Millenials labeled ‘Generation Yawn,’ but style says otherwise

Natalie Holbrook

You can refer to young adults as Millennials or Generation Y but looking at today’s trends proves that our generation is not hopeless like they say. Those before us oftentimes discredit us and our ability to function in their adult world. It’s because of them we were born into a world of technology. Our grandparents rebelled against the Vietnam War, our parents rebelled against their parents and conforming to the system. With nothing left, we seem to be rebelling against rebelling itself.

Style: "Mad Men" January Jones (Betty Draper) and Don Draper (Jon Hamm)
Style: “Mad Men”
January Jones (Betty Draper) and Don Draper (Jon Hamm)


On campus we are surrounded by trends of the past that have come back into style. A big part of that can be attributed to the 2012 hit song, “Thrift Shop.” As Macklemore put it “I’m a take your grandpa’s style, I’m a take your grandpa’s style, No for real – ask your grandpa – can I have his hand-me-downs?” We’re not just buying new clothes that look vintage. We’re wearing the same clothes that started those fads so many years ago.

Guys, with their colorful polos, khakis and big boat shoes, look like my grandfather before a round of golf. They don plaid suits and bow ties when going out and keep their beards neatly trimmed. Floppy Justin Bieber hair is out; Frank Sinatra’s fedora look is back in as young men sport carefully combed and parted cuts. When the thermometer drops, guys keep warm in sweaters and cardigans.

Ladies these days rival Audrey Hepburn in high waisted shorts and jeans, lace, pearls and buns. Just a few years ago, we all tried to get away with wearing the shortest skirts possible. Today’s maxi skirts and dresses are modest and show no leg at all.

The light blonde practically white hairstyle has been around for a while now. I thought that was a grandma-glamorous hair color, until I saw a few silver heads. I can’t believe 20-year-old girls are actually dying their hair silver! Girls are ratting their hair like they did in the malt shop days of the 1950s.

The vintage trends of today go way deeper than just fashion. Our mindset is less like that of our parents and more similar to our grandparents or great-grandparents. While our parents embraced a lifestyle of convenience, Millennials are doing things themselves. Knitting, crocheting and cross stitching are becoming more commonplace college activities. We’re learning how to cook and bake earlier. We buy our furniture in pieces and assemble it ourselves.

Imagine an entire generation being stressed about their careers before they even know what they want to do. You probably don’t have to imagine—that’s the life we’re living today. Cramming our schedules with the highest level classes, enough extracurriculars to make us look well-rounded (whatever that means), and trying to socialize so we don’t go completely insane.

We’re getting married later than our parents so we can get the career we want. We’re focused on having a future more than having a family.

Millennials are often depicted by the Silent Generation as a generation of irresponsible, lazy good for nothings. But we have more in common with them than they realize. One major difference—we have a long life in front of us before we qualify for senior discounts.