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Gen-Z’s Defining Fashion Trends of 2022

2022, the year of big pants and small tops. Let’s take a dive through the top fashion trends of this year.

Image: Shutterstock/ Eversummerphoto

With 2022 coming to an end, it’s always an interesting (an sometimes cringe-worthy) task to review and decide the top fashion trends of this year. From Y2K making its dramatic reappearance to the classic cozy scarf and big coat duo, here is a list of the most memorable trends of 2022.

Cargo And Parachute Trousers

As a generation, it seems that Gen-Z has somehow pushed the ‘skinny high-waisted jean’ trend out of the window, and replaced it with a love for baggy, loose fit, low-rise bottoms. This year, cargo trousers and parachute pants have been one of the biggest trends combining the elements of comfort with an edge of street style. In line with the return of Y2K fashion, the lower-waisted, baggy trouser trend has hit major retailers all over the world.

Although now you can buy cargo at almost any high street shop, the trend began with the rise of second-hand clothing apps, such as Vinted and Depop, with Depop, in particular, having a strong focus on Y2K style clothing.

Y2K Low Rise Cargo Pants. Credits: Urban Outfitters Official Website

Furthermore, style icon celebrities such as Bella Hadid, Zendaya, and Dua Lipa began experimenting with cargo trousers, styling them up with heels for events, or making them more casual with trainers for everyday looks.

Lady with Prada bag, 2022 fall winter. Credits: Shutterstock/ Luca Ponti


Interestingly enough, one of the biggest trends this year for Gen-Z has been more of a mature, sophisticated look; featuring blazers, leather trousers, and boots. A lot of people have been replacing regular jackets and cardigans with cotton or leather blazers.

Furthermore, more and more people are dropping jeans and picking up tailored trousers of varying materials to convey a smarter look whilst still keeping it casual to an extent.

Fashion Fall Winter Outfit Business Casual. Credits; Shutterstock/ Polina Gaydamachenko

This trend can be traced back to the rise of the ‘clean’ aesthetic on TikTok, where people would use minimal makeup and hair styling paired with basic, but chic outfits- otherwise known as ‘business-casual’. The outfits consist of black and white tones, often with a pop of color.

The ‘Slicked-Back’ Hair

Along with the business-casual trend came the clean, slicked updo.

Although it made its comeback this year, this style of hair was also trendy much further back. We can see it back in 2015 when Kim Kardashian made her debut with this hairstyle, and it was labeled as her ‘wet look’ hair.

Kim Kardashian at Cosmopolitan Party 2015. Credits: Shutterstock/DFree

The style made its reappearance in the form of a low claw-clip twist or ponytail, which goes hand in hand with the ‘clean-girl aesthetic’ mentioned before, and adds to that classic, polished look.


Of course, with the return of Y2K, crocs had to make their dramatic reappearance. Somehow, crocs were left back in the 2000s, but like everything, it has come back.

Surprisingly, crocs have made their way into editorial fashion, as well as being for comfort and convenience. Crocs have made some successful partnerships with celebrities, influencers, and brands such as SZA, Bella Poarch, and Balenciaga.

Classic Glitter Lined Croc Credits: Crocs Official Website

With celebrity endorsements, Crocs slowly made their way back into mainstream media and fashion. Their unique selling point of comfort which made them irresistible to customers, despite their interesting design which often puts people off.

With new designs, including fluffy soles, platforms, and even glitter-coated crocs, there is something for everyone to love. Crocs are also great at fitting into genderless fashion, which has been on the rapid rise this year on high fashion runways, and of course, the interchangeable charms are another way to customize the shoe to fit everyone’s personal style, no matter your gender.

Chunky Shoes

Chunky boots, trainers, and loafers have taken over the autumn/winter fashion week runways this year. They have been spotted in everyday high street stores, like H&M AND Urban Outfitters, and in designer collections like Dior and Stella McCartney.

Featuring both high fashion and regular retail shops opens the shoe up for the opportunity t be styled casually and formally. It also provides a range of affordable price points, which includes all types of shoppers, making it an accessible item of clothing to have this year.

Fashion Urban Watch Black Platform Boots Credits: Koi Footwear Official website

Platform shoes also provide an elevated take on regular flat shoes. They offer the same comfort and style as any popular trainers but add an edge and pull a look together in a way a more casual shoe can’t.

Where will fashion go next?

According to a recent article by W Magazine, the top trends for next year will build upon the trends we see today. With runways featuring button-down shirts and column dresses, it is clear that 2023 will build upon the already established ‘business-casual’ style that is so apparent today.

New York Fashion Week 2022, Glenda Garcia. Credits: Shutterstock/Lev Radin

Along with that, the article also shows that cropped jackets are also appearing in high fashion, which also adds a playful twist to the blazer trend this year. The ‘preppy’ style is also coming back into runway shows- the little sister of business-casual.

But who’s to say what will definitely be in next year? For all we know, super high-waisted skinny jeans may make their grand return…

Written By

Hiya, my name is Megan! I am currently studying towards a degree in Journalism in Cardiff. I am in my third year, and my goal is to be a successful writer for a women's magazine one day, and possibly specialise in media law! I want my brand to be feminine, meaningful and boundary breaking. Some things about me: Christmas is my favourite holiday, even though summer is my favourite season and I am the oldest sister, daughter and grandaughter!

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