13 Trends Younger Millennials Just Don’t Get

by Summer Arlexis

Generation Y consists of individuals born as early as 1980 all the way up to the early 2000s. As a result, it makes sense that changes in pop culture have shaped us all differently. For starters, there are some fashion trends older Millennials loved that we younger ones just don’t get.

How mind-boggling is it that a 35-year-old can fit into the same category as someone just now entering their 20s? The two are nowhere near the same life stage, not to mention that the late ‘80s and early ‘00s have absolutely nothing in common. Sure, we all had a thing for crimped hair and Britney Spears at some point or another. But with two totally unique upbringings, we younger GenY-ers have some pretty distinct views on ~acceptable~ fashion.

Our elders may have embraced a love of overalls and plaid on plaid, but there are just some things older Millennials will never understand about younger ones. And we youngsters have plenty of concerns about the styles of older Millennials, too.

As a kid born in the early ‘90s, I can attest to being turned off by some of the trends popularized during the age of big hair and the brightest patterns to hit shelves in history. So here’s a look at some of the trends that baffle the younger among us.

1. Shoulder Pads

Why anyone would want to beef up their shoulders is beyond me. Wearing shoulder pads always seemed like stuffing a bra, but what was the point of it? They make the shoulders look pretty linebacker-ish to me, and I don't think that's a look most of us are intentionally going for.

2. Parachute Pants

Miami Dolphins Zubaz Pants, $55, eBay

There’s no way parachute pants were ever actually comfortable. Sure, they’ve kind of made a comeback in the form of harem trousers. But that drop crotch was something serious back in the day. Us youngsters learned how to take hammer pants down several much-needed notches.

3. Fanny Packs

Vintage AVIA Fanny Pack, $39.99, eBay

A fanny pack always seems like a surefire way to spot a tourist, so I can’t imagine what made it so appealing in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. What did old Millennials keep inside of them anyway?

4. Popped Collars

An upturned collar served no purpose whatsoever. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look effortlessly cool. But letting your collar flare from your neck just doesn’t seem like the right way to go about it.

5. Scrunchies

Scrunchies have got to be one of the most obnoxious fashion trends of all time. Big hair was already a thing, so there was no need to make matters worse with a bigger band of bunched fabric. They always hung off of ponytails in the oddest of ways, too. Older Millennials should have just left that trend where they found it.

6. Dance-wear

Older Millennials must have been getting pretty physical back in the day, because they sure wore plenty of leg warmers, leotards, and lycra. They even had the nerve to belt their leotards for the hell of it. I guess we young Millennials should give this absurd trend a pass, though, considering we know a thing or two about belting things for no reason.

7. Tracksuits

Oleg Cassini Windbreaker, $98.88 ,eBay

Any young Millennial knows that the only way to do athleisure right is with a velour sweatsuit — preferably one with “juicy” written across the booty. Those plastic-y nylon tracksuits old Millennials wore that swished every time they moved just don’t compare.

Besides, fuzzy boots wouldn't go well with these tracksuits quite like they did with our velour ones.

8. Neon

Grateful Dead '80s Tie Dye Tee, $52.50, Etsy

The obsession with neon everything is something I will never understand. Older Millennials sure knew how to make their outfits loud with the brightest prints they could find. I'm sure you could spot them from a mile away.

9. Bucket Hats

OK, those Blossom Russo hats were pretty cute. But that doesn't mean young Millennials will give bucket hats a pass. Growing up, we understood that you either wear a Von Dutch trucker cap with your low-rise jeans and slogan tees, or you wore nothing at all.

10. Rope Chains

That had to be some serious weight hanging from the necks of older Millennials. We'll just stick to our tattoo chokers. They are much more practical for daily wear.

11. Slouch Socks

Yellow Pushdown Slouch Socks, $30, eBay

It seems like older Millennials had a thing for putting a bunch of excess fabric to good use (refer to those horrible hair ties known as scrunchies). Of all things older Millennials could have used to express their sense of style, they chose to buy tube socks and then proceed to scrunch them down to their shoes. Honestly, it just looked like a bandage wrapped around a swollen ankle.

12. Stirrup Pants

Jumpsuit Jacket and Stirrup Pants Combo, $39.99, eBay

These contraptions were a little too close to footy pajamas for comfort. Why ruin perfectly good leggings by adding that weird strap thingy? Does it help your leggings fit better? Do the stirrups somehow take the place of socks? These are questions young Millennials need answered.

13. Flip-Up Sunglasses

It's not that young Millennials don't appreciate cool sunglasses. I can see the appeal of this style, for sure. They were sunnies that you never had to take off indoors. But why on Earth would you want to walk around with your shades popped open all day? The circle frames were stylish, sure, but the extra set of lenses hanging off of your face were plain silly.

We may be of the same generation, but older Millennials have a lot of explaining to do when it comes to their aesthetic. It’s probably best to agree to disagree and accept that we GenY-ers share a few similarities, but we’re oh-so-different at our sartorial cores.

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