Do you remember Y2K fashion from the 90s and early 2000s? Well, it’s making a comeback. Think statement hats, pastels, bright colors, rhinestones, and low-rise trousers. Ring any bells now? What used to be an era that was looked back on and cringed about has slowly been making its way back into mainstream fashion over the last two years. Gen Zs have brought it back to life and brought fresh new takes on the iconic era to make a fashion statement that has caught the eye of designers and store brands alike in fashion and makeup.
Platforms like TikTok have helped videos take off and go viral. With the help of filters that recreate the true Y2K era brows, Y2K inspired outfit videos, and ‘what I would wear if I was a pop star in the 2000s’ style videos, and shows such as HBO’s Euphoria, there have been signs of new interest from the current generation. From women’s shirts to the tiniest minis to jelly shoes, Y2K is back. That’s as well as those who lived through this era themselves reminiscing about the good old days. To find out more about the Y2K era and why it’s making such a big comeback, keep reading below!
What is Y2K Fashion?
If this is the first you’re hearing of Y2K fashion, it might be worth brushing up on what it actually is. Y2K fashion typically covers the years in the late 90s and early to mid-2000s, so as a millennial, that would’ve been what made up the childhood or early teen years.
Distinctive features of Y2K fashion included things like colorful sunglasses, clunky sneakers, shiny material, and velour tracksuits, to name just a few. You might have seen some of these making a comeback, perhaps not as loudly as they originally arrived. Still, the distinct styles have definitely been adopted into current fashion trends, and the fact that they have been inspired by Y2K fashion is undeniable! Nowadays, fashion trends tend to follow the ‘less is more’ approach, but back in the day, this wasn’t the case, and with influences from things like Bratz dolls, the new rise of the internet, and movies like Mean Girls, we can see why.
Famous Inspirations for Y2K Fashion
As fashion trends go, with Y2K fashion, there were notable figures who showcased the fashion movement in the 2000s and those who pushed its revival. Carrie Bradshaw, for example, was the trendsetter and reason that baguette bags became so popular, thanks to her role in Sex and the City. The fashion styling for the Bratz dolls was another source of inspiration (and Bratz is making a comeback, too!), particularly for pleated skirts of varying lengths. Velour tracksuits were all the craze thanks to celebrities like JLo, Britney Spears, and Paris Hilton, just to name a few.
Accessories like the Von Dutch hat were also huge hits for the movement, with Justin Timberlake setting the trend as he rocked up to the Grammy afterparty in 2003 wearing one. Following on, celebrities like Gwen Stefani, Ashton Kutcher, and Lindsey Lohan joined in on the trend, helping it become even more popular.
Y2K Fashion Pieces
To help you spot the Y2K aesthetic from even a mile away and become an expert, here are some of the top fashion items and accessories that really dominated the period.
We went through a period where double denim was a big no-no, but it was one of the defining moments for the Y2K fashion trend, and it seems to be making a comeback once more. To actually rock double denim and pull it off as something fashionable, it was usually recommended that the same shade of denim be used for consistency. The goal was to create a silhouette. Think low-rise trousers with an oversized jacket, and pair them with some funky accessories to tie the look together!
Perhaps a more low-profile accessory might be more your thing, but bandanas were all the rage then too. The funky colors meant that it could go with more or less any outfit, and with plenty of styling options, there was always a way to make it look fresh! There was the option of styling it as a headband or folding it into a triangle and wrapping it that way. Alternatively, you could wear it alongside some skinny glasses to give you that more statement Y2K look if that’s what you were after! Figures like Bella Hadid have been seen rocking bandanas to add a pop of color to an otherwise quite simple outfit.
Also known as Baby Tees, you might have seen these as a popular choice of clothing on TikTok, with Gen Zs recreating their version of Y2K fashion trends. These were usually cropped just above the belly button and often featured different patterns, quotes, or signature brand logos like Juicy Couture or Fiorucci. Being quite a versatile type of clothing, it’s definitely something you could incorporate into your wardrobe for the summer months!
Why is Y2K Fashion Making a Comeback?
Well, it’s a combination of things. It’s partially to do with nostalgia. We always see fashion trends of the past making a comeback at some point or another, and recent years seem to be the time for Y2K fashion to shine once again. For Gen Zs, it’s a mode of experimentation and for them to try out something new. For millennials, it’s a chance to relive the nostalgia and bring back iconic statement pieces that were once loved and adored by so many. And now, with the rise of apps like DePop entering the scene, ‘shopping vintage’ is another trendy activity to do, and Y2K definitely falls into that category now!