Ever since the skinny jeans debate, there seems to be underlying online animosity between millennials and Gen Z. For the most part, the divide is trivial—many of the millennial-loved trends of the ‘90s have been reborn for the TikTok generation and practically everyone is wearing ballet flats again. The younger group managed to make millennial moments a trendier, cooler part of their identity—and for the record, I fall directly between the two age groups and take no sides. However, while Gen Z may be able to add their stamp of approval to a trend, they aren’t necessarily the ones behind the trend’s creation, and the fashion trends for 2024 presented during Fashion Month prove it.
As I watched the Spring/Summer ‘24 collections make their way down the runway, I couldn’t help but swoon over a particular soft shade of pink sprinkled throughout the designer’s shows. Tory Burch, Carolina Herrera, and Sandy Liang presented pink mini dresses, pink gowns, and pink bow bags (all of which I quickly declared my favorite pieces). It dawned on me that the reason I loved them so much was because the pieces weren’t just any shade of pink, they were Millennial Pink. The shade that defined my entire existence from 2014-2017 suddenly doesn’t seem so “cheugy” anymore. The millennials are getting their power back.
Could a color revival really tip the power scales? Probably not—but if you add a few snippets of commentary from New York Fashion Week, you might get somewhere.
During New York Fashion Week a controversial fashion show for Shao Yang was held on the rooftop of Anna Delvey’s apartment and was co-hosted by Delvey herself—a convenient location considering she’s a convicted felon and still under house arrest. What’s more millennial than a girl-boss-turned-scammer trope?
Delvey was joined on the rooftop by famed publicist Kelly Cutrone who helped put on the event. Cutrone was asked what she would consider “in” and “out” this fashion week in a viral TikTok video (ironic, considering her response).
“One thing that’s in is the motherf*cking truth. One thing that’s out is influencers,” Cutrone responded.
Cutrone is known to have strong opinions and quite a bit of influence herself. If influencers are “out”, that’s another strike against Gen Z.
The nail in the coffin on Gen Z’s trend domination? I’ll give you a second to guess—side parts. When I went backstage before the STAUD debut runway show at The Plaza Hotel, I was surprised to see model after model with a strong side part.
Through a cloud of TRESemmé hairspray, I asked celebrity hair artist, Renato Campora, if side parts were coming back.
“Completely,” Campora replied as he brushed his hands through a model’s long side-parted hair. “A side part, a middle part, or wearing your hair back is a question of changing [your hair] to match your look. A side part is beautiful and opens up the neck.”
As I watched the models saunter down the runway with their side parts and chic long blue STAUD skirts, I felt myself self-consciously adjusting my middle part. Whether you’re a millennial, Gen Z, somewhere in-between (like me), or don’t even fall into one of the categories, you’ll want to get an early read on the biggest fashion trends for 2024.
Keep reading for nine trends that may lead to generational peace.
Timeless pieces can be an investment in terms of the financial commitment, but the longevity they will bring makes it all worth it. Thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow and a re-established love for brands like The Row and Khaite, quiet luxury continues to trend for 2024. The notion of having a capsule wardrobe that is filled with non-logo elevated basics, allows you to mix-and-match for a number of different outfit combinations. Quiet luxury pieces look and feel expensive that are perfectly tailored and made with high-quality materials.
Tied With a Bow
Femininity was laced into a lot of the 2023 fashion trends (we’re looking at you girlcore) and this year there is no slowing down. Expect to see even more ribbons and bows on dresses, pants, and tops this year. The dainty addition creates a romantic look that can be worn to weddings, special date nights, and cocktail parties.
Do you remember the chokehold this specific shade of pink had on millennials (and probably every other age group) in 2015? From home decor accents and wedding color schemes to brand campaigns, this color made every palette more palpable. However, over the last few years, the shade disappeared from collections as quickly as the phrase “girl boss” disappeared from our vernacular. The bright shade of Barbie Pink took its place and has hopefully (finally) run its course. According to designers like Carolina Herrera, Simone Rocha, and Tory Burch, it’s time to add Millennial Pink back into our closets. Based on the Spring/Summer ’24 collections, you can expect to see the shade heavily incorporated into formal wear—no 2024 bridesmaid is safe.
Drop Waist Dresses
The days of belting a dress to emphasize your waistline are in the past. Instead of opting for a high-waisted silhouette, try the sexier drop-waist alternative. This style is typically paired with longer dresses which bodes particularly well for eveningwear and special occasions. Take note from designers like Prabal Gurung and Phillip Lim and look for dresses with an asymmetrical neckline to give the look a modern feel.
Satin Trench Coats
Get inspired by your grandmother’s closet and give your outerwear rotation a facelift by adding a satin trench coat to your wardrobe. The look of this coat is naturally more formal than a classic canvas trench which actually gives it more styling versatility. As presented on the Spring/Summer ’24 runways, this style clearly works over a dress with heels—for a more casual look, wear it open with a white T-shirt and jeans. Either way, the look has a vintage feel and will add texture and dimension to any simple ensemble.
You don’t have to be walking down the aisle to buy a white suit. Short, long, tailored, and flowy white suits were all welcome on the Spring/Summer ’24 runways. Whether you’re looking for a strong winter white, or are already planning your work wardrobe for next summer, a white suit should definitely be included in the line-up. Designers like Bevza and Simone Rocha leaned into the bridal aesthetic this season which may be due to the increase in looks a bride now desires throughout the engagement and wedding season. If you’re not getting married, wear one anyway (as long as it’s not to the wedding).
Your portable charger, book, laptop, makeup routine, gym clothes, and a pack of gum finally all have a place to go. Mega bags are here to crush all of the other 2024 handbag trends—those Jacquemus mini bags better watch out! Designers like Brandon Maxwell, Sandy Liang, and STAUD proved that the bigger the bag, the better. It looks like the basic work tote is finally getting an upgrade.
Bunches of Lilac
If you aren’t excited about the return of Millennial Pink, maybe this shade of lilac will make up for it. Lilac is a color that, dare I say, genuinely looks good on everyone and works in many forms. The soft hue looks inviting when woven into a chunky winter sweater and looks as whimsical as a lace summer dress. The shade is seasonless which means there’s no excuse to wait to wear it.
The Gold Standard
This fashion trend is gunning for a first-place spot in your closet. Metallic gold is sure to win you over in 2024. Gold automatically makes any outfit appear more formal. For special occasions, use Blumarine’s stunning gold strapless dress as inspiration. If you’re looking to score extra points in the office, consider adding metallic accents as demonstrated on the Miu Miu runway. Rabanne made a strong case for mixed metals with a gold and silver set. The trend can have a gladiator look—if you want to tone it down, pair metallic gold with alternate materials like denim or leater.
If you still have your Abercrombie & Fitch polo shirt from the early 2000s, it’s time to pull that relic back out. Preppy fashion is back and Miu Miu is leading the charge with polos, layered collared shirts, boat shoes, and elastic waist mini skirts. In Miu Miu’s collection, the trend is taking on the full Y2K identity but you can still find more classic versions of preppy style in 2024. Brands like Bally and Tods took a more streamlined approach to preppy fashion with pleated skirts, thin belts, and collared short sleeve button-up shirts.
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