The Best Of Y2K Fashion Trends Transported Into 2021

The Best Of Y2K Fashion Trends Transported Into 2021

Say it ain’t so, we’re back in the 2000s



As far as fashion trends go, the MO has always been to reference fashion moments from decades past. Lately, though, signs have pointed to a more recent memory, one that’s still fresh in the collective Millennial consciousness. You’ve seen, we’re sure. Everything Y2K seems to be springing back up again. Sugababes are reuniting, Bennifer have rekindled the flame, the desire to dress up like a living Bratz doll has never been stronger (pick your poison: Dua Lipa in Blumarine? Or Dua Lipa in Versace? We’ll take both).



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It’s tricky business attempting to capture the zeitgeist of the 2000’s, but these moments should help paint that picture: Britney Spears’ Oops!… I Did It Again era, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie on The Simple Life, daydreaming about the interiors on Totally Spies!, a more-is-more-is-more attitude and a layer-your-clothing-like-you’re-a-Disney-sitcom-star mindset.


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There are a ton more from the last decade that Gen Z has dug up, which also brings up the fact that the 2000s were some odd, dark days for fashion, no? As TikTok content creator Carly Aquilino has pointed out, there were a lot of mildly confusing style choices when looking back at Y2K style as a whole. What’s even more confusing is they got to see the light of day at all. 


But these are all things Millennials can charge to experience. Here and now, there’s comfort in knowing that they, along with Gen Z, have taken up the task of editing out Y2K trends and given them a much-needed contemporary edit. Ahead, just a few trends we’re glad are making another go-around in 2021.


Scarves as a multiway accessory

Y2K fashion in 2021 didn’t just brusquely crop up again; there were starting signs. For example: the slow but steady return of the printed silk scarf. It’s a nod to the paisley bandana trend in the early 2000’s, where, in Destiny Child’s playbook, a bandana doubled as a scarf top and, in Christina Aguilera’s, a headscarf. In 2021, it’s a skirt, top, dress, headwear all in one item.



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Talking tees

Keep calm and unclench, this doesn’t mean the “Keep Calm And…” shirts are back. The next reemerging trend is more up the alley of Britney Spears, who made several statements with her “Dump Him” (post-Justin Timberlake breakup!!!) and “I Am the American Dream” t-shirts. Some bets for the 2021 edit: the “Good Boy” tee by Randolf and PROUDRACE’s “Minsan Lang Kitang Iibigin” tee.



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Graphic prints

Y2K really was the height of gaudy yet unapologetic styling, and if there’s something to learn here, it’s that throwing the rulebook out the window is half the fun. If it makes you happy, pile on, clash patterns, don prints that people could literally read. Give Carrie Bradshaw’s John Galliano newspaper dress a run for its money.



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Totally Spies! IRL

Totally Spies! isn’t just a beloved animated series, it’s surprisingly a big part of Y2K fashion in 2021. Referenced to no end by fashion Twitter, girls have gone on to emulate looks by Sam, Clover and Alex, only to reveal 2021 fashion trends in a nutshell. Girl power meets flower power. Retro prints meet arts and crafts. The revival of baby tees, camisoles and miniskirts.



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Baguette bags

Another shout-out to Carrie Bradshaw and the enduring Fendi Baguette for giving the teeny-tiny bag trend a more focused update. The baguette is a compact shoulder bag that thankfully fits more than just the essentials for days or nights out, which is why we welcome the Y2K trend with open arms. (If only we had places to go.)



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Trucker hats

The hold Von Dutch caps had on Millennials need not be discussed here. We’re just happy to acknowledge that the 2021 edit of the trucker hat—so far, at least—is a lot easier on the eyes. Unlike the early 2000s, it’s a little less about Von Dutch logo mania this time around and more about graphic art. Think of it as an extension of the talking tee and graphic print trends mentioned above.



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The list doesn’t end here, obviously; there’s still a lot from the 2000’s to unpack. Got any Y2K fashion trends you’d like to see in 2021? Or, for that matter, dread to see return? Sound off in the comments!


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