TWICE Brings Back Japanese Y2K Style with “Talk That Talk”

TWICE Brings Back Japanese Y2K Style with “Talk That Talk”

K-pop girl group TWICE wants you to invest in knee-high scrunchy socks, low-waist micro miniskirts and some harnesses if you dare



If you haven’t heard about TWICE, we suggest you try giving the bubblegum pop girl group a listen. Unapologetically cute and saccharine, TWICE’s feel-good music transcends their overall fashion aesthetic. For their latest comeback single called Talk That Talk, the music video is an obvious ode to Y2K—but specifically the street style fashion of Japan back in the late ‘90s and early 2000s.



RELATED: Our Favorite Editorial Looks from TWICE Nayeon’s Solo Debut


With three Japanese members—Mina, Sana, and Momo (collectively known as MiSaMo)—the group isn’t oblivious to Japanese fashion trends as a whole. The K-Pop ennead also promotes in Japan regularly and cleverly adheres to the local kawaii aesthetic for every comeback. Can’t tell the difference? Just take a closer look at how their hair is styled and you’ll notice that they put more effort into their hairstyling, accessories included, for their Japanese releases.


(Note: Hairstyling is a big deal in Japan and girls style their hair daily—we’re talking curls, hair wax, hair pins, clips and all—all by their handiwork. That’s why hair products and tools are aplenty when you shop in their beauty stores! But that’s another story all on its own!)


Since Y2K is such a big trend among the Gen Z set AKA the trendsetting voice on the internet, the group has been consistently drawing inspo from that era in fashion. Their English single The Feels is proof of this, inspired by the grunge/punk-pop movement of the noughties and ‘00s. It seems like the group wanted another go at Y2K, but this time paying homage to the trends closer to their side of the hemisphere.




We can’t talk about Japanese Y2K style without mentioning the magazine, FRUITS. No, this isn’t a food publication, but it’s actually a Japanese street-style zine by photographer Shoichi Aoki. Through the course of its run (and subsequent revival on Instagram), FRUITS magazine became a hub for fashion subcultures found in the Harajuku district of Tokyo AKA the melting pot of eccentric, individualistic and also trending fashion styles worn by the youth. Through these photographs, certain pieces of clothing have come to define the Japanese street style aesthetic back then: school girl plaid low-waist mini skirts, cropped cardigans, scrunchy socks or legwarmers, chunky platform Mary Janes, Lolita and gothic styles, cosplay-infused fashion and a smorgasbord of color.





Japanese fashion is so grounded on their idea of cuteness = pretty that despite showing off skin back then, it’s still really about looking adorable. This is perfect when you’re petite and have soft figures and don’t really want to go the hyper-sexed route of certain looks seen on American chick flicks or Euphoria. Even when styling harnesses and Lolita blouses, you’ll see on the pages of FRUITS that they’re always paired down with a cute element or two. Something that TWICE almost consistently does when it comes to their style, and which makes them taking a page out of FRUITS, so uncannily perfect.




Below are some of the key Japanese Y2K trends we spotted from the TTT, and why you should try to incorporate them into your wardrobe, too!


Leg Warmers

Hear us out, these may look silly…but isn’t that the point? Leg warmers really are just for aesthetic (at least in fashion), and if you want to elongate your calves and hide them in the process, then this is the pièce de résistance!



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A post shared by 모모 (MOMO) (@momo)


School Girl or Out-of-Office Chic

There’s a bit of a kink to styling your uniforms outside of designation work or study spaces, but that’s the point! It’s cropping those button-downs and wearing those peter pan-collared tops as is, paired with mini skirts and chunky shoes for that kawaii cool.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by 미나 (MINA) (@mina_sr_my)


Lingerie-inspired Lolita Tops

Again, it’s all about balancing sexiness with cuteness, and these lace-trimmed, frilly, corseted pieces are the perfect balance of both! These are great to pair with denim bottoms like miniskirts and jeans, too!



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A post shared by 유정연 (@jy_piece)



This accessory is back in style (you can easily shop for one at Bershka right this minute!), and the key to wearing them is to really layer the fun, but make it look put-together. Don’t think of Coachella; rather, summon your inner Resident Evil video game character.



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A post shared by TWICE (@twicetagram)



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by 미나 (MINA) (@mina_sr_my)


Always Layer

Though TWICE opted to show more skin on TTT than anyone on the streets of Harajuku, the concept behind their outfit combinations still abides by the source trend: cropped cardigans over tank tops, low-waist mini skirts that are paired with leg warmers or socks (never without!), chunky ugly shoes, and harnesses or arm warmers when possible.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by 모모 (MOMO) (@momo)


RELATED: Cut It Out—Literally! The Return of Cutouts, Keyholes and More


So, what Japanese Y2K trend are you recreating with the help of TWICE?



Words Maura Rodriguez

Art Matthew Ian Fetalver

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