Have you noticed lots of teenage girls walking around looking like they’re straight out of a late 90s Christina Aguilera or Britney Spears video clip?
In the latest episode of Gen Zs using nostalgia to cope with a very dire current state of events, may we present you: Xennial fash-un and its modern day comeback.
But hold up, before we get into it – what is a Xennial?
You’d be forgiven for not having heard of them before – but Xennials are a ‘micro-generation’ of people born between 1977-1985, A Gen X-Millennial hybrid.
But why? And how?
First off, people born during these specific years grew up in a rapidly evolving tech environment.
While ‘true’ Gen Xers (born before 1977) didn’t grow up with computers or internet access, Xennials did – making them feel more like Millennials in that sense.
On the flip side, cell phones still weren’t a thing yet (as they were for the latter part of Millennials’ youth), which meant Xennials still needed to (gasps in Gen Z) use a landline.
And that’s, like, sooooo Gen X.
Okay, moving on. What’s Xennial fashion anyway?
Put simply, it’s anything worn during the late 90s to early 2000s: think velour tracksuits, butterfly clips, low-waisted flare jeans, chokers, belt-skirts, massive hoops, tinted sunglasses and of course, the iconic crop top. All of which you’re seeing hit the shelves in Zara, Glassons, H&M… you name it.
If a Xennial born in 1980 had a child in their mid to late 20s, it’s very likely their Gen Z teenager today is dressing like how they did at the same age (we hope that doesn’t make you feel old). Check out the similarities between these two generations’ fashion in the images below.
Xennial fashion – Source: Reddit Generationalogy
Gen Z fashion – Source: Reddit Generationalogy
So what’s behind it?
Some experts say it all comes down to ‘fake’ nostalgia, which is a type of fashion escapism.
For Gen Zs, who are growing up in some of the most stressful, uncertain times in living history – think global pandemic, impending climate catastrophe, threat of nuclear war, etc just to name a few – looking back to a time where aesthetic cues are synonymous with the blissful ignorance of a time where knowing the world as they know it is constantly on the brink of collapse is pretty attractive.
A fashionable fantasy, if we may.
And to be honest, we kinda get it.
* Makes appointment with salon to get Christina Aguilera-style streaks*