If you’re anything like me, you may find it difficult to stay abreast on all the trends that pop up on TikTok seemingly nonstop — and swiftly get amplified by the app’s finely tuned algorithm. On the video platform, a new generation of tastemakers is cycling through different aesthetics so fast that even the staunchest of fashion buffs can barely keep up. If that sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place. Digital media and retail moguls like Instagram and Depop have already forecasted all the major Gen Z fashion trends for 2023, rounding them out into an easy-to-digest list. (And, the stylish Gen Z creators that TZR spoke to for this story have totally signed off on their prognoses.)
To gather this data, Instagram tapped trend forecasting agency WGSN to survey over 1,000 social media users aged from 16- to 24-years-old across the United States. Their biggest discovery? A prominent and growing interest in eco-friendly and ethical fashion, as well as an emphasis on creating buying habits that reflect their values. (Only 30% of Gen Z are old enough to cast their ballots during elections, so they vote with their dollars instead.) “Aside from the sustainability piece, Gen Zers are looking for ways to express their individuality during a time when fashion trends come and go so quickly,” Darian Symoné Harvin, Instagram’s designated trend expert, tells TZR.
Depop’s 2023 Fashion Themes report, meanwhile, revealed that some existing trends will evolve into their newer iterations throughout 2023. The Dua Lipa-inspired disco aesthetic, for instance, is poised to morph into the celestial fashion trend; deconstructed clothing will emerge as a new incarnation of sartorial subversion. Now, here’s a Gen Z pro tip: No matter what trend you decide to adopt, you are at full liberty to tweak it to reflect your personal style. “With shorter trend cycles, a lot of Gen Z creators are moving away from dressing to fit hyper-specific aesthetics,” says TikTok content creator Pierrah Hilaire. “They overlap, and trends like cow print or deconstructed fashion can transcend a lot of niche fashion styles.”
Scroll ahead for a peek at what the younger generation will be wearing in 2023, ahead.
Thrifted & DIY Fashion
According to Depop, 90% of its community members have recently made changes to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Wardrobe-wise, that often means thrifting and shopping the second-hand market in general. “Gen Z has normalized the idea of repurposing and upcycling clothing. Not only is it a more sustainable way of consumer product, but when you repurpose and upcycle, you are able to make an item truly one-of-a-kind,” Dool explains. “And even if you’re not customizing your secondhand finds, it’s less likely that your friends will have the exact same piece you do.”
Another thing to note here is that more and more Gen Zers will start DIYing their clothing and accessories in 2023. “That also ties into the desire to have clothes that feels unique and may even have a backstory,” Harvin explains.
Space Age 2.0
In 2022, there was a lot of buzz around Lipa’s disco-glam style. Now, this glitzy aesthetic has set the stage for the budding celestial fashion trend. So, you’ll want to keep an eye out for space age-inspired garments abundant in chainmail, zodiac motifs, feather trims, and more. As of late, they have all experienced a major spike in searches on Depop — i.e. fashion-savvy Gen Zers are already shopping for this emerging trend. “I have watched as a niche community has gotten into futuristic accessories, but I think we could go full-blown The Fifth Element [in 2023],” notes Gen Z content creator Clara Perlmutter.
Another trend you’ll want to keep an eye on in the months ahead is deconstructed clothing — aka garments and accessories that can shape-shift by way of functional details like zippers and buttons. Namely, Hilaire cites Wisdom Kaye’s Dion Lee puffer, Joe Floww’s button jeans from Y/PROJECT, and the delicate-lacy tailored ensembles from Yuhan Wang’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection as prime examples of this burgeoning aesthetic. (In case you’re eyeing the sultry knit ensemble, pictured above, you can scoop one up for yourself here — but make sure to do so ASAP as there’s only one size left in stock.)
Speaking to the rising TikTok trends, Perlmutter points to the blokette fashion genre, which she describes as an offshoot of Bella Hadid’s personal style. In a nutshell, it mixes two popular TikTok aesthetics from 2022: the whimsical coquette look and sporty, soccer-inspired blokecore. The best part is that you’ll likely be able to put together a blokette outfit or two with the pieces you have in your wardrobe already — all you need are a few key pieces like a cargo or denim maxi skirt, a track jacket, and a pair of adidas’ Samba sneakers.
“And, not unrelated to the blokette trend — I think there will be a greater diffusion of the emulation of Bella Hadid’s entire aesthetic,” Perlmutter adds. “I feel like this has happened already with the fashion folks, but soon it will hit the masses, and fast fashion will be hocking archival Prada knockoffs.”