Nostalgic Vibes 3 Amazing Trends from the ‘Swag Era’ that I Hope Gen Z Brings Back, and One Best Left in the Past

Nostalgic for the Swag Era 3 Trends from High School that Gen Z should Embrace, and 1 to Leave in the Past

Zendaya and Jaden Smith preview

Oh, the good old “swag era” of the early 2010s! It’s a phrase that takes me back to my high school days, a time of questionable fashion choices and a lifestyle glorified by young and cusper millennials. Swag wasn’t just about clothes; it was a way of life, my friends. As California-based rap duo New Boyz released their hit single “You’re a Jerk” in early 2009, a fashion revolution brewed.

The swag-era was all about expressing oneself through fashion, and the video for “You’re a Jerk” showcased the iconic uniform of the era. Brightly colored skinny jeans, snapbacks, graphic tees, checker-patterned garments, Vans, and Ray-Bans were the holy grail of swag. Let’s not forget the vests, beanies, and the infamous shutter glasses that became an instant sensation.

But wait, my fellow fashion enthusiasts, as we witness the resurgence of Y2K fashion trends by the unstoppable force that is Gen Z. While some trends may make us cringe, the fashion cycle continues, and the “swag era” might just come back in all its glory. Picture it: the return of brightly colored skinny jeans, but updated to Gen Z’s impeccable taste.

New Boyz on March 14, 2011 in Miami, Florida.

Gen Z, bless their stylish hearts, has the power to reinvent and revitalize the colored and patterned skinny jeans trend. Say goodbye to the mundane blue jeans of the past, for Gen Z will infuse them with life, transforming them into a vibrant masterpiece. Turquoise, lavender, yellow, and patterns that make the eyes twinkle with delight—nothing is off-limits for this fearless generation. And with the revival of different jean styles like wide-leg, the possibilities are endless.

In fact, our Gen Z fashionistas have already embarked on this journey of revival! Dubbed as the “fun pants” trend, they strut their stuff with pride, leaving millennials in awe. Instead of simply throwing on a cute top and basic jeans combo, Gen Z sets their sights on fun pants paired with basic tops. The revolution has begun, my friends. Who knew that the humble skinny jeans, once discarded, would rise like a stylish phoenix from the ashes?

Side-by-side of Jaden Smith and a screenshot from jessbritvich’s TikTok

Ah, the bow tie—an underestimated fashion trend that flourished during the swag era. It represented a clean aesthetic in the midst of all the flashy ensembles. Millennials, in their typical flamboyance, donned bow ties even when the occasion didn’t demand it. Was it necessary? Absolutely not. But hey, fashion knows no bounds, right?

Now, imagine the untapped potential, dear Gen Z. Let the bow tie be your secret weapon to elevate any outfit to levels of magnificent style. Incorporate it into your aesthetic, add that quirky touch, and watch heads turn in utmost admiration.

In the realm of fashion, OBEY was a coveted brand that found its place within the swag era. As streetwear gained momentum in the early 2010s, brands like Supreme reigned supreme. Alongside them, OBEY captured hearts with its “OBEY” block-lettered merch on snapbacks and T-shirts. Fast forward to today, and this fashion company has expanded its offerings—churning out comfortable and stylish clothes that resonate with Gen Z’s discerning taste. Oh, the joyous marriage of fashion and fandom!

Let’s take a moment to address a phenomenon that baffled us back in the day—the act of wearing Ray-Ban glasses without lenses. Yes, my dear readers, this was a thing in the swag era. People would remove the lenses of their stocky Ray-Bans, creating an optical illusion that made sunglasses seem like stylish accessories. Even those who couldn’t afford the real deal could join in the trend. It was a bewildering time, my friends.

Zendaya at BET’s “106 & Park” in May 2013.

Now, here’s where I draw the line. I simply cannot fathom the idea of resurrecting this mind-boggling trend. In high school, it was bizarre enough to witness the lensless Ray-Bans roaming the halls. And though a TikToker recently shared a video of herself wearing swag-era Ray-Bans with the lenses intact, I can’t help but shake my head in disbelief. Some things are better off left in the past, my stylish friends.

In conclusion, dear fashion lovers, the swag era may be making a comeback. Brace yourselves for a vibrant explosion of colored skinny jeans, the charming quirkiness of bow ties, the rise of OBEY, and the everlasting question of lensless Ray-Bans. Fashion is an ever-evolving cycle, and with Gen Z at the helm, we can expect the unexpected. Embrace the trends, experiment with your style, and let your fashion flag fly high!

Now it’s your turn, dear readers! What are your thoughts on the revival of Y2K fashion trends? Are you ready to embrace the swag era once more? Share your opinions and fashion stories in the comments below!