As with all decades, the 2000s fashion scene had its own unique trends and iconic outfits, which made the period exciting. From R&B-inspired apparel, velour tracksuits, colored skinny jeans, trucker hats, and metallics, there are many quickly-recognizable choices that we can easily trace to the first decade of the new millennium. So, whether you want to take a trip down memory lane, do a Y2K throwback, or wish to level up your knowledge of the noughties when Britney Spears, the Black Eyed Peas, and Eminem reigned, here are the interesting facts you should know about the 2000s fashion scene.
1. Rise of the Hip-Hop Look
Characterized by oversized singlets, diamond embellishments, large chains, a banda or cap, a basketball jersey, baggy basketball shorts, and sneakers, the hip-hop aesthetic saw a rise in the ‘00s. Many rappers in the era also influenced fashion by establishing their own clothing lines, such as ones from Jay-Z, Pharrell, Nelly, Diddy, and 50 Cent, which all birthed some outstanding, critically-lauded collections in the decade.
2. Timeless Cargo Pants
A fun fact about ‘90s fashion is that cargo pants were a staple in the said decade. Come the 2000s, they made a return but with more updated versions and just never went out of style. After all, virtually anyone loves the cargo pants’ pockets – the more, the better! Chances are you’ve already seen Avril Lavigne sporting them before, partnered with fitted bodysuits or cropped tops and skater shoes, which exuded a cool, stylish, contemporary appeal that the aughts also adored.
3. Conspicuous Trucker Caps
Trucker caps are an easily identifiable accessory that was largely popular in the noughties. Whether it’s the Von Dutch caps or ones bearing the logo of their favorite baseball teams, people have worn them, particularly in the early aughts, and have also been seen upon the heads of many celebrities like Nicole Richie, Missy Elliot, Gwen Stefani, and Lindsay Lohan. If you’re looking to pay homage to the ‘00s, wearing a trucker cap with a two-toned front and mesh backing is the quickest way to go.
4. Skater Dude Aesthetic
Speaking of Avril Lavigne who sang and co-composed the famous song “Sk8er Boi,” the skater dude look saw a resurgence in the ‘00s. It’s little wonder, as the fashion remained easy to sport on occasion, which only required an oversized printed tee, a pair of baggy jeans, and Vans sneakers. Of course, let’s not forget the board that completed the look and made everyone ready to go.
5. Iconic Velour Tracksuits
The ‘00s also became synonymous with the velour tracksuit. Everyone from Paris Hilton, Kardashians, Britney Spears, Beyoncé, and even Diddy and Eminem jumped on this velvet tracksuit craze, wearing them constantly and everywhere. The most popular bright color choices were green, blue, and pink, and were adorned with rhinestones phrases, and logos. Oversized sunglasses, a pair of sneakers, a mini shoulder bag, and a few necklaces were added to elevate the look and bring out the ultimate Y2K aesthetic.
6. Pop-Punk/Emo/Scene Fashion
Music has immensely influenced fashion throughout the decades. With the rise of pop-punk, emo, and scene genres in the ‘00s, it has inevitably trickled into the naughties look as well. Bands like Good Charlotte and Blink-182 were the pioneers of the look, wearing printed t-shirts, studded belts, skinny jeans, and checkered Vans, with almost everything in black. The look is finished off with the right hairstyle. It was either the punk hair with lots of hair gel or the long, shaggy side-swept bangs dyed with black, a bright color, or platinum blonde, with both hairstyles also defining the decade.
7. Low Rise Everything
Another thing that rings a bell when talking about the 2000s fashion scene is low-rise jeans. Waistbands were set down at the turn of the millennium, as evident in hip-hugging jeans worn by celebrities like Keira Knightly and Paris Hilton. The catch is that while this trend was popular, it’s also among the most divisive ones in the decade, given that it was an extreme and ubiquitous way to show off some skin.
8. Mini Skirts and Uggs
Though mini skirts first became popular in the ‘60s, the ‘00s took them to the next level by having them in a micro length and pairing them with a pair of low-top Ugg boots. This staple outfit was worn by the likes of Lindsay Lohan, Beyoncé, and Britney Spears. As it was hugely popular, it was even commonly seen on the runway, red carpet, and different fashion events. Should you wish to recreate the look, just pair them with a cardigan, sweater, or blazer under the same color, and you’re ready to rock this ‘00s outfit.
9. Statement Tees
No matter what genre of music, printed shirts were omnipresent in all of them. These flaunting shirts were decorated with bold logos, words, phrases, or statements, often about their feeling, personality, any significant event, or whatever it is they simply want to share.
10. Colored Skinny Jeans
Your outfit wasn’t in the ‘00s if they weren’t in vibrant yellow, sky blue, crisp white, dark red, or slime green. While baggy jeans became popular in the decade, nearly everyone from indie rockets to backpack rappers also had at least a pair of colored skinny jeans. They then styled with a blazer, a polo shirt, and a pair of high-top Converse shoes, a look that dominated the latter half of the noughties.
Wearing fedora hats today may be abominable, but these warm fuzzy pieces of headwear were a favorite during the turn of the millennium. Some of the celebrities that donned fedora hats during its peak popularity include Christina Aguilera, Kelly Rowland, Kim Kardashian, and even Justin Timberlake had occasionally worn one. They were in for people who love the classic style, as well as those loving the rhythm and blues. With the rise of trilbys, however, fedora hats were thrown out into oblivion and now only remain reminiscent of the ‘00s.
12. Shutter Shades
Though first created in the 1950s, shutter shades first only rose to popularity in the 1980s. The accessory’s fame then subsided quickly when people started gearing towards more functional eyewear. In the 2000s, shutter shades came back to the limelight and they were commonly seen worn in public places from parks to parties, proms, and clubs. They came in a wide array of color choices, making this it-item easy to match to the colorful hair or outfit of anyone.
Corsets never really went totally out of fashion, yet its pinnacle was definitely the 2000s. Celebrities, musicians, and everyday people wore corsets in numerous, partnering them with pinstripe jeans or regular trousers, layering them with a lace shirt, and finishing everything with the iconic 2000s smokey eye. Too many pieces of jewelry were no longer needed, as the outfit was already complicated but certainly brought out the best from the aughts who dared to wear it.
14. Double Denim
Double denim is another trend that was highlighted in the 2000s. Also regarded as the Canadian Tuxedo, it was highly popularized by Justin Timberlake and Britney in the early part of the decade. This trend typically entailed wearing a denim jacket (shirt or jacket) and a denim bottom (skirt or jeans) of the same shade to achieve unification. Though many saw ‘double denim’ as a transgression of fashion norms, the outfit certainly made an impact.
15. Platform Shoes
In the 2000s, most shoes were specifically designed to add a few inches to the wearer’s height. This type of footwear came in different forms, such as platform boots, platform sandals, and platform boots. Regardless of which, all have a huge, chunky vibe allowing the wearer to level up their look and ‘tower’ up over their friends. Today, they are no longer quite a hit, as people had enjoyed giving their ankles a break, Nevertheless, there’s no stopping anyone from wearing them for extra height and a lovely chic look.
From huge sunglasses, large pieces of jewelry, layering chains, shiny tops, sparkly bottoms, and sheeny bags and accessories, metallics have also been a core trend in the 2000s fashion scene. Its popularity can be attributed to the quick techno boom during the earliest part of the decade. Take note that going for a metallic outfit didn’t require being covered with silver or gold from head to toe. Adding a few metallic elements already sufficed in achieving the look.
17. Bandage Dresses
If there’s another famous silhouette seen on the ‘00s red carpets, it’s the bandage dresses. These figure-hugging silhouettes became the number one choice for many famous celebrities like Victoria Beckham, Kate Winslet, and Lou Doillon. While its creator Hérve Léger fashion house may no longer be a powerhouse brand today, no one can deny how successful bandage dresses were in the 2000s, being seen literally everywhere.
18. Other Accessories
The ‘00s were also brimmed with kitschy, colorful accessories ranging from small plastic butterfly hair clips, round sunglasses, bandanas, sequin scarves, huge, dangly earrings, mood rings, and studded belts. Most of them were only used for adornment and to add flair to outfits and were never really worn for practical purposes. Nevertheless, they undoubtedly made the decade’s styling more fun and exciting.
19. Shoulder Bags
Shoulder bags popped up everywhere in the 2000s and became an integral part of life among many college students in the decade. It has the size just perfect to fit a mirror, keys, flip phone, lip gloss, and other small accessories, and was matched with fancy shoes and a long simple dress. Popular shoulder bags then came brands like Coach, Marc Jacobs, and Dooney & Bourke, which were offered at attainable price tags.
The 2000s aesthetic also incorporated various forms of layering. From wearing multiple shirts, skirts over jeans, or long sleeve tees with a singlet on top, layering was simply inevitable and even involved using different colored fabrics, such as white, black, green, blue, and pink. Yet, perhaps the most popular layering trend is wearing dresses over jeans which was brought to fame by teenage stars and younger celebrities like Kelly Clarkson. This outfit allowed the wearer to look dressy without being too formal or otherwise, to exude a rebellious feel.
Though you may cringe at some of the trends in the decade, we can’t deny that the Y2K fashion scene is something worth reminiscing about, given its boldness and uniqueness. If you’re feeling nostalgic and want to take out some ‘00s gems in your closet, don’t hesitate to do it. You might be surprised, but fashion moves in circles. Who knows? We might just be welcoming the best styles and looks of the noughties sooner or later.