Millennials lend a trend

Teens enjoy vintage fashion in new aesthetic


Felicia Xiong, Staff Writer

Junior Sarah Shelton has been a consumer of vintage clothing from thrift shops for as long as she can remember. Her favorite outfit consists of a striped crop top, light wash mom jeans, a pair of worn Vans and a bold scrunchie in her hair. A few years ago, people deemed these ‘90s fashion trends as antiquated and gaudy, and dated fashion pieces were confined to the backs of parents’ closets. 

“Back then, people thought it was weird that I liked my family’s old hand-me-downs, but I just loved the ‘90s grunge style,” Shelton said. 

Today, Shelton is astonished to see stores like Forever 21, Urban Outfitters and Brandy Melville selling variations of her thrift shop finds. What she has been wearing for years is resurging as a trend. 

“It makes me happy that our generation can revisit fashion that emerged when my grandma was younger. Vintage can also be really accessible and cheap,” Shelton said. 

This new aesthetic even has a name. Fashion that originated in the ‘80s and ‘90s — scrunchies, oversized T-shirts, puka shell necklaces, denim outfits and friendship bracelets — are being revived by teenage girls who call themselves “VSCO girls”.

The VSCO aesthetic is derived from the photo editing and sharing app VSCO. The app allows users to apply filters to photos that can later be posted on other forms of social media like Instagram.

 “I wouldn’t consider myself a VSCO girl, but I think it is great that young people have found a trend that makes them feel happy and confident,” Shelton said.

Some young teens have even developed online personas and cater to their audience by dressing in vintage clothes on social media. The terms “e boy” and “e girl” have been coined for these influencers as a result. Junior Wayne Hudson never found himself following trends, but he does feel inspired by others.

“It’s not even really about the trend itself. I just wear clothes that are comfortable and express who I am, and the bright colors and baggy clothes of the ‘80s and ‘90s just seem to be what I fall into,” Hudson said. “If shell necklaces or chunky chains boost your confidence, then who I am to make fun of you for it.”

Generation Z has dominated this trend all over social media. Millennials and late ‘90s kids are feeling nostalgic, as they revisit throwbacks to relics of the past. 

“I think the ‘90s trends specifically can be credited to ‘Friends’ being on Netflix. Rachel Green vibes can be seen in lots of the ‘90s styles I’ve seen coming back,” creative textile design teacher Haley Barry said. “I am a ‘90s kid, so I am quick to be able to notice the trends from when I was a kid.”

Teens are experiencing a blast from the past by getting a taste of what their parents used to enjoy decades ago. The throwback-inspired look is being enjoyed by multiple generations. In fact, Hudson has experienced lots of praise for his unique style.

“I’ve gotten so many times from people that I dress like a grandpa or wear the clothes they would’ve worn back in the day, so I’m sure they find it amusing and almost humbled that we take inspiration from them,” Hudson said. 

It is uncertain whether this trend will continue, evolve or diminish in the coming years. Fashion is a direct reflection of our pop culture and social media, and modern styles could develop into trends that people in the future will look into.  

“I think it definitely is good that teens are enjoying facets of the past.  Hang on to your trendy clothing items. You never know when they might come back,” Barry said.