Upgrading the Millennial Closet

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©Ron Lach via Canva.com

I am a millennial.  Well, I am by definition. I was born in 1981 – the first year of the Millennial generation but I connect with Gen X as well. Am I a Genennial….Millennigen?  Either way, my closet is showing my age, just like the multiplying amount of gray hairs that frame my face.  It is past time for a costume change, but I refuse to throw money around like confetti when upgrading the millennial closet. That is where I turn to the greatest gift we have been given: Influencers.  

I double-tap, like, share, and save all of the reels, which show me step-by-step how to update what I already own. It’s where frugal meets fashion, and I am here for it.  

Here are the top five swaps I have found when updating an (older) millennial wardrobe.  

Ankle boots 

It appears Gen Z has a problem with my ankles. They want them covered. Cue the Chelsea boot. Go for the chunky style with a heel or a laced-up combat boot. This trend makes me smile, as I remember in ‘97 how I wanted to be cool like the punk rock kids with tats and chains and their big combat boots walking through the halls of my high school. It just took a few decades for me to catch up.   

The skinny jean

I literally felt personally attacked when I heard that this was no longer. The skinny jean and the jegging have been with me through it all, and it feels like a betrayal. They told me to choose high-rise straight jeans or 90s jeans. If it is baggy, then it is better. Honestly, this one is taking a bit to digest, but I am gradually adding a slim-straight jean or swapping for a wide-leg pant!  

Gold jewelry

The stylists I follow for 40 and older all declare to go silver. Again, my rose gold has been with me through most of my thirties, and my big gold hoops have never let me down, but here we are. The trick here is to add silver or just swap and go solo. Think of a simple gold chain necklace paired with a smaller silver one. Bracelets are an easy one to mix or swap. 

The Sweater & Jacket

My go-to is a sweater that covers my backside with a smooth pair of leggings or a jean jacket.  While you will have to pry leggings and jean jackets out of my dead hands, I do agree that updating these items to some new versions is well worth it.  First, the blazer.  Make it a little roomy (like a boyfriend fit), and pair it with a high-neck tank or an oversized tee. This can go with a distressed mom jean or a loose-fitted trouser. Second, the cardigan.  Solid colors are in with extra points if you button it up.  The two updates for length are cropped or the long duster. I have not embraced the cropped cardigan because I have not embraced all the extra “over-forty” body I am sporting, and I have no intention of drawing attention to it.  

Everyday shoes

Mules and loafers? Check. Slip-on mini-platform chunky mules? Double check. Pointy mules and ballet flats are also a go-to pairing with any pant. Sneaker options are the whiter, taller, and “uglier” the better. I haven’t been able to pull off the Nike high-top with slouchy socks, so I will leave that one to Gen Z. The two other trends that I am fully behind are “crunchy” sandals and Dr. Scholl’s. From a comfortable hiking sandal and a throwback to a summer day in 1987, this millennial will be shopping for these shoes.  

Even making these few changes in a wardrobe can bring about a few hefty swipes on the good ‘ol debit card. I am a practical shopper who thrives in a consignment store or a Saturday morning yard sale, but I am also coming to terms that 2016 called, and they want my infinity scarves back. You may not see me in a ribbed belly shirt and wide-leg cargo jeans, but I have lived enough to know that the simple addition of something not from a clearance rack can be a good thing.  

Happy updating, Millennials! 

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