Gen-Z Fashion Trends Include Goblincore, Crochet Bucket Hats

Maija Kappler
·Associate LIFE Editor, HuffPost Canada
·4 min read
Bucket hats are making a comeback. (Photo: Maskot)
Bucket hats are making a comeback. (Photo: Maskot)

Millenials already know Gen Z is cooler than us. Our defensiveness about our skinny jeans and side parts and laughing emojis are probably signs that we’re uncomfortable with the aging process. Now we understand how people older than us felt when we made fun of their dated references — and it doesn’t feel great.

That’s not to say that I’m rushing to embrace the new trends. You can pry the laughing emoji from my cold dead hands, and the concept of wide-legged, low-rise pants chills me to the bone. I wore enough bootcut and bell-bottom jeans in my ’90s childhood in Montreal to know the pain of having to sit through the day with a foot and a half of wet denim clinging uncomfortably to your calves because your wide pant leg was dragged through some slush.

But I do think it’s worth it to try to understand what’s going on our younger, hipper pals. I won’t be wearing a bucket hat anytime soon, but knowing I should expect to see them will make the experience a little less jarring, you know?

Here are some of rising trends among Gen-Z, according to data from Pinterest.

Goblincore

How can you not be fascinated by the knowledge that a different generation is interested in a trend with “goblin” in the name? That’s objectively compelling.

Apparently, goblincore is the moodier, grungier, probably muddier sibling of cottagecore, the ethereal back-to-nature aesthetic that’s somehow rustic but also artfully composed.

“If Taylor Swift is the floral-crowned goddess of cottagecore, then Baby Yoda could be the poster child for the lovable aspects of goblincore,” fashion historian Rachel Weingarten told Nylon. “We’re delving into the less pretty side of things and sometimes finding it adorable.”

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Goblincore incorporates the cosy, the mucky and the witchy, according to Nylon’s description. That can mean earthy colours, big sweaters, hiking boots, long flowy fabrics, gems and metals, or mini jewelry and charms. In doubt about whether your outfit is goblincore enough? Add some moss or mushrooms.

“If you have a disordered, unlabelled collection of rocks, shells, buttons, or trinkets (or all the above), goblincore might be the aesthetic for you,” says the always entirely reliable Urban Dictionary, in an entry that may have been written by a goblin. “Some call it hoarding, but we call it ‘collecting.’”

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Light academia

This is a response to “dark academia,” a goth-tinged nerd look that flourished last year. (The New York Times described it as “slubby brown cardigans, vintage tweed pants, a worn leather satchel full of a stack of books, dark photos, brooding poetry and skulls lined up next to candles.”)

Light academia, as you could probably guess, is a more normie, pastel take. It’s a crisp button-down shirt with a slick low bun and a simple gold chain. It’s a wool cardigan paired with plaid pants. It’s solid colours in muted tones.

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And, predictably, it started trending around back-to-school season.

“With 48 percent of our active users being Gen Z, we saw overall engagement increase around light academia timed to back-to-school in September,” Tumblr’s trend expert Amanda Brennan told Nylon.

Light academia is “almost like a bridge between cottagecore and and dark academia,” YouTuber Liz Ruth explained, in case that clears things up for you.

Emo princess

Gen-Z would be well within their rights to drag us for flat-ironing our side bangs and drawing smudgy black eyeliner all over our lower lids in the early aughts, but instead they’re embracing the emo look.

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Is this ironic or sincere? It’s just about impossible to tell the difference, but hey, hold onto your My Chemical Romance CDs, they might be considered cool and retro one day.

Hijab hipster

Hijabis are sometimes excluded from fashion trends. But there are a ton of ways to remain modest while staying on trend.

Accessory and jewelry choices go a long way here — not to mention careful photo angles and filters.

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Those are some of the lifestyle aesthetics that are performing the best on Pinterest. And then, there are the accessories.

Crochet bucket hats

The bucket hat renaissance is hard enough for me to wrap my head around. Getting ready for crochet bucket hats feels like a whole new experience.

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Ella Emhoff, U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris’ step-daughter and recently-signed model, is undoubtedly a trendsetter in this department.

Homemade rings

Along with crochet, this might be a pandemic-related trend. Most of us are still waiting on the vaccine — if you want to get into DIY ring-making, now’s the time.

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost Canada and has been updated.