OOTD, Metaverse Edition: Four Gen Zers on Virtual Fashion and Identity

D1 A Perspectives Header Metaverse Fashion

​​How will we forge our identities in the metaverse? How much will the clothes we wear, the avatars we choose, even the genders we present as be reflections of our IRL selves, and how much will they reflect the virtual communities we’re seeking to participate in? And which parts of these identities might reflect the fantasies we built gaming as tweens and which might present an entirely new fantasy to potential virtual friends?

We were curious, so we decided to Ask Gen Z by challenging four Gen Zers on our team to create three avatars each via the multi-platform character creation tool ReadyPlayerMe: one look for a virtual workplace, one all-out "dress like no one's watching" ensemble for roaming the Metaverse in style, and one outfit they’d wear as the main character in a fantastical game of their choosing.

Check out how they did below.


STATS: Interest Gauge (🔥- 🔥🔥🔥)

Virtual fashion? 🔥🔥

Gaming? 🔥🔥

The metaverse, at large:? 🔥🔥

I played a lot of avatar-based games growing up, like The Sims, NBA 2K, Skate 2, GTA Online, even Club Penguin. The general throughline in my stylistic choices back then was picking things I wouldn't choose for myself IRL: the clothes I was too shy to wear, a hairstyle or color I was too scared to wear, or skills I felt intimidated to learn like skateboarding. Not to say I wasn't doing or trying things growing up, but it was fun to play without risk in a virtual environment.

I would love to make an avatar that blends tangible and intangible—even though it's all meta—like a staticy hologram or Ana de Armas's character in Blade Runner 2049.


STATS: Interest Gauge (🔥- 🔥🔥🔥)

Virtual fashion? 🔥🔥🔥

Gaming? 🔥🔥🔥

Metaverse, at large? 🔥🔥🔥

Since I’m already more inclined to wear basics IRL, I think I’ll be spending most of my time and fortune looking flashy within the Metaverse with some statement pieces. My ideal avatar would be reptilian-humanoid with hints of cyborg features or looking like an all-powerful anime character as often as I can—so definitely leaning towards a flaming hair choice.

That said—and I wouldn’t necessarily say I would feel peer-pressured to wear anything in particular— I definitely would want to present my avatar in a way where I fit the setting and the vibe. But some cool, subtle additions like angel wings might be cool!


STATS: Interest Gauge (🔥- 🔥🔥🔥)

Virtual fashion? 🔥

Gaming? 🔥

Metaverse, at large? 🔥🔥

My ideal avatar would be a hyper-realistic version of myself that looks exactly like me but ~virtual~. Maybe I’d change my hair or outfit in a way I wouldn’t IRL, but I think I would probably invest in things in the metaverse that I would in real life. I don't see myself going for the crazy effects.

It kind of makes me think of this take on social media I read, that social media doesn't say anything about you as a person as much as it tells you how you use social media. I wonder if the metaverse— however big it gets—will be the same as social media or if it will be more immersive.


STATS: Interest Gauge (🔥- 🔥🔥🔥)

Virtual Fashion? 🔥🔥

Gaming? 🔥🔥

Metaverse, at large? 🔥🔥🔥

When I was creating the avatars, I was trying to keep it simple and look like myself in real life. But then when I got to the main character question, I was like, oh, this is so fun. I can have another version of myself. I think that it just really depends on where or how I'm going to use this character. If I’m gonna use it for an everyday thing, like a Zoom meeting. then I’d probably look like myself in real life. But if it's for something more than that, like gaming, I’d probably go crazy and make it not look like myself at all.