Y2K: the Decade of Questionable (But Iconic) Fashion Choices

Lizzie Yockney reminisces about some iconic looks from the 2000s

Lizzie Yockney
24th May 2022
Image: Instagram @forever_lizzie_mcguire
Thanks to the trend cycle, Y2K fashion has been circulating on social media and has filtered into fast fashion collections for a while now. Baby tees, low-rise jeans, Juicy tracksuits, butterfly crop tops, loose-fitting tailoring, snakeskin, lace-up ties, crochet detail, body chains, baguette bags – you name it.

Arguably, these iconic trends from the noughties have been reinvented to fit the modern wardrobe. Whilst I do love these more fashionable reincarnations of Y2K trends, I can’t help but have a soft spot for the cheesier and trashier (respectively) Y2K outfits that I think these newer reinventions are trying to forget.

Image: Instagram @2000sanxiety

Though I wouldn’t personally choose to recreate (some of) these outfits, I still think that they are iconic, as they hold a special place in my heart. Probably because I grew up in the noughties, this era of pop culture and fashion is incredibly nostalgic for me.

As well as this, the 2000s/2010s were marked by a lot of questionable fashion choices for me, and apparently for a lot of celebrities as well. It is quite funny to think back to some of these interesting noughties’ pieces, as me and my flatemates did recently, rattling off all the things we used to wear, which included thick patterned alice bands, three-quarter leggings in various neon colours, knock-off Uggs and tunic dresses that would be worn with said leggings underneath. These were all often paired with a side pony (high, low, smack-bang in the middle of your head) and a giant flower clip. Lip-smackers, Claire’s eyeshadow palettes and High School Musical/Camp Rock accessories. Simultaneously iconic and terrible.

Image: Instagram @y2kdaily
Image: Instagram @ashleytisdale

The outfit that I immediately think about from this era is Ashley Tisdale’s double t-shirt/golden glittery skirt/bootcut jeans combination that she wore for the Ice Princess premier in 2005. Ranked as one of the worst outfits from the 2000s by Harper’s Bazaar, this outfit begs with question as to why it exists. I love it. An anomaly for me, as it is an outfit that I would love to recreate, is Britney’s iconic ‘Dump Him’ t-shirt that she paired with flared low-rise sweats, a brown fluffy-collared jacket, paperboy hat and a Starbucks. Other honourable mentions include any outfit worn by Paris and Nicole in The Simple Life, Lizzie McGuire-era Hilary Duff, and the Halloween costumes in A Cinderella story.

Image: Instagram @thesimplelifefeed

Although I’m definitely not advocating for these trends to be brought back and they definitely do deserve the roasting that they get, I still think that they are truly iconic. Where’s Ashley Tisdale’s Met Gala invitation?

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