How To Wear Teen Trends When You're Not A Teen

Fashion operates on a trickle-down system: Trends start on the runways and end up being interpreted for fast fashion just a few months later. But, there are some that do the opposite, starting from the bottom and working their way up to being luxury status symbols — a model we're seeing more and more of thanks to brands like Vetements and Yeezy.

But these newly luxe pieces don't just originate in the streets — they also come from high school hallways. We're talking about the styles teens tinker with, turn on their heads, and totally make their own. The only issue? If you're not under the age of 20, some of these pieces can feel a little tricky to pull off.

Since we're all for breaking the rules when it comes to wearing what you want at any age, we've deconstructed the latest teen-inspired trends for the (way) after-school crowd. From crop tops to graphic tees, it's easy to make Gen Z's favorite pieces all your own...even if you've been celebrating your "21st birthday" for 10 years now.

Fighting for inclusivity, diversity, and gender-neutrality, Generation Z is poised to turn the fashion world on its head. Get to know today's most influential teenagers with #TheZList, our week-long celebration of under-20 visionaries changing how we think about style.

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The Graphic Tee
Instead of skinny jeans and Birkenstocks, pair a classic, black-and-white printed T-shirt with more elevated midi skirt (bonus points for a gingham print and a bow-tie waist) and some classic mules. Continue to turn the tee office-appropriate by accessorizing with polished pieces, like a top-handle bag and some oversized tortoise shades.

Adidas Originals Trefoil Tee, $28, available at Adidas Originals; Lisa Marie Fernandez Gingham Check Full Skirt, $460, available at Browns; Zanzan Erzulie Sunglasses, available at Zanzan; Lauren Cecchi Traveler Leather Tote, $525, available at Runway2Street; Office Block Heel Suede Mule Sandals, $49, available at Selfridges.
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The Skater Shoes
Since you likely won't actually be hitting the skate park, play off the sporty feel of a classic pair of Vans by offsetting it with pieces that are anything but athletic; a flowy blouse and some cropped flares are a nice alternative to track pants and a hoodie. Top it off with an unexpected basket bag, and add a subtle pop of color with a playful pair of sunglasses.

Zara Voluminous Frilled Top, $39.90, available at Zara; Vans Old Skool, $60, available at Vans; Kimchi Blue Straw Mini Crossbody Bag, $49 $29.99, available at Urban Outfitters; Paige Colette Crop Flare, $209, available at Orchard Mile; Crap Eyewear The Stepping Razor, $72, available at Crap Eyewear.
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The Crop Top
Start thinking of a crop top as a core layering piece. Here, a simple, white, so Cher Horowitz baby tee wears well under a statement spaghetti strap top (we like the juxtaposition of the T-shirt's short hemline with the tank's waist bow). On the bottom, try a wide-leg mom jean and a contrasting sandal. A minimalist statement earring is a sleek finishing touch.

Loéil Faye Mule, $69, available at Loéil; Re/Done Hanes T-shirt, $78, available at Farfetch; MDS Stripes Red Everything Top, $275, available at Moda Operandi; Rachel Comey Bishop Wide-leg Cropped Jeans, $345 $207, available at MatchesFashion; Boohoo Frankie Abstract Hoop Earrings, $7, available at Boohoo.
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The Miniskirt
An easy way to make a miniskirt feel less juvenile is to go for a mod aesthetic. Start with a streamlined mini with contrast seam detailing and pair it with a knit crewneck top. Complete the outfit with low heels and a round shoulder bag, and it'll feel nothing like the skirts you used to wear in middle school.

Clare V. Alistair Bag, $485, available at Clare V.; Proenza Schouler Ribbed Wool Crop Top, $490, available at Moda Operandi; Mango Pocket Cotton-blend Skirt, $49.99 $29.99, available at Mango; Topshop Loco Platform Mules, $92, available at Topshop; La Kaiser Opal & Diamond Droplet Ring, $82, available at Local Eclectic.
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The Floral Dress
Certain floral dresses can definitely remind you of your class photo days, but it is possible (and easy) to make this trend feel all grown up. Fist, opt for an oversized print, rather than a super-dainty one; it'll create a solid foundation to build the rest of the outfit upon. Then, it's all about the accessories. Classic white sneakers and a denim jacket (that's more structured than distressed) won't ever do you wrong, and neither will a fresh take on the bucket bag or some subtle ear-huggers.

Nike Tennis Classic Ultra Sneaker, $135, available at Stylebop; Acne Studios Top Denim Jacket, $350, available at MyTheresa; H&M Crepe Dress, $29.99, available at H&M; Cuero & Mor Cognac Bucket, $595, available at Cuero & Mor; Mejuri Dare Ear Jackets, $199, available at Mejuri.

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