By avi maxwel / in , , , /

Time travel may not be a thing yet, but when it comes to fashion, it kind of feels like we’re stuck somewhere around 2002. For years at this point, old ’00s and Y2K fashion trends have been resurfacing, ranging from the cute (butterfly everything!) to the questionable (we’re still on the fence about dresses over jeans).

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Perhaps the reason we’ve fallen so deep into Y2K round two is because not everyone was old enough (or even alive yet) to enjoy — and later, regretted heavily — some of the more confusing, unflattering, or just plain strange styles. Or maybe many of us are just nostalgic for simpler times, when our main source of outfit inspiration was showing like Lizzie McGuire or Laguna Beach. Whatever the case, there are a whole lot of layering tricks and random accessories that have weaseled their way back into our lives, and although we may cringe at first, it might be time to give them a chance.

Here’s a refresher on which Y2K and early ’00s styles to add to — or dig out of — your closet.

Graphic T-Shirts

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The sweet, the snarky, the simple statement, etc. Slogan shirts are cool again — including slightly controversial Ed Hardy tees.

Pleated Skirts

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Admittedly, we’re all for this one. If you’re looking to go full Y2K, plenty of cute outfits can be created with pleated micro-minis. Still, if you prefer something a little longer, it’s fine to stick with a simple tennis option, just like Eiza González, and pair it with a casual shoe.

Structured Vests

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In recent years, we’ve seen models wear this style with nothing underneath — just like the stars did in 2004. Of course, at that time, metallic options were fit for the stage, and came complete with coordinated bottoms.

Holes and Cutouts

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There’s nothing sexier than showing off a hint of skin in the right place. Fashion icons like Bella Hadid and Dua Lipa are big fans of cutouts these days, and revealing Poster Girl dresses continue to pop up everywhere.


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Some may blame the corset’s popularity on Netflix’s Bridgerton or cottagecore. However, the stars of the early ’00s also enjoyed this body-hugging design, inspiring us to work this lingerie staple into our sexiest outfits.

Platform Boots

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When celebrities first began stepping out in break-your-ankle heels, we were unsure if we could wobble around in this shoe trend again. However, platform boots have become a wardrobe essential and pair well with jeans, skirts, and another throwback favorite, the duster jacket.

Bags logo

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Every time we spot a style icon rocking a logo’d shoulder bag, we feel inspired to fish out our original designer purchases from storage. Coach and Dooney & Bourke, here we come!

The Kerchiefs

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We’re always up for finding fun ways to wear a scarf, and while tying a bandana like a kerchief may make us feel like an early ’00s popstar, it’s a brilliant trick for a bad hair day.

Twisted Halter Tops

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We’ve said it before but we’ll say it again: Christina Aguilera wore the sexiest fashion trends first — especially the twisted halter top, which has become a modern-day favorite for models and influencers.

Trucker Hats

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If seeing this hat style brings you back to the days of TRL and boy bands, you’re not alone — and, unfortunately, it’s not the only old school look Addison Rae wants to see make a comeback. She’s also into wearing multiple belts with jeans.

Belly Chains

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This accessory will never not be sexy, and if you’re willing to follow the advice of Khloe Kardashian, you might actually want to wear two at a time.

Bubble Skirts

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We’re still not sure who, exactly, this extra puffy, pillow-like skirt flatters, but one thing’s for sure: it’ll turn heads the moment you walk into a room.

Capri Pants

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These bottoms are the natural progression after biker shorts and perfect for in-between temperatures. However, that won’t stop the flashbacks to our awkward years, when our hair was full of butterfly clips and we wore bold-colored capris with shiny, sequined shirts.

Random Ties

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Once upon a time, Avril Lavigne convinced thousands of people to style ties with tank tops and T-shirts, rather than knotting them around their collars. These days, celebrities are adding them to every outfit and even wearing them like a scarf.

Tube Tops

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This top is sexy in a simple way, but slipping into one has us wondering: should we break out a boho skirt or — oops — low-rise jeans to complete the look?

Strapless Satin Dresses

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While we may pass on going full Cady Heron at her house party in Mean Girls, we don’t mind a sleek and shiny dress. Plus, we’re willing to bet plenty of similar ’00s prom dresses available on Etsy or Poshmark.

Dresses Over Jeans

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It’s a (kind of confusing) fashion trick that allows you to achieve the best of both worlds, and even if it makes you cringe at first, we regret to inform you that this layering technique is celebrity-approved (again).

Fishnet Material

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When worn as a naked dress, this trend can be sexy and even works as a swimsuit cover up. But the second someone decides to layer one under a polo or graphic tee before stacking on some bangle bracelets? We’re outta here.

Dumbbell Tops

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Halter tops were one of Y2K’s top shirt styles, and even today, they’re sexy and elegant at the same time. We’ll keep this one!

Cargo Pants

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So. Many. Pockets. And while that detail makes these bottoms a bit bulky, a fitted shirt or bralette will work to balance them out. Plus, the Kim Possible outfit has really made a comeback!

Lace-Up Details

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It’s not just lace-up tops that are having a(nother) moment. We’ve seen these strings on the sides of dresses and included in pants, too. Now, we just have to figure out what to do with that excess string (ex: Vanessa Hudgens’s reach all the way down to her thigh).

North Face Puffers

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We fully support warm winter puffers, although we’re not exactly sure if they’re red carpet worthy today. Still, Tara Reid did wear her’s in a way many of today’s models would approve of, adding black pants with chunky black shoes and completing the look with a logo bag.

Mid-Section Belts

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Everyone from Michelle Obama to Emily Ratajkowski is a fan of this waist-cinching trick, but before things get too extreme, let’s promise to skip the whole belting of T-shirts, tank tops and plain things.

Crochet Clothing

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Crochet was big in the ’70s, but the ’70s were big in the 2000s. Now that both eras are having a moment, it’s the perfect time to embrace knit sets, bikini tops, sweaters, and more.


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It was the original Snuggie, only it was completely acceptable to wear it in public.

On second thought, if the over-the-head ’00s poncho is indeed making a comeback, our comfy-cozy selves are 100 percent down to try it.


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Platform options, ones with heels — we’ve seen it all over the past few years, and it’s proven to be a fun way to add spice to our summer outfits.