NEW GEN Z 101: Unlock & Outlast Microtrends
Jul 19 2022
These are the top 11 places Gen Z and Millennials are finding style inspiration
The days of following the advice of almighty fashion magazines are gone, for Gen Z and Millennials at least, as their phones dominate their style decisions. What clothes they’re interested in wearing can change overnight, and no print pub is going to alert them as fast as their feed. Few are looking to traditional fashion sources at all these days to inspire their next look, and while they’re not totally unanimous on the best place to find inspo, they largely prefer social media, as they do for just about everything.
More than half say that social media influences the way they dress with one 21-year-old female telling us, “There’s just so much content and it’s always on my fyp which I use everyday so it definitely has impacted my choices.”
But our Fits for the Feed report shows that Gen Z and Millennials have some differences in where they get their style inspo. We know that these two gens have interest in different styles, and they’re looking to different places to find style ideas, too. We asked 13-39-year-olds to tell us where they get their style inspiration from a list of 20 options ranging from social media, influencers and celebs, to their friends and fashion magazines. Here’s are the top choices for Gen Z versus Millennials:
TikTok Is Gen Z’s Top Place to Find Style Inspiration
If you know anything about Gen Z, you’ll know they look to TikTok for just about everything these days—even Google data shows nearly 40% prefer it as a search engine—so it should come as no surprise that it’s their favorite place to get style inspiration. If you consider the fact that influencers make the top three for Gen Z as well, and many of their favorites are found on the app, its popularity is amplified. For Millennials, TikTok is also a top inspiration source, second to Instagram. For context, fashion mags don’t make either gens’ top 10 picks for style inspo these days, with just 11% of each gen choosing fashion magazines/sites as a place they look to. Where they find inspiration is also where they’re finding brands to shop from, whether through recommendations or advertisements, with TikTok also the top place Gen Z says they have discovered a brand.
But Millennials and Gen Z Look to Other Platforms for Style Inspiration, Too
While TikTok and Instagram are on top, other apps continue to be sources of style inspiration for them as well. Though the older gen likes TikTok, they choose Facebook just as often, while only 15% of Gen Z would say the same. This is no surprise when you compare the Facebook use for each gen: our Social Media Monitor report shows 42% of Gen Z use Facebook compared to 66% of Millennials. YPulse brand data shows Millennials maintaining loyalty to Facebook as one of their favorite platforms overall, and clearly many are finding style and brand inspiration there.
It might be unexpected that Gen Z prefers Pinterest significantly more than Millennials, 26% to 17%. It’s most popular among Gen Z females at 38%, and could be helping them to find trends faster. Like TikTok, Pinterest uses a suggestive algorithm that takes away the decision fatigue we know young people feel with media. One 16-year-old-male respondent told YPulse Pinterest is the biggest influence on his style because it “has a lot of different ideas from many different sources” and “it’s cool because it includes a lot of niche fashion styles,” while another 18-year-old-female said she loves the creativity of the community.
They’re Still Looking to Their Friends for Inspiration
YPulse data tells us they’re not just looking to screens for the best way to dress, even though you might think they would be. While social media platforms are their top choices, 51% say they get their inspiration from friends, family and peers. Even within their desire to look unique, Gen Z say their friends help them “keep up with what is trendy,” according to one 14-year-old male.
In many ways, these gens believe in each other more than anyone else; when they’re getting inspiration on social media, they’re still looking at people they identify with. When asked who is most important in creating trends, Gen Z is most likely to say they create the trends, far more than fashion designers. Both gens agree that influencers are still the most important when it comes to spreading new trends, but remember that their favs are often their age, meaning at the end of the day, they’re the ones driving what’s in style.
YPulse paid users can access the full Fits For The Feed report and data here.
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