15 Fashion Trends That Are a Hit With Boomers (But No One Else)

Each generation develops fashion trends unique to its time. The baby boomers are no exception when it comes to questionable crazes. 

From flamboyant wedding dresses to the weird obsession with decorative loo seats, here’s a look at 15 trends unique to boomers.  

Shoulder Pads

foam shoulder pads for clothees
Image Credit: Nilush / Shutterstock.com

No one did shoulder pads quite like the 80s. Today, their iconic look is visibly outdated, and while they’re fun for costume parties, only baby boomers seem to incorporate them into everyday fashion.

80s Wedding Dresses

Beautiful wedding dress detail
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The 1980s were a unique era in fashion, especially for wedding dresses, where it seemed to be popular for brides to dress like a meringue. Today, less is more in bridal fashion, featuring simpler, more elegant cuts than those favored by boomers.

Cable Knitted Sweaters

Diamond Cable knit sweater
Image Credit: KNITWEAR SWEATSHIRT / Shutterstock.com

Chunky cable knits are a classic boomer trend that has never really caught on with the younger generations. Despite their brief popularity in the early 2010s, these cozy sweaters seem to have died a death amongst everyone but boomers. 

Waterfall Cardigans

elegant lady riding her hipster retro bike in vintage stylish maxi skirt warm cardigan and straw hat.
Image Credit: Ann Haritonenko / Shutterstock.com

Waterfall or duster cardigans are a trend unique to boomers. They’re the kind of thing the substitute art teacher or form tutor would wear when you were in primary school, and they very much signal the catastrophic decade of 2010s fashion. 

Infinity Scarfs

greek woman advertises crochet infinity scarf
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These scarves have been out of fashion for a while. Younger generations favor the traditional and timeless oblong cut. Nowadays, infinity scarves are a surefire way to spot a boomer.

The Karen Hair Cut

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Perhaps the most iconic and arguable popular boomer hairstyle trend there is, the infamous hairdo has become synonymous with the Karen character and the ‘ok, boomer’ trend.

Leg Warmers

young woman wearing an 80s dance outfit with leotard over tights and leg warmers
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With the exception of the new ballet core micro-trend among Gen Z, neon leg warmers haven’t been a trend since Jane Fonda’s exercise tapes were released in the 1980s.


group of people all wearing Crocs Shoes of different colours
Editorial Credit: Andy Sutherland / Shutterstock.com

These hideous shoes may be experiencing a renaissance, but that doesn’t make them cool. It is one of the most polarizing shoes around, and baby boomers adore it. From gardening to running errands, these have become a staple, comfy, everyday classic among the older generations.

Excessive Diamonds

Old woman beautiful hands with rings
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Diamonds may have been a girl’s best friend, but recently, they’ve lost their sparkle. Baby boomers popularized the glamorous image of expensive diamonds. Nowadays, diamonds are nowhere near as popular as they once were. At least, certainly not with the younger generation.

Socks And Sandals

White socks in sandals
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Nothing says boomer fashion or a summer barbeque quite like seeing your dad in a fresh pair of tube socks and his classic Birkenstock sandals. 

New Balance Trainers (Dad Shoes)

Comfy pair of New Balance Sneakers
Editorial Credit: Mykola Borduzhak / Shutterstock.com

These orthopedic classics provide excellent support. However, they’re not meant for everyday wear. Despite their comfort and casual appearance, many even wear them for formal occasions, a fashion faux pas often made by baby boomers.


man's legs in denim shorts
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These denim dad staples seem to be making a bizarre comeback, but jean shorts continue to be a polarizing trend. The issue around this crime against fashion is less in the jorts themselves but in the way boomers, particularly men, style them. 

The perfect dad combo is pairing jorts with some fresh socks and sandals, or even better, with their favorite Crocs. This look is typically accompanied by some terrible dad jokes around the barbecue on a warm summer afternoon. 

Slogan T-Shirts

Let the good times roll Calligraphy Vintage T-shirt
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Boomers seem to have an obsession with hoarding t-shirts with vaguely amusing jokes on them or as souvenirs from their travels. They’ve been there, done that, and got the t-shirt to prove it – literally. The slogan t-shirt is guaranteed to be in almost every boomer dad’s closet. 


Legs of a model on an outdoor fashion shoot
Image Credit: Alexander Gold / Shutterstock.com

Whoever came up with the idea of crossing skinny jeans with leggings was clearly delusional. Thankfully, this trend died out pretty fast, but a few boomers still continue to try and rock this unflattering fashion statement.

Airbrushed T-Shirts

Stay cool graffiti style airbrush spray text. Vector illustration design for fashion graphics, t-shirt
Image Credit: Md_Raihan_408 / Shutterstock.com

These t-shirts may have been popular in the 70s/80s, but let’s face it, they have always been ugly. Nobody looks good in one of these, and if an adult wears one, they’re instantly recognized as being from the baby boomer generation.

Boomer Revival

Delighted senior women hugging each other while taking selfies together
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Ultimately, these fashion trends may be beloved by boomers, but for many others, they’re a nostalgic throwback that misses the mark in today’s style scene. They serve as a reminder of the generation gap in fashion tastes and the constant evolution of what’s considered fashionable.

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