- Gen Z makes wired headphones cool again, reported The WSJ’s Rory Satran.
- They’re more practical than wireless AirPods and part of the Y2k trend, but Gen Z also does not want to see “economic bridge.”
- Many of Gen Z’s fashion choices serve as rejections of the trends that came before them.
Wired: wired headphones.
At least according to Gen Z, it’s the trendsetters of the new decade.
As The Wall Street Journal’s Rory Satran recently reported, everyone from Bella Hadid to Lily-Rose Depp has been seen avoiding AirPods for past earphones. While the trend spans both Gen Z and millennials, the former is leading the way in reconnecting their headphones.
This is in part because wired headphones are the preferred medium for TikToker video recording, Satran reported. The reasons are many: They are more practical, cheaper, and eliminate some of the “vague” radiation problems that some people have with AirPods (which are considered safe, according to the FDA). Wired headphones are more than just function, Satran added; they are also about aesthetics and emit a cool, grungy vibe reminiscent of the “Tumblr” era of the 2010s.
That means they’re the latest iteration of the Y2K trend that Gen Z loves so much. From straight-leg jeans and bell-bottoms to Adam Sandler and “Friends,” Gen Z has revived the biggest trends of the millennium in what Sara Fischer of Axios has considered a “throwback economy” characterized by bright clothing, sentimental entertainment and old-fashioned technology.
Research has shown that people in moments of economic turmoil are more likely to feel nostalgia. Turning to a nostalgic time before social media took over has been a way for Gen Z to escape the instability of the pandemic.
But wired headphones are also a way for Gen Z to come up with an “anti-finance bridge” statement. As 25-year-old Courtney Park explained to Satran: “A lot of people make fun of the whole tech-finance-bridge-look they always have their Patagonia vest on and their AirPods in.”
Gen Z loves to be sartorial contrarian
This is not the first time Gen Z has evoked an aesthetic that stems from the rejection of an ongoing trend. They have coveted an “old money” aesthetic characterized by Oxford shirts, tennis skirts and tweed blazers, a stark contrast from the look that characterized the 2010s.
“It embodies the socialist lifestyle represented in the culture of shows and movies like ‘Gossip Girl’ and ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’, and is the perfect contrast to the ‘California Rich’ aesthetic, which was made popular by Kardashian. -the family.” Morgane Le Caer, content manager at Lyst, previously told Insider.
It’s also a response to the casual outfits that characterize the new millennial billionaire class, explained Vox’s Rebecca Jennings, who first reported on the trend: Dressing in the polished way as a Northeastern socialite is ultimately a rejection of the technical CEO’s hoodie and sneaker ensemble.
Two years before the advent of “old money”, the VSCO girl had the internet buzzing. Characterized by a natural look that embodied a crossover between 90s fashion and a surfer lifestyle, she was a contrast to the contour-shaped faces and lip fillers of Instagram influences.
So it seems that Gen Z’s fashion choices are largely driven by a negative reaction – and resistance – to everything that came before them.
In addition to fashion, Gen Z remains “anti” many things. They even take their contrarian stance into the workplace with the emergence of the “anti-work” movement, as Insiders’ Juliana Kaplan reported. In other words, getting ready for Gen Z’s “anti” attitude will transform much more than just fashion over the next decade.