I’m a Millennial—Here’s What I’m Doing to Upgrade My Style This Summer

Since the dawn of time, the youth has believed they know more than the generation above them. Gen X wouldn’t dare make the same mistakes Boomers did; Millennials learned exactly what not to do from Gen X. And this is the case when it comes to Gen Z’s thoughts on Millennials—especially when it comes to how to dress.

Since the great war against skinny jeans, Gen Z has been using social media to tell Millennials that their style is ~totally lame~. Even though much of the younger gen’s style is precisely what Millennials grew up wearing, they have come for everything from Millennials’ sock choices to where they part their hair. No one needs to change their style—especially for the sake of teenagers on TikTok—but those born prior to the new millennium have been left in a lurch, second-guessing just about everything they put on their bodies.

As a Fashion Editor (who, for what it’s worth, is Gen Z-Millennial cusp), I’m constantly asked about small style upgrades my Millennial friends can make to their wardrobes. My answer is that nobody needs to ditch the entirety of their closet and start from scratch—especially if it’s full of pieces they feel confident in—but there are a few areas where a subtle swap can pack a major punch. If you’re a Millennial searching for your personal style, these are five easy swaps you can make to take yours to the next level—minimal effort included.

Swap cropped jeans for full-length ones

By far and large, the question I get asked the most from my Millennial friends is why none of their jeans look quite right with their shoes. My answer is always the same: They’re likely reaching for jeans that are too short. For some reason, Millennials tend to gravitate toward cropped jeans, and while they have a time and place, in my humble opinion, they can tend to hold an outfit back if they’re your default choice.

If your closet is full of jeans that hit above the ankle, try out a pair that’s ankle-length or grazes the tops of your feet instead. With the addition of just a few inches of denim, your outfits will instantly feel more seamless and elevated. My personal recommendation is always a slightly baggy or straight pair without any distressing.

Swap cotton basics for textured ones

The beauty of tees and tanks is that they truly never go out of style, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be upgraded. The easiest way to do so? Investing in basics in luxe materials and detailing that add a bit of intrigue. Cotton tanks can be swapped for knitted vests; white tees can be put on hold in exchange for linen button-ups. Even a basic tube top can be swapped for one with gathering or an interesting neckline to spice up an outfit a bit. They’re just as easy to style—a basic is a basic, after all—but the addition of a bit of texture adds instant dimension to an outfit without any additional effort.

Swap distressed denim shorts for tailored ones

If I had to name a pair of summer bottoms that I associate with Millennials, it’d be a short, tight pair of distressed denim shorts. And no, you don’t have to get rid of yours, but opting for a longer, looser pair of tailored shorts will reverse-age you like Daisy Dukes never could. Long, tailored shorts are the it-bottoms of summer, but due to their looser, baggier fits, they are going to end up being more comfortable than your beloved denim. Even when paired with just a tee, putting your distressed, short denim shorts on pause in exchange for a longer, tailored pair will take your summer style up notches.

Swap a satin midi skirt for an airy maxi skirt

A satin midi skirt has a long-standing reputation for being the chosen bottom of Millennial date night uniforms, and while they can definitely be styled in chic, updated ways, an airy maxi skirt is an easy swap. Whether paired with a basic tank and flip flops for the Farmer’s Market or with a tube top and heeled sandals for date night, they feel quintessentially summery and inherently elevated without much effort. With their styling versatility, the cost-per-wear will be down to mere cents within weeks of owning one.

Swap fitted blazers for oversized ones

Especially if you work in an office, blazers can be a year-round staple. They’re a timeless silhouette, but the element that determines whether they feel modern or dated is the fit. Slim-fit blazers have a tendency to look like you’re dressing for your first college internship interview, whereas oversized fits instantly make an outfit feel cool and intentionally styled.

Investing in one oversized blazer can transform an endless amount of looks, whether you style it draped over your shoulders with a dress for a summer date night or keep it in your work bag to throw on to combat your office AC. If you aren’t ready to give up a fitted silhouette, you can opt for a belted blazer rather than an oversized one.

This post contains a sponsored inclusion of Banana Republic but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.


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