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Gen Z, Millennials, and the battle for style

“No skinny jeans,” “No hair parted dow in the middle.” At the moment, these are the two newmain disputes going on between Millennials and Gen Z. However, this is not the first time an encounter between two different demographics has happened. Style evolution has completely normal and has been going around for centuries, always creating havoc. Fashion is one of the primary key factors that identify a generation, so let's dive right into the battle for style.

It’s no secret that skinny jeans vs. baggy jeans are one of the biggest fashion disputes on social media right now. But what is more flattering? It seems that these two clothing items have become a staple for these generations. Baggy clothes are a current trend among Gen Z, and skinny jeans are a trend that has been going on for a while among Millennials. The latter though, were the ones that wore baggy, wide-leg, and straight-leg jeans first and decided years ago that they were not good enough. Having moved on to skinny jeans, it’s understandable that they don’t feel like going back to the chaotic fashion sense of the late ’90s and early 2000s. So as we search throughout history, we can see that style tends to be a polemic topic among society, but in the end, this is part of the evolution of the fashion industry.

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Fashion has worked as a tool for individuals to express themselves. Not only Millennials or GenZ use these tools, but from 1890 to the 1920s, the so-called Gibson Girls became the first stereotype of female beauty and femininity in the USA. This stereotype welcomed a more independent look, unlike their Victorian era ancestors This Generation was well known for their puffed sleeves, corsets, and towering hairstyles until the ’20s arrived and the style changed again.


Next, the jazz and flappers’ unique type of clothing included shorter flat dresses which was controversial. This style was rapidly adopted in many countries, enhancing youth and the female silhouette. During this time “the bob” was the mainstream hairstyle; a new empowering haircut with the aim to prove that a women’s best feature is not her hair. This caused a dispute between the older and younger generations, with the Gibson girls calling flappers tacky and promiscuous.

Photo: Getty Images

Decades after the roaring ’20s, the ’60s came with new ideas; quirky and colorful clothing were the trend of that decade. An undeniable stable of this time was the mini skirt, introduced at the beginning of 1960 as a liberating garment for women, just like the Bob haircut in the flapper’s era. This piece of clothing caused a lot of shock and controversy but it became a physical representation of the female’s liberation movement.

Photo: Getty Images

The 1970’s arrived, and with that, a new wave of fashion was hitting the streets. Short hair was out ,and long hair was in. Tight and short silhouettes were exchanged for maxi dresses, and jeans were introduced in female fashion. Gender fluidity was becoming more prominent; Hippies and punks were on-trend, from colorful and loose clothing to leather aesthetic; the 70’s completely changed the fashion world and create a generational dispute between those from the ’60s by being too extravagant, which only caused a bigger and more varied explosion that went all the way into the 80’s.

As we have seen in this article, fashion is in constant change. It is something that has marked not only female style, but also female empowerement. In 1920 we saw a hair revolution made. 1960 we saw mini skirts became a statement. Today, we see baggy clothing as the go-to for the younger generation. Fashion will keep evolving and growing as as long as there people on this planet, and that’s the beauty of it.

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