[2021 Women Fashion] 6+ Trending Y2K Aesthetic Clothing Ideas for ALL Women to be classic

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Last Updated on 2021-01-13 by Anna Wintour

The Y2K aesthetic is back. A hybrid between a Bratz doll and Paris Hilton, expect Scarf tops and sparkly, shiny fabrics to evoke affectionate recollections of notable celebs from Y2K. 

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The scrunchies, headbands and butterfly clips that have been with us since kids can now come out and have their moment once again. 

Body glitter is back too. After going underground it has developed into as a festival staple, smeared on faces. Full glam makeup has been abandoned and instead many people opt for a new look with a fresh face, blush heavy. Think extreme gloss and glitter, similar to the children’s makeup palettes that you would once purchase at Claire’s. 

The fashion style from the early Noughties could be split into several subcultures: camp/ kitsch, emo, scene, streetwear, hip hop and athleisure wear. Let’s talk you though them.

The campy, kitchiness of Y2K could be described as tacky but usually unexpected. It is set apart by both the street influence and the designer brands’ impact: 90’s streetwear, yet making it glamorous. 

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Emo was huge in the mid 2000s, becoming mainstream as it was borrowed from goth and punk subcultures. key pieces include band t-shirts and chunky boots to finish off the look. 

Scene fashion became notably popular by the end of the decade, originating from indie and punk roots. Similar to emo but with choppy and neon bright hair, and accompanied by bows. 

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Streetwear usually included low rise jeans, crop tops, and loose fitting clothing accompanied by retro Nike trainers. Notable brands that endorsed streetwear at the time were Tommy Hilfiger and Ed Hardy. 

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Hip Hop was heavily influenced by rappers that were hot on the scene including Jay Z, Snoop Dog and Missy Eliott. Timberland boots, heavy chains and anything Adidas was considered hip hop. 

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Lastly athleisure wear, aka the tracksuit craze. Most notable Juicy Couture seen in countless TV shows from the early 2000s, like Desperate Housewives and The O.C. Many celebs would pair the tracksuits with designer heels for the ultimate Y2K look.   

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So what has really made the Y2K aesthetic popular than ever? Instagram, natch. Over 1000 accounts have been made to honour the early 2000s praising the looks it gave, their favourite TV characters and underrated TV shows. 

To indulge in your early 2000s identity, look to Instagram accounts devoted to Y2K style, for example, @blondestuckinthe2000s, @misss2005, @2000sjournals and @2002princesss

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Erika Hallam from Australia runs the account @blondestuckinthe2000s, she has an impressive following of 138K.

She says: “I started this account when I was 14 and was struggling a lot, I found myself turning to someone who I have adored since my childhood, Britney Spears. Her music and strength is admirable and helped me through with what I was dealing with and still continues to do so.”

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Nicole Randone, who runs the account @misss2005, is from New York and racks up a generous 103K followers on Instagram alone. “I started my account around three years ago, there was a growing community for people infatuated with the early 2000s and I knew I had to be a part of it.”

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@2000sjournals, has a grand following of 66.9K followers. Its creator began by following other Y2K inspired Instagram accounts before finally making the decision of creating her own. “Growing up I loved reading the hot gossip about stars! From a young age l loved chick flicks such as Clueless and have always been so obsessed with Teen shows like Gossip Girl.”

She continues: “My way of escapism was to live vicariously through the characters. I realised there was a community that could relate and obsess over the same things I do. After making my account I discovered shows from the early 2000s such as Gilmore Girls, Buffy The Vampire Slayer and The O.C. that’s when my obsession grew even more.”

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Hannah Ellen, also from Australia runs the account @2002princesss. She has a notable following of 99.4K followers, She says: “I started my account back in July 2018 quite randomly as I had been convincing myself for a while to make one and then in the spur of the moment I finally did”.  

Hallam notes: “This era reminds me of a time where people didn’t take things so seriously, wore what they wanted, and were more themselves than this extremely calculated and manufactured image we see of celebrities today. I think there’s more of a pressure to uphold a certain image nowadays.”

TV shows and movies are a big contributing factor of why teens are obsessing over Y2K again. 

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“No current shows can compare to the league of 2000s shows,” says @2000sjournals. She continues, “Buffy Summer’s style is iconic, (Buffy The Vampire Slayer). A lot of the pieces that she wears are timeless, I wish I could own her closet; especially her sunglasses collection.”

“Summer Roberts and Marissa Cooper (From The O.C) wear a lot of colourful pieces that I adore. One Tree Hill also has good style too. I love Peyton Sawyer’s edgy rock style in seasons one and two. For movies definitely Clueless, duh!! Cher and Dionne definitely have the best style ever. I love the plaid!”

Ellen observed that, “It is hard to pick one show when they all kinda bounced off each other, but The Simple Life was one were they were always wearing extremely cute Y2K outfits! Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie wore the cutest outfits and are still talked about online, as people are rewatching it all over again. The style especially, nobody had personal stylists, so the celebrities chose what they wanted to wear and is now imprinted in Y2K and why it is so iconic.”

Ellen carries on by saying in her everyday life: “I have a Juicy Couture addiction, I will typically wear them everyday and good to lounge around in especially now since quarantine. They are so stylish, yet so comfortable. I also have lots of body glitter for the  summer, bandannas, butterfly clips and faux fur jackets.”

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Where to shop the Y2K look? 

Randone notes that if you want the authentic Y2K look you need to look hard. “Poshmark or Depop are good for authentic clothing from the early 2000s, and Dollskill has a great selection of 2000s inspired clothes.” 

Many sellers use #Y2K and #00s search terms, which are guaranteed quick sales. 

Hallam says: “I found this Justin Bieber circa 2009 top at Goodwill back when we weren’t in quarantine. I cropped it and it’s currently one of my favourite items I own.” She adds: “Nasty Gal has a wide selection, there are some 90s/2000s inspired items on there with a modern spin to them.”

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So what are some of the trends that are the most popular and making a comeback? 

Logos, especially the Dior monogram logo, is a staple in every celeb’s wardrobe as seen on Bella Hadid. Lyst reported that searches for monogrammed pieces are now up 70% especially for Fendi. Small shoulder handbags, like the Dior Saddle bag seen in shows like Sex and the City, which Carrie Bradshaw sported a lot in the show. Tiny sunglasses known as Matrix sunglasses, and popularised by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen are key. Mesh tops are great for layering underneath band T-shirts. 

Prada has seen a peak interest in its nylon bags, bucket hats and jackets and hasn’t seen so many searches for ‘Nylon’ since 2007.  

What else? “Juicy Couture tracksuits!” Hallam says. She adds: “Tiny sunglasses are also amazing and I love how everything was pink and sparkly back then. I think if everyone was to add more pink and sparkles to their wardrobe and have it be accepted as an everyday outfit the world would be a better place.”  

@2000sjournals observes “plaid skirts, layering a T-shirt with vest tops and shoulder bags!”

Ellen says: “Multi coloured monogram Louis Vuitton handbags, were such a staple accessory in the early 2000s. Chucky highlights were not flattering unless you were Xtina, to be honest, but they were so iconic! I also loved everything to do with technology. Flip phones were so cute and bedazzled ones were even more iconic.”

Randone adds a vital accessory: ”“Candy coloured sunglasses with rhinestones in the corners.” 

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As the ever growing popularity of Y2K gains momentum so does the increasing amount of negatives.

@2000sjournals observes: “As a community when we rewatch TV shows and movies we see there was a lack of culture and diversity in movies and tv shows. A lot of characters were stereotyped. It’s nice to see in 2021 we are breaking through some of those stereotypes.”

Hallam says: “I do think as a community we all need to remember that the 2000s was not ‘perfect’, speaking in terms of pop culture and in general. In the 2000s there was an extreme lack of diversity, homophobia, etc. And when we watch these movies, tv shows, etc. that we grew up with it’s crucial to recognise that these negatives along with others being shown although they may be a reflection of the time aren’t acceptable and shouldn’t be brought into the real world. I think being a part of this community or anyone who grew up in the 2000s or loves the 2000s era it’s important to recognise this and acknowledge it. Although I think we still have a lot of room to grow, we’ve come a long way since then in 2021.”

Lack of diversity aside, the trend is growing on social media.  Ellen says that people have begun to create accounts  “because of the increasing following Y2K is getting”. 

She explains: “I get DMs multiple times a week where there are multiple new accounts being created where they all start to look the same, you can tell they don’t really know much about Y2K. I always get DMs from those same accounts asking for shoutouts and how I got my account big, which took a lot of work.”

Randone expresses that one negative aspect the growing popularity is that “I don’t feel like as such an individual anymore. Back when I started my account not many people were interested in early 2000s trends or the aesthetic. It has gone worldwide again, it’s almost like we are back to being just like everyone else.”

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Y2K vintage is inexhaustible, proving to be a catalyst for a quick takeover. The gauntlet has been laid and there’s no decision but to grasp it. That’s hot.

“I don’t relate to the trends and fashion of today, I’d much rather dress like Paris Hilton,” Randone states. 

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