TikTok trend forecasters are pegging ‘Gen X soft club’ as the next possible aesthetic trend to re-emerge for young people.
‘Gen X soft club’ was a popular aesthetic from the late 1990s into the early 2000s that spawned from economic recovery and the growing tech industry. The name refers to Gen X, who were in their 20s at the time, making the aesthetic popular, while ‘soft club’ refers to 90s club culture that trickled into mainstream fashion, art, music, and aesthetics.
Though GXSC branched off from popular aesthetics of the time, it was notably different from Y2K and McBling as it was considered a more “down to earth” spin on futurist optimism.
“It’s defined by natural, cool, and muted colours. Especially blues, greens, and greys. Often combined with elements of tech or other references to futurism. And design choices like typefaces and cityscapes, along with blurred and bleached image effects,” creative agency, The Digital Fairy, explains on TikTok.
Other notable visual elements of the aesthetic include the use of Lomo effect, a film processing method that creates saturated “soft” looking photos, and the inclusion of city-scapes, underground metros, and airports or trains.
GXSC beauty and fashion is defined by a muted or toned-down Y2K aesthetic— including nude lipstick, natural textured hair, and alternative-grunge streetwear styles like knee-high boots and duster jackets.
The aesthetic is also influenced by 60s and 70s nostalgia, which was popular with Gen X during that period of time.
Artists like George Clanton, U2, and Kaskade all pull inspiration from GXSC and have helped keep the aesthetic alive in recent years.
As the trend cycle moves past the Y2K and McBling “revivals,” GXSC is the next obvious source of inspiration in fashion, art, and aesthetics, tying into 90s minimalism and allowing us to express our optimism for the future post-pandemic lockdowns.