Millennials are not a generation that you want to trifle with, after all, there are approximately 71 million of them in the US alone, and they’re expected to outnumber the baby boomers as soon as next year. Now, aside from being large in numbers, they have huge spending power – despite student loans and what not, just in 2017 they cumulatively owned and have spent over 200 billion dollars on different goods – fashion items included, and according to estimates, this year they will officially become a generation with the highest spending power. However, this is where things get interesting – according to a Harris Poll survey, twenty percent of millennials (the US alone) identify as LGBTQ and aside from that, we’ve discovered that millennials rejecting the notion of identifying within traditional binaries such as man/woman and gay/straight. Twelve percent identify as gender-nonconforming or transgender.
Now, it’s not a TV or movie cliché but an actual fact that gay people have always been more fashion-forward than the rest (with all due respect to our straight friends). From gay designers, magazine editors and assistants to simple well-dressed gay men and women – you have to admit that we’ve always been ahead of the fashion curve. So, now that all millennials are becoming increasingly more fashion-forward, where does the gay millennial stand and what is their impact when it comes to, not only style, but actual influence on the designers, and in turn, both high-end and fast-fashion lines. So, let’s dive into this world and see how exactly gay millennials envision their style and how they go about achieving their style goals.
Boys will be whatever they like
We don’t know if you’ve noticed this phenomenon, but if you haven’t you’re either living under a rock or don’t have a lot of straight guy friends. Namely, straight men, the ones that still stick to traditional gender roles at least when it comes to the way they dress, are actually becoming short of options. Just look at the offers in the men’s department in such stores as Zara, H&M, not to mention high-end brands. The jeans are skinnier and fitted, the shirts are bold – tropical, floral, and even pastel – millennial pink is after all the color of androgyny. There are also sharp blazers that accentuate the figure, and your regular straight guy is reluctant to wear them, along with tight tees and great trousers that show off that butt. It may sound silly, but the industry is definitely catering to the metrosexual/androgynous generation of millennial men who aren’t afraid of walking the extra mile to look good and avoid fashion faux pas .
They can pull anything off
Some things, such as attitude can’t be bought and it takes both that, as well as style and confidence to rock experimental looks and actually pull them off. Yes, we’re the guys who can rock a pair of faded salmon pants and, a Hawaiian shirt and a pair of Birkenstock shoes and still look sleek and polished because we simply have the courage to do it. That’s the thing about millennials, and gay ones in particular – as discovered in the research, we refuse to be pigeon-holed, in every sense – style included. We are a generation that doesn’t have to have a defined sense of style – we can switch things up every day, wear something completely unexpected each new day, and even mix and match different styles into a single outfit – like designer Charles Jeffrey who appeared to an interview wearing a kilt and a leather jacket chambray shirt, beret, striped football socks and paint-splattered boots held together with bright yellow electrical tape. It might look busy on someone else, but the queer and post-gender generation can pull it off. No, dressing for the pride is not the only aspect of the fashion world we’re conquering – we’re nailing it in all of the areas.
We love a good find
Although often accused of reckless spending, we are a generation that is actually quite savvy when it comes to where we put our dollars. Millennials in general, of all orientations have a strong inclination towards vintage fashion, because a) you can find amazing designer goods that no one else will have and therefore make your style even more authentic and b) you get high-end goods at a fraction of the price. You only wish you had our eye for vintage designer goods.
As the fiercest advocates for sustainability and environmental causes in general, millennials are prepared to go as far as to pay extra for items that are sustainable, that are manufactured by a company that has the same goals and values as them. For instance, the aforementioned H&M has paid attention to the eco-conscious voices of millennials and is now not only offering a wide selection of garments featuring a green label marked conscious (made from sustainable materials), but also offers discounts when shoppers bring old clothes that are then recycled. This is why, aside from the design appealing to a gay millennial, brands like these are in good graces with this generation.