Published 05 April 2023

10 min read

Gen Xers (born between 1965 and 1980) continue to feel misunderstood in a brandscape still broadly focused on appealing to younger or older consumers. So what makes the current generation of mid-lifers tick? We map out four key themes to help you decipher their style preferences and tap into this underserved yet lucrative demographic.

Semi-Dedicated Followers of Fashion

Pragmatism First

Evolved Personal Style

The Comfort Sweet Spot & Search for Perfection

Most mid-lifers don’t hang up their fashion boots just because they’re over 40. However, even the most trend-conscious Gen Xers tend to be judicious, cherry-picking the looks that work for them, with a focus on flattering fits and age-appropriate styling – all with a clear nod to changing seasonal directions.

Most mid-lifers don’t hang up their fashion boots just because they’re over 40. However, even the most trend-conscious Gen Xers tend to be judicious, cherry-picking the looks that work for them, with a focus on flattering fits and age-appropriate styling – all with a clear nod to changing seasonal directions.

Summary

Semi-Dedicated Followers of Fashion

Most mid-lifers don’t hang up their fashion boots just because they’re over 40. However, even the most trend-conscious Gen Xers tend to be judicious, cherry-picking the looks that work for them, with a focus on flattering fits and age-appropriate styling – all with a clear nod to changing seasonal directions.

Pragmatism First

Many Gen Xers have young children to care for (or even elderly parents to consider at the same time), and a high percentage are mindful of maintaining an active lifestyle. This means a practical wardrobe is a priority for most of the demographic: seasonless, school-run-ready, hard-working and casual in emphasis.

Evolved Personal Style

For some Gen Xers, mid-life offers the opportunity for in-depth personal style explorations – to adopt a dress code that’s specific to them. Individuality is the aim, to stand out in a fashion world pandering to seasonal trends or practical homogeny. Craft, cultural reference points and obscure finds are all alluring.

The Comfort Sweet Spot & Search for Perfection

As seen on this report’s infographic, a sweet spot exists among Gen Xers’ style choices, and it relates to comfort. Appropriate footwear is a focus, with this demographic firmly in favour of shoes that make physical wellness sense. However, it’s not only about the comfiest sneakers – they also seek out perfect versions of their other favoured items.

Cracking Gen X Style Codes

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Offering access to over 350 consumer and cross-industry reports annually, Stylus Membership is your window to tomorrow’s most exciting opportunities.

We already arm more than 500 of the world’s most forward-thinking brands and agencies with the creative insights they need to make transformative business decisions.

We’d love to do the same for you.

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