Fashion

24 Fashion Trends From the 2000s That Aged Surprisingly Well

Allow me to set the scene. It’s sometime in the 2000s. A commercial for Moon Boots interrupts What Not to Wear. The Black Eyed Peas just dropped a hot new single, and you’re checking out a little-known artist named Rihanna. You snack on an Uncrustable in the family computer room, multitasking between AIM and caring for your Nintendogs. You reek of Pink Sugar perfume. Your outfit is fugly, but life is good.

It was a wild time, wrought with maximalism and unnecessary layering. Now, Y2K fashion is hotter than ever. They say never look back because that’s not the direction you’re going, but truthfully, that sentiment doesn’t apply at all in the realm of fashion. If there’s one thing for certain, it’s that trends are cyclical. Now, with time distancing us from our cringey 2000-2009 selves, we can pick and choose which parts of the decade are worth bringing into modern day. Whale tails? Better not. Dippin’ Dots? Heck yes.

If you’re trying to figure out how to do throwback fashion well, or just taking a trip down memory lane, here are 24 of the best 2000s fashion trends.


Y2K Sunglasses

At this point, it’s hard to go wrong when it comes to sunglasses. Big frames are back en vogue, as are teeny tiny lenses. Dark, light, colored, bedazzled, heart-shaped, reflective, futuristic, funky—nothing is out of bounds. Revel in it with a semi-clear pair adorned with gems, because why not?

Jada Pinkett Smith
James Devaney
lori harvey

Lori Harvey
Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin

Slinky Sunglasses

Le Specs Slinky Sunglasses

Cargo Pants

If you ask this fashion editor, it was unjust for cargo pants to ever go out of style. Literally everyone loves pockets, and the more the merrier. While in the early aughts, you might have rocked cargos à la Avril Lavigne with sweatbands and skater shoes, modernized silhouettes such as cropped tops and fitted bodysuits help give the style a contemporary twist.

ciara

Ciara
Jason Kempin
hailey bieber

Hailey Bieber
Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin

Ecru Parachute Cargo Pants

Jaded Ecru Parachute Cargo Pants

Platform Sandals

If it can be platform-ified, you can bet it will be. We can’t get enough of our favorite platform sneakers, platform heels, platform boots. So, who’s to stop us from leveling up our flip flops? Upgrading from a regular thong to a wedge sandal takes you from “I wasn’t planning on getting out of the car,” to “I’m the baddest bitch in this mall food court.” More of that energy, please.

gwen stefani

Gwen Stefani
Jeff Kravitz
dua lipa

Dua Lipa
MEGA

Gwen Sandals

Steve Madden Gwen Sandals

Baguette Bags

There’s a Goldilocks metric to be used when it comes to purses. Some are way too big, others way too small, both of which we had way too many of stuffed into the nooks and crannies of our closets. But a small-to-medium baguette that fits perfectly under your shoulder? Just right.

paris hilton

Paris Hilton
David Klein
bella hadid

Bella Hadid
Gotham

Blair Baguette Bag

Urban Outfitters Blair Baguette Bag

Velour Tracksuits

Velveteen tracksuits were a truly unexplainable phenomena of the 2000s. Everyone seemed to know how absurd they were, yet they blew up in popularity regardless. The sight of one still harkens back to the Mean Girls era. The resurgence of the monochromatic tracksuit in recent years is a testament to the status symbol that Juicy Couture remains. And honestly, respect to Juicy for having that kind of staying power.

britney spears

Britney Spears
Frazer Harrison
irina shayk

Irina Shayk
Raymond Hall

Velour Glimmer Full Zip Hoodie

Alo Yoga Velour Glimmer Full Zip Hoodie

Low Rise Pants

Divisive, I know, but there’s enough room at this party for all varieties of waistlines! While I’m not sure we’ll ever fully integrate back to the lower-belly baring cuts of the early 2000s, it certainly is a fun style to mix into your wardrobe every now and then.

halle berry

Halle Berry
Harry Langdon
olivia ponton

Olivia Ponton
Alexander Tamargo

Hourglass Low Rise 90's Straight Leg Pant

ASOS Hourglass Low Rise 90’s Straight Leg Pant

Now 20% Off

Statement Tees

This comeback is a personal favorite. Flaunting shirts emblazoned with “MILF in training” or “I’m a Virgin! (But this is an old t-shirt),” Britney Spears was the bona fide queen of snarky tanks and baby tees. In more recent history, Gigi Hadid rocked a “lol ur not zayn malik” shirt in reference to her at-the-time beau, and wild child Cara Delevingne sported one that read, “Twerking is not a crime.”

drew barrymore cameron diaz

Drew Barrymore
Mark Mainz
nathalie emmanuel

Nathalie Emmanuel
Karwai Tang

Dump Him Y2k Slogan Tee

ShopSuperlative Dump Him Y2k Slogan Tee

Now 30% Off

Hair Clips

Obviously, these hair accessories have never really gone out of style, but they’re having a moment right now nonetheless. Whether you opt for a larger, more artisan adornment like Tyra and Olivia, or go for the traditional small plastic butterfly clips, these are simple ways to add flair to any outfit.

tyra banks

Tyra Banks
Evan Agostini
olivia rodrigo

Olivia Rodrigo
Taylor Hill

Jennifer Behr x Betsey Johnson Gala Bobby Pin

Betsey Johnson Jennifer Behr x Betsey Johnson Gala Bobby Pin

Kitten Heels

Although I could drone on about platforms, there is, indeed, something to be said about a smaller heel. A kitten heel is simultaneously dainty and powerful. Wearing a pair is a definite boss move, be it with fabulous suiting or a casual pair of jeans.

gabrielle union

Gabrielle Union
Steve Granitz
lily rose depp

Lily Rose Depp
Julien M. Hekimian

Low Heeled Slide Sandals

Coutgo Low Heeled Slide Sandals

Now 21% Off

Trucker Hats

Kind of a random trend, no? Still, the mesh paneling of a trucker hat is incredibly reminiscent of the early aughts. Top off your pink highlights with a Von Dutch hat, throw on some DC skater shoes, charge up your Sidekick, and you’re ready for a baller night with your peeps.

kaley cuoco

Kaley Cuoco
Frederick M. Brown
rihanna

Rihanna
MEGA

Good Days Trucker Hat

Madewell Good Days Trucker Hat

Vests

Admittedly, the 2000s were a pretty toxic time for women’s beauty standards. Point blank. Let’s not regress in that direction. But! One redeeming quality of the decade was that stylish women often experimented with menswear or menswear-inspired looks. Case in point: vests. Today, wear one with matching suit pieces or on its own.

fergie

Fergie
Jason Kempin
hailey bieber

Hailey Bieber
Gotham

Devin Twill Vest

Reformation Devin Twill Vest

Belly Chains

While waist beads are far more than a trend for many cultures (namely West African ones), they have come and gone from the popular zeitgeist throughout the years. They’re back, obviously, or else they wouldn’t have a spot on this list.

nelly furtado

Nelly Furtado
LUCY NICHOLSON
rihanna fenty beauty ulta

Rihanna
Kevin Mazur

The Custom Belly Chain

West Angel The Custom Belly Chain

Neckties

In the same vein as vests, neckties are another garment traditionally associated with menswear that ladies of the 2000s made their own. All I have to say about ties is this: Don’t knock it ‘til you try it. They’re surprisingly flattering and have the potential to be oh-so-chic.

nicole kidman

Nicole Kidman
Matthew Peyton
zendaya

Zendaya
John Shearer

Silk Cady Tie

Ralph Lauren Silk Cady Tie

Mini Skirts

Hold for applause. Yes, mini skirts! They’re everybody’s favorite. As Shania Twain so poetically sang in “Man! I Feel Like A Woman,” there really is something about a short skirt that feels simply feminine in all the best ways. All leg and sex appeal.

tariji p henson

Taraji P. Henson
Carlo Allegri
bella hadid

Bella Hadid
Gotham

Fig Mini Skirt

Miaou Fig Mini Skirt

UGGs

I never thought I’d see the day when UGGs looked appropriate for New York Fashion Week, but I guess that’s what I get for underestimating Elsa Hosk. There’s no denying that the UGG brand practically owned the 2000s. The way these boots and slippers had a grip on American youth…

jessica alba

Jessica Alba
Mario Magnani
elsa hosk

Elsa Hosk
Gotham

Disquette Slipper

UGG Disquette Slipper

Sequins

Rhinestones, gems, sequins—all that glitters is sartorial gold. Cross your fingers and hope your mother didn’t toss your bedazzler in the giveaway pile because this trend is alive and well, my friends.

paris hilton

Paris Hilton
Dave Benett
anitta

Anitta
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin

Sequin Appliqué Dress

Mango Sequin Appliqué Dress

Now 40% Off

Culottes

You may have called them gauchos or even high-waters. Essentially, they’re wide-legged capris. Sporting a pair from roughly 2015-2021 probably would have been considered less than fashionable, but not anymore. A flowing pant that hits mid-calf is now considered whimsical and cool.

christina applegate

Christina Applegate
Jeff Kravitz
jennifer lopez

Jennifer Lopez
GONZALO/Bauer-Griffin

Absolute High Waist Culottes

Rachel Comey Absolute High Waist Culottes

Cowl Necklines

When I think of cowl necks, I think of the ladies of Sex and the City. Although I can’t explain why, that show is invariably linked to the fashions of the 2000s. Like…wildly so. If you’re looking for a sign of the times, you know what to stream.

vanessa minnillo

Vanessa Minnillo
Patrick McMullan
rachel zegler

Rachel Zegler
Jeff Kravitz

Dixon Cowl-Neck Racerback Top

A.L.C. Dixon Cowl-Neck Racerback Top

Butterfly Tops

I saw Olivia Rodrigo wear a butterfly top, so I bought a butterfly top. Is there anything cuter than these colorful shimmering numbers? Factor in the open back, and this is one very cool statement piece.

mariah carey

Mariah Carey
Evan Agostini
dua lipa grammys

Dua Lipa
Kevin Mazur

Sparkly Sequin Butterfly Halter Top

Mocure Sparkly Sequin Butterfly Halter Top

Slip Skirts

It’s giving manic pixie dream girl; it’s giving Amanda Bynes in What A Girl Wants; it’s giving leftover Chinese takeout in the fridge because she’s quirky. Slip skirts are the key to channeling your inner chaotic cool girl.

jennifer aniston

Jennifer Aniston
Amy Graves
zoe kravitz

Zoe Kravitz
MEGA

Gwyneth Slip Skirt

J. Crew Gwyneth Slip Skirt

Scarf Tops

Any trend that hinges on multi-use items or DIY-ing is sure to be a winner. A top that also is a scarf, hair wrap, belt, bag accessory, and sarong? Say no more. I hereby declare that scarf/tube/handkerchief/halter tops shall never go out of style.

beyonce

Beyoncé
Jo Hale
bella hadid

Bella Hadid
Gotham

Open Seam Scarf Top

Sami Miro Vintage Open Seam Scarf Top

Bandage Dresses

If you look up “bandage dress” in the dictionary, you’ll find a picture of Serena Van Der Woodsen in a Herve Leger dress. Not really, but you might as well. These dresses and skirts were everywhere—and I can’t stress this enough: everywhere—in the late 2000s. It appears their time has come again, as Herve Leger and Law Roach recently collaborated on a Resort 2023 collection.

amanda bynes

Amanda Bynes
Jeff Vespa
hannah waddingham

Hannah Waddingham
Gregg DeGuire

Herve Leger Bandage Mini Skirt

Forever 21 x Herve Leger Herve Leger Bandage Mini Skirt

Now 20% Off

Hot Pink Everything

Before there was Barbiecore, there was just plain pink. We could try to make up a name for when it trended back in the day, but let’s just call it like it is. Pink is omniscient. Pink is all-powerful. Pink is everywhere, everything, all at once. Pink is then, now, and forever.

paris hilton

Paris Hilton
Doug Piburn
billy porter

Billy Porter
Emma McIntyre

Chunky High Heeled Platform Pumps

STUPMARY Chunky High Heeled Platform Pumps

Airbrushing

Because why wouldn’t you want to look like you just left the boardwalk with a sweet personalized hoodie?

tyra banks

Tyra Banks
Alexander Tamargo
lizzo

Lizzo
Kevin Mazur

Life In The Famous Lane Graphic Tee

Dolls Kill x Bratz Life In The Famous Lane Graphic Tee

Now 75% Off

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