Fashion trends are like a boomerang – they always come back, and Gen Z is showing us just how true that is. They’re digging up styles from the past, from the slip dresses of the 90s to the velour tracksuits of the early 2000s, and making them cool all over again. But it’s not just about copying old trends; they’re adding their own modern spin to them. In this list, we’ll look through some of the most surprising trends that Gen Z has brought back – even though we might wish they’d stay in the past!

Ugg boots

Remember when everyone was wearing Ugg boots? Then, out of nowhere, they just weren’t cool anymore. Well, they’re back, and in a big way. Lately, Gen Z has picked up on this old trend and are loving these fluffy boots like never before. And our question is, why?

We’re guessing it could be about the comfort, or maybe it’s the throwback to the early 2000s fashion. Uggs are everywhere, paired with leggings, flared trousers, and even dresses. The UGG Tasman in particular seems to be super popular right now, and has been topping many wish lists. We just hope they don’t smell as bad these days…


Alright, let’s talk about Crocs – those quirky, holey shoes we all used to mock. They’ve made a total comeback, and it’s all thanks to Gen Z. These days, Crocs aren’t just garden shoes; they’re fashion statements. And it’s not just the shoes themselves, it’s how you personalize them.

Those little Jibbitz charms? They’re everything. Even celebs like Post Malone are getting in on the action, with his own Crocs collab. Remember when we thought they were the epitome of uncool?

Velour sweatsuits

Velour tracksuits, remember those? They were the uniform of the 2000s celebs like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. They seemingly fizzled out when sleeker athleisure wear came along. But now, they’re making a surprising comeback. Gen Z has brought them back, not just for relaxing in but also as a fashion statement.

The soft, shiny fabric and the whole early 2000s look is now apparently cool again. The reappearance of the Juicy Couture tracksuit is a perfect example. Maybe it’s the mix of luxury and comfort that’s appealing, or perhaps it’s just the cycle of fashion doing its thing.

Dresses over jeans

Dresses over jeans is a bizarre trend we thought was safely in the past, but Gen Z has other ideas. This once-popular early 2000s style, seen on celebs like Sarah Jessica Parker and Mischa Barton, is making a comeback. You’ll see them wearing this look with a modern twist – think vintage dresses over ripped skinny jeans or wide-leg denim.

It’s definitely an interesting choice, and is challenging what we thought we knew about fashion. Gen Z’s revival of this trend is perhaps a testament to their desire to create their own distinctive styles and push the conventional fashion boundaries.

Slip dresses

Ah – slip dresses. Remember ‘that’ iconic slip dress worn by Rachel in Friends? These sleek dresses are a symbol of 90s minimalism, and are they are officially back in fashion. Gen Z has adopted this trend, but of course, with their own twist.

They like to mix it up and you’ll often see them layered over t-shirts, under oversized leather jackets, or dressed up with heels. These dresses are an ideal mix of simple and elegant, making them ideal for both casual and formal occasions. But why are they back? Well, it might just be one of those Gen Z mysteries.

Chunky necklaces

In recent years, the trend in accessories has been all about keeping things simple – like tiny chains and delicate bracelets. But in an unexpected twist from Gen Z: big, chunky necklaces are making a huge comeback. We’re talking about those bold, eye-catching necklaces from the past, with massive chains or bright, blocky beads – the bigger, the better.

You’ll often see them layered or paired with simple tops or dresses, creating a really cool contrast. This shift towards chunky necklaces is a move towards more expressive accessories and just another way Gen Z is showing their creativity and love for bold, distinctive styles.

Claw clips

Claw clips, remember those stylish hair accessories from the 90s? Think back to some of Rachel’s iconic hairstyles in Friends. Well, they’re making a comeback. Gen Z has taken a liking to these clips, and it’s not just for their practicality but for their fashion statement too.

They’ve even moved beyond the classic tortoiseshell design. Now, claw clips come in all sorts of sizes, colors, and patterns. They’re not just for tying hair back anymore; they’re part of the whole outfit. Who would’ve thought? This simple hair accessory from decades past has been revived by Gen Z as an actual fashion accessory.

Biker shorts

Biker shorts – yep, those stretchy shorts that were initially associated with, well, biking? They’ve massively broken into everyday fashion, all thanks to Gen Z. You wouldn’t believe it, but now they’re sporting (pardon the pun) these shorts with baggy tees or even oversized blazers for a laid back, cool vibe.

Feels like a bit of a throwback to Princess Diana’s iconic looks, right? She was a trailblazer here for this trend. It’s probably all this love for comfy clothes and the whole athleisure thing that’s brought them back. Biker shorts have shown us that gym wear isn’t just for workouts anymore. They’re a new must-have for a laid-back, stylish outfit.

Skinny sunglasses

Remember those tiny, skinny sunglasses that were a hit in the late 90s and early 2000s? Guess what – they’re back in style! Gen Z has taken a liking to these slim, often tinted glasses. It’s quite a throwback, isn’t it? A lot of us probably didn’t expect to see them again.

You’ll often see these sunglasses matched up with vintage outfits or blended with more modern pieces. And let’s be real, these sunglasses aren’t exactly the best for blocking out the sun, so this trend is definitely more about making a fashion statement than just being practical.

Rimless sunglasses

Staying on the theme of throwback sunglasses, rimless sunglasses also appear to be making a surprising comeback. Remember those almost invisible frames that celebrities like Brad Pitt wore in the early 2000s? Well, Gen Z has taken a shine to them and they’re giving them fresh lease of life.

Known for their barely-there appearance, they’re now a hit with the Gen Z crowd who prefer a subtle yet stylish look. These glasses, much like their appearance, have been barely seen for years, but somehow they are now seeing their new day in the sun.

Butterfly clips

Ah, butterfly clips, those tiny, fun hair accessories from the 90s, seem to be fluttering into the Gen Z fashion scene. Forgotten what these are? Picture the Olsen twins and Hilary Duff in their red-carpet glory days. These days, Gen Z is embracing these clips, and using them to create their own unique hairstyles.

It’s definitely an unexpected comeback, but we guess it does kind of fit with Gen Z’s love for experimentation. And hey, why settle for one big clip when you can make create a complex hairstyle with a bunch of tiny ones?


So, cowprint – it’s back, who saw that coming? This loud and proud print from the late 90s is suddenly everywhere again. Gen Z’s really going for it, splashing cowprint on everything from coats, to boots, to statement bags. It’s definitely a head-turner, and also has many of us scratching our heads as to why it’s back.

One theory? It might have something to do with a viral moment from Ru Paul’s Drag Race a few years ago, where a contestant’s mix-up with prints led to the iconic line, ‘I thought, brown cow? STUNNING!’. Well, we can’t be sure if that’s reason, but there is one thing that we can be sure about – cowprint is back.

Space buns

Ah, space buns, do you remember those? They were the quirky and fun hairstyle that got popular in the 90s. Think of Gwen Stefani in her No Doubt days, or the Spice Girls. Well, they are now taking over Gen Z’s hair trends.

Now, this playful hairstyle is popping up at festivals, on social media, and even just out at the mall. It’s a playful nod to the past, with a modern twist – often seen with glitter, braids, or colorful hair.

Low-rise jeans

Low-rise jeans – yes, they’re back. Just when we thought we had left them in the early 2000s, alongside flip phones and frosted tips, Gen Z has decided they’re back in style. After years of the comfort of high-waisted styles, this comeback is a bold move – one that many Millennials may not be too thrilled about.

Once a symbol of edgy fashion, famously worn by the likes of Christina Aguilera, these jeans are now being paired with crop tops and oversized jackets by influencers. It’s a blast from the past with a fresh twist. Who would’ve thought we’d see the return of the low rise again?

Wraparound sunglasses

Wraparound sunglasses – yep, those sporty sunglasses that were all the rage in the ’90s. We all remember them, right? They were the go-to for athletes and celebrities trying to look a bit futuristic. Well, in a twist that none of us saw coming, Gen Z seem to have brought them back into fashion.

Now, these sunglasses are no longer just for runners or cyclists; they’re popping up everywhere – even being paired with dresses and skirts. They embody 90s nostalgia, and in today’s fashion scene, that’s apparently gold. Who would’ve thought those sporty sunglasses would make a streetwear comeback?


The unforgettable mullet is a hairstyle we all thought was well locked away in the ’80s and ’90s. But surprise, it’s made a comeback and Gen Z is leading the charge. Yes, that ‘business in the front, party in the back’ style is back, and even celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Billie Eilish have been spotted sporting this look – well, with their own modern twist.

It’s a statement hairstyle that definitely breaks from conventional styles. Would you have ever predicted that the words mullet and cool would be featured in the same sentence in 2023?

Choker necklaces

Chokers, the tight-fitting necklaces were super popular in the 90s, and now they’re circling back as one of Gen Z’s fashion choices. We’re seeing everything from the classic black velvet band to more elaborate, bejeweled versions.

It’s a trend that adds a bit of edge to any outfit – something Gen Z seems to love. Maybe it’s the vintage appeal or the way these necklaces can make a simple outfit pop. Either way, chokers are definitely having their moment again.

Visible underwear

Sometimes known (unflatteringly) as the whale tail look, this trend is back, and we’re as baffled as you are. Remember when pop icons in the early 2000s made showing off their branded waistbands a thing? Gen Z has seem be recycling this niche this trend, flaunting their branded underwear bands like Calvin Klein above their jeans.

It’s a daring fashion choice – and definitely a big step away from the more discreet styles we’ve gotten used to. We’re all for self-expression, but this comeback was definitely a surprise.


Remember those brightly colored windbreakers from the 90s? Well, these lightweight, brightly colored jackets are making an unexpected return, thanks to Gen Z. They were once a staple used for their function over form, but these jackets are now seen as a trendy option to elevate an an outfit.

They’re being paired with everything from casual jeans to sporty leggings. Maybe it’s their practicality or the retro appeal that’s caught Gen Z’s attention. Either way, windbreakers are now a surprisingly fashionable choice, popping up everywhere – not just at festivals or parties but also as a common streetwear choice.


Mini skirts are back on the scene, and guess what? They seem to be getting shorter and shorter. After years of midi and maxi skirts being the go to, these much shorter options have made a comeback. Is it thanks to Gen Z’s love for all things retro? Or perhaps their love for making an impact?

Today, these tiny skirts are being paired with everything from oversized hoodies to tiny crop tops, giving a next twist to this classic ’60s and early 2000s trend. It’s a bold move, but exactly why this trend is still up for debate. Mini skirts may be short in length, but today, they’re definitely making a big statement in style.

Baguette bags

The baguette bag, an iconic piece of fashion from the late 90s and early 2000s made popular by classic TV shows like Sex and the City, is experiencing an appreciation from a whole new generation. Gen Z is all over this compact, under-the-arm bag. Its sleek and minimalist design makes it an accessory that you can see being paired with almost any outfit.

The bag’s comeback might be linked to the growing fascination with Y2K fashion trends. And retailers have caught on, now, the baguette bag is popping up everywhere – from luxury brands to more affordable high-street options, the baguette bag appears to be a must-have once again.

Slouchy jeans

Slouchy jeans, once all the rage in the 90s, have made an unexpected return. Gen Z has ditched skinny jeans, the long-time favorite of Millennials, in favor of these more relaxed-fits. Well, they are a little more forgiving than the tight-fitting skinny options, so perhaps this one is a trend many of us are happy to see back.

You’ll often see these slouchy jeans paired with tiny crop tops or with tucked in tight-fitting tees, creating a contrast that, honestly, does look pretty good. Gen Z don’t like to feel restricted, so the revival of this trend could be a shift towards more comfortable, laid back fashion.

Platform sneakers

Remember those chunky platform sneakers from the Spice Girls era? They’re back in the fashion, thanks to Gen Z. It seems that the days of ballet flats and canvas shoes are long gone, and these days it’s all about the platform. These towering shoes add height and a ton of character.

Gen Z is pairing these with all kinds of outfits to elevate them – quite literally – making for a cool blend of nostalgia and modern style. We’re not sure why this trend is back, but it is apparent that Gen Z love bringing back the ’90s.

Lava lamps

Lava lamps, once a staple in every 60s and 70s household, and are now lighting up Gen Z’s spaces. Remember when they were the must-have item for that sort of psychedelic, chilled out vibe? Well, they’re back, creating a nostalgic and trendy atmosphere in modern rooms.

These lamps are an ultimate throwback, and those slow-moving blobs are like a piece of vintage art. Who knows what caused a whole new generation to be fascinated by these hypnotic lamps?

Plastic rings

Guess what’s circling back into fashion? Plastic rings. Those colorful, fun rings from the 90s are now Gen Z’s latest obsession. Remember seeing them on classic shows like Saved by the Bell or Clarissa Explains It All? These rings were the epitome of cool back then, and it looks like they are again.

Credit Thgusstavo Santana via Pexels

It must be Gen Z’s love for all things retro that’s bringing them back – and let’s not forget, they’re also a much more affordable option compared to gold and silver!


After years of skinny jeans, legging, pencil skirts, and fitted dresses, who would have guessed we’d be witnessing the return of flares. Remember the days of Charlie’s Angels and That 70s Show, where flares were the go-to for that effortlessly cool look?

Credit Enrique Hoyos via Pexels

Well, these iconic trousers are now being reclaimed by Gen Z. They’ve been styling them with their own unique twist, creating a blend of vintage and modern fashion. What brought them back? Perhaps it’s to do with Gen Z’s fascination with blending eras.

Cargo pants

Who would’ve thought we’d see the day when cargo pants would make a grand re-entrance into the fashion world? But here they are, back from the late 90s and early 2000s, and Gen Z can’t seem to get enough of them.

These practical, pocket-filled pants were once the go-to for practical wear, and now they’re being styled in all kinds of ways that only Gen Z would be able to conjure up. Paired with crop tops, oversized sweaters, or even blazers, they’ve made cargo pants a surprisingly versatile piece of clothing.

Von Dutch

Von Dutch, a brand that was a huge hit in the early 2000s, is making a surprising comeback. This brand, once a favorite for its standout hats and bold logos, had nearly vanished from the fashion scene. But, yet again Gen Z has sparked a revival.

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This reappearance might seem puzzling, but it seems to tie into Gen Z’s love for nostalgic fashion. It’s interesting to see how they’re redefining what’s cool. We all thought Von Dutch had had its day, who’d have thought they’d bring it back?


With all the technology we have now, the return of camcorders is something probably no one saw coming. But, Gen Z is bringing back these bulky, tape-based video recorders for reasons that seem a bit of a mystery. Perhaps it’s being able to capture moments in a raw, unfiltered way.

Or maybe it’s the appeal of vintage technology – we do know that they have a love for the retro. Whatever the reason, these camcorders that were pretty much obsolete are now being used by Gen Z to create unique, retro-style videos that really do stand out in the age of HD and filters.

Fanny packs

Fanny packs are back, and that responsibility is all down to Gen Z. They were once a must-have accessory in the 80s and 90s, and then were regarded as a fashion faux pas for years. But here we are today, seeing them slung over shoulders or around waists, in every material from neon nylon to black leather.

It’s likely that the perfect mix of nostalgia and practicality is what makes them appealing to Gen Z. Go to any festival and it’s unlikely you’ll be able to go even a few metres without spotting one. Who knew we’d see the day when fanny packs would be cool again?

Shell necklaces

Remember shell necklaces? They used to just be tacky beach trip souvenirs but have now found their way into Gen Z’s fashion collection. Once the kind of thing you’d only wear after a holiday by the sea, these necklaces are now being worn with just about everything.

They’re being paired with floaty summer dresses, with casual tops, and sometimes even as an accessory to a more formal look. It’s a little unexpected to see them become such a hit, but as we’ve seen already, Gen Z do seem to continuously surprise.

Cowboy boots

Cowboy boots are trotting back into the Gen Z fashion lineup. Out of the wild west and into big cities, cowboy boots are making a surprising return. These rugged boots were a big hit in classic Westerns and 70s fashion, but now they’re being worn with everything from denim shorts to skirts and dresses.

They add a sort of unexpected twist to modern outfits. And the question is, why now? Is it the lasting appeal of Americana, or just another quirky Gen Z revival?

Disposable cameras

Given how easy it is to capture photos when and wherever we want these days, it’s super intriguing to see Gen Z embracing disposable cameras. These cameras, with their grainy, candid shots, are quite the throwback.

Maybe there’s a feeling of tech overload, and having physical photos feels special, or maybe it’s the unpredictability of what the photos will turn out like that appeals to them. Whatever the reason, Gen Z are making sure the disposable cameras don’t go extinct.

Oversized leather blazers

Oversized leather blazers, a staple of the late 80s and 90s power dressing, are now being worn by Gen Z. These statement pieces are often seen in vintage photos of rock stars and movie icons. They do seem to add an edgy yet sophisticated touch to any outfit, don’t they?

Gen Z is often spotted pairing them with something as casual as jeans and a tee. It’s interesting how an item a symbol of corporate rebellion is now a fashion statement. The appeal? Maybe it’s to do with its symbolism or it could be to do with their love for androgynous fashion.

Chunky loafers

Here’s a surprising one: chunky loafers. These have long been associated as a staple of school uniforms and office wear, but are now a fashion-forward choice for Gen Z. These shoes are definitely no longer just a formal piece. Gen Z are pairing these with everything and anything.

A common choice is to pair them with socks and skirts, but there are also endless other combinations – a real testament to Gen Z’s ability to turn anything – even clunky school shoes – into a trend.


Corduroy, really? This textured fabric that was a hit in the 70s and again in the 90s, is somehow back in style. Gen Z seems to really love its unique look and feel. And guess what that’s resulted in? Almost all retail stores have started restocking corduroy pants, jackets, and even accessories.

Gen Z are super sustainability focused, so this fabric’s comeback could be due to its durable nature. Whatever the reason, corduroy’s distinct lines are once again a key player in the fashion world, much to the confusion of many.

Bucket hats

Who would have thought bucket hats would become fashionable? This 90s accessory, once worn by fishermen, are back on the heads of Gen Z. This comeback is a bit confusing, considering the hat’s humble and somewhat quirky beginnings.

Whether it’s for sun protection, a fashion statement, or both, Gen Z are loving bucket hats in all their forms – from plain to wildly patterned (and even in corduroy). It’s possibly nostalgia and perhaps a touch of irony that’s brought these hats back.


Co-ords, or coordinated sets, are taking over Gen Z’s wardrobe. Remember the matching outfits from the 60s and 70s? Well, they’re back. This trend seems to be all about effortlessly put-together looks. From loungewear to formal wear, these matching sets are everywhere, providing an easy yet stylish outfit choice.

Gen Z’s fascination with co-ords could be due to their simplicity or it could be because co-ords can act like blank canvases that can be accessorized up to their hearts content.


Big, statement bows from the 80s are making a surprisingly chic comeback with Gen Z. It’s not just about delicate little hair bows anymore – we’re talking oversized, bold, and in-your-face bows adorning dresses, tops, and even shoes.

These aren’t just cute accessories; they’re centerpieces of outfits, channeling some serious Madonna and Cyndi Lauper vibes. Maybe it’s Gen Z’s love for accesorizing or just their love for everything vintage. Why this trend has resurfaced is anyone’s guess.


Thrifting has been a great way to fill your wardrobe with pre-loved hidden gems, but for a moment in the materialistic 2000s, wearing somebody else’s old clothes was like, a total bummer. However, the ever conscious Gen Z have bought thrifting back in a big way, proving that the kids really are alright.

TikTok has played a big part in the thrifting resurgence, with many Zoomers taking to the app to share their thrifting hauls, as well as sharing their tips and tricks for getting the best of the vintage bunch. These days, it’s not uncommon to see the young ‘uns proudly sporting clothing and accessories from the 80s and 90s – yes, like it or not, that’s considered vintage now, feel old yet?