The Gen Z Time Warp: 13 Things You Thought Were in the Past, But Are Now All the Rage


If you’ve spent any time talking to the young people in your life, it may feel like you have stepped into a time warp.

The trends that were popular when we grew up are suddenly back and they’re trending among Gen Zers, roller skates, mullets, mini backpacks, but with a new spin for modern times.

These throwbacks can help us relate with the younger generation while celebrating where we came from.

Check out this list of 10 things that you thought were only found in memories of the past…but now are all the rage!

#1. Mullets

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The business in the front, party in the back hair style is coming back with a vengeance.

A quick look at a college campus and you will see just how many men are rocking this questionable hair do.

#2. Flip Phones

woman using flip phone
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Flip phones were all the rage before smartphones were born.

They were a status symbol and a rebellion again brick cell phones that dominated the market.

But they went away when you could easily play games, watch videos, and surf the internet on a smartphone.

Since many of Gen Z are pushing back on being connected 24/7, they see smartphones as a hindrance.

As such, many are moving back to flip phones and saving money.

#3. Pop Punk Music

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The late 90s and early 2000s had a run for pop punk music, which slowly was replaced by Taylor Swift and now Post Malone.

But fear not as Gen Zers are bringing back this musical style.

Not only are established bands going back out on tour, but new acts are cropping up.

#4. Ugg Boots

ugg boots
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Every woman in America had a pair of Ugg boots, or at least it seemed that way.

It didn’t matter if it was 20 degrees below zero or 105 degrees outside, you would see these boots.

While you may still see women wearing them, the boots are old-fashioned.

That is unless you see a Gen Zer wearing a modified pair.

The new style of Ugg is a low top, much more like a shoe, not a boot, along with a platform sole.

#5. Cash

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We all know trends come and go and then come back again.

One trend that was huge in the past was paying with cash.

But over time, more convenient options emerged, including debit and credit cards.

Today, there are even digital payment options.

But Gen Z isn’t impressed.

They choose cash over all these options.

It could be because they see credit cards as evil big businesses or they see the damage having too much debt did to their parents.

Whatever the reason, they are choosing to spend with cash instead.

#6. Baguette Bags

woman with purse
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Handbag style changes all the time.

Baguette bags are aptly named because they are shaped similarly to the loaf of bread the French carry.

These bags were a hot item in the 90s and are now returning.

This is partly due to the original maker, Fendi, bringing them back for its 25th anniversary.

Another reason is that Gen Z likes the ease of carrying the bag compared to a traditional purse.

#7. Camcorders and Digital Cameras

digital cameras
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The smartphone pushed many things into obscurity, including camcorders and cameras.

Why lug around a video recorder when you can record on your phone?

But Gen Z is using camcorders like they are the newest thing out there.

Researchers are coming up with many reasons for this phenomenon, the most popular being nostalgia for their youth.

So the next time you are out, don’t be surprised when you see younger kids using old-school camcorders.

#8. Crocs

croc shoes
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Wearing Crocs when from cool to trashy in what felt like overnight.

Gen Z is throwing this notion on its head by bringing this footwear back.

They enjoy the shoes’ comfort but also wear them as a sign of rebellion.

#9. In-Person Shopping

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This one might surprise many, but Gen Z is embracing in-person shopping over online.

Why shun the convenience of having things mailed to your home?

Gen Z is eco-conscious, and they see that we produce and waste so much more cardboard boxes and other packaging materials when we shop online.

As a result, Gen Z prefers shopping in person, making the warnings of the death of shopping malls not so certain.

#10. Baggy Pants

girl on skateboard wearing baggy jeans
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Some people love slim-cut pants.

They feel the style looks classy.

Others don’t enjoy tight-fitting pants and would rather wear anything else.

If you are in this camp, there is good news.

Gen Z is making baggy pants popular again.

Walk around any place where they are many youths, and you will see an army of baggy jeans.

So if you still have yours, dust them off and wear them with pride.

#11. Emojis

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When you could start using emojis in texts and emails, everyone jumped on board.

But then they went out of style for everyone except Boomers.

Now however, Gen Z has fallen in love with them, mostly thanks to the massive library available.

#12. Wired headphones

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Wireless earbuds and headphones are what most people use these days.

Apple wisely took away the auxiliary jack from its phones to force users to use their wireless gear.

It has worked too. In 2021 Apple earned over $12 billion from AirPod sales.

As popular as they are, Gen Z is trending back to wired headphones.

One reason could be the fear that too much use may cause cancer.

Another reason is to make a statement that they are not part of the class of people who see these items as status symbols.

#13. Velour Tracksuits

woman in pink velour tracksuit
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Do you remember velour tracksuits from the late 90s and early 2000s?

While Gen Z was not old enough to enjoy this comfy attire, they are now.

And they find the outfit signifies a fun, carefree life.

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