennials like to try and remain as individual as possible. Crossover bags, beanie hats and Henley shirts are all items that you’ll find in every wardrobe but there’s no guarantee how the user will wear them. For a little bit of Generation Y swagger yourself, don’t be afraid to buy those items that everyone is wearing but make the look your own with a unique twist. You’ll soon wonder why you ever dressed any other way.