The Gen Z Starter Pack: 12 Spring Items to Get on Your Radar Immediately

12 Gen Z–Inspired Pieces to Have on Your Radar

I'd say my taste usually gravitates toward elevated basics (you can't argue that a simple, neutral outfit isn't chic), but if you looked at my wish list for this spring, you'd be shocked to see a plethora of colorful items making themselves known. I'm talking full-on Y2K-inspired pieces—things that the crimped-haired and sparkly-glossed version of myself would have coveted years ago. Lime-green cropped sweaters? I need them. Funky-patterned halter tops? I'll wear 'em with everything. Low-rise denim? You don't even have to sign me up against my will. And all this style inspo is coming straight from the generation below me: Gen Z.

They've declared what's old is new again. So yes, take out that jean miniskirt you had back in 2002, and wear it out to brunch with your friends. But don't worry—if you didn't know there would be a resurgence of your favorite middle-school trends and have since gotten rid of it all, you can still snap up these nostalgic pieces in 2022. H&M, with its affordable pricing (I'm talking pieces that start at just $10) and inclusive sizing (with sizes ranging from 0–18 and XXS–XXL), is especially popular among the most-fashionable Gen Zers out there. So I went ahead and tapped three of them to show me what they're declaring must-haves from the retailer's newest spring collection, which is now available on Enter Taryn Cumbo, a digital content creator whose content ends up in my "saved" folder almost every week, and Aniyah Morinia and Yusra Siddiqui, two of my Who What Wear co-workers (and friends) who are always inspiring me to push my fashion limits. Keep scrolling to see their picks.

Taryn Cumbo, Digital Creator

Affordable Y2K Pieces



"I'm so excited to be combining different patterns, textures, and colors this spring. I love being able to break the boundaries and still be considered trendy. What makes something trendy is being able to pull it off, and I'm never afraid to go outside the box and try different styles! Did I mention how much I love bright colors?"

"This green knit cardigan is the perfect transition piece from winter to spring. I imagine myself wearing it to a farmer's market and picking up freshly bloomed tulips for my home. This top screams spring, and I am obsessed."

"It's denim-bucket-hat season! Trust me—this is the perfect accessory to add to your spring outfits. The denim texture truly goes with any outfit, and it adds just the right amount of spice with the frayed denim along the edge of the hat."

"This year, I'm feeling groovy, and these flare pants are literally calling my name. The wavy pattern and knit texture are my favorite combo. These pants are the definition of trendy. I would pair these with a pastel or neon-green sweater to add color contrast and create the ultimate look."

"Spring is the season of layering, so this oversize cotton button-down is essential. I'd pair this with flare jeans and throw a cardigan or cute sweater on top. You can even wear it alone for those warmer spring days and add accessories (like the denim bucket hat I mentioned earlier)."

Aniyah Morinia, Associate Editor, Who What Wear

"Spring this year is all about saturated hues, sporty eyewear, and oversize bottoms. After a cold and dreary winter, I get so much joy from putting outfits together that are colorful, bold, and eye-catching. My theme for this spring is experimentation because I want to test out new trends and really use the warmer weather to my advantage when creating fun looks this season."

"These days, if it's neon, I want it. The temperatures are finally starting to rise, and I'm wasting no time getting my wardrobe ready. I would pair this top with colorful bottoms and an oversize button-down for a relaxed, color-blocking moment."

"Words cannot describe how excited I am to wear colors and patterns this spring. It's even better when those two things are combined. I can see myself wearing this sweater on repeat with jeans, skirts, and oversize silhouettes."

"This is probably the most controversial trend of the season, but low-rise pants are growing on me. I've seen them styled all over my Instagram feed, and I've been taking notes. These flare pants combine a lot of different trends (aka the saturated hue and oversize and low-rise fit), making them so easy to style as the core piece of an outfit."

"I consider a good cardigan to be a staple in my spring wardrobe, so it's an item I'm constantly refreshing every year. I like this cropped V-neck style to wear open or buttoned over a simple white tee and relaxed pants."

Yusra Siddiqui, Assistant Market Editor, Who What Wear 

"This season, I'll be incorporating '90s-inspired minimalism into my wardrobe. But I'll be modernizing it with touches of color and texture. While many associate Gen Z with maximalism, I love to strike the balance between maximalism and minimalism. H&M's collections always strike that balance fabulously, so I know my finds will be perfect for this season."

"What's more '90s than an oversize denim jacket? This is the ultimate outerwear staple, especially when the transitional weather starts to hit."

"These carpenter-style jeans are calling my name. The contrast stitching adds a cool element to the otherwise basic pant. I can see myself wearing these with a bright-colored tee and a trench coat."

"Green is such a popular color for 2022, so this breezy shirt is perfect to keep on hand."

"Shackets started off as a trend but have officially become a basic in my book. I have enough neutral options, but I like this purple one because it's still a color but more muted, making it easy to wear often."