Y2K Fashion Is Blowing Up Right Now — Here’s Your Guide to the 2000s-Inspired Trend
by Caroline Harris
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In the early 2000s, it was cool to wear denim miniskirts with Uggs and lace-trimmed camis. My sister owned a Juicy Couture tracksuit and I thought it was so cutting-edge. Together with her rhinestone t-shirts and miniskirts, she looked right out of “Mean Girls.” The 2000s were a quirky time in fashion, with bandage dresses and butterfly clips absolutely everywhere. The ’00s fold-over stretchy pants and velour jumpsuits predated today’s yoga pants and athleisure looks, and midriff-baring tanks were cooler than crop tops will ever be. You may have thought these trends vanished, but actually Y2K fashion is back and better than ever.
Y2K is an abbreviation for “Year 2000,” so Y2K fashion is all about embracing trends from the recent past. The Y2K color palette brims with plastic pinks, shiny blacks, and proton purples. Look to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton for inspiration, along with 2000s movies and shows like “Legally Blonde,” “Freaky Friday,” and even early seasons of “Gossip Girl.” For anyone who was a little older during the 2000s, think of Carrie Bradshaw’s style in some of the later seasons of “Sex in the City.”
There are various directions for channeling late 1990s-2000s fashion. You can focus on athleisure by sporting branded tracksuits, Adidas Yeezys, and Nike sneakers. You can also go for scene style with lime green hair, winged eyeliner, and platform sneakers. E-girls are an excellent example of how scene style is making a resurgence. Between their striped shirts and colorful makeup, e-girls incorporate elements of scene style into their viral videos on TikTok all the time.
Y2K fashion is partly nostalgic, partly aspirational. A Y2K girl doesn’t dig through her closet for her exact outfits from the ‘00s. Instead, a Y2K girl takes style notes from 2000s fashion history to create the outfits she wishes she had worn back then. Fashion influencers like Destiny Joseph and Maya Ichimori are posting Y2K-inspired content, thereby furthering the trend.
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