If you are into fashion, you must have heard about the Y2K trends, aesthetic and style making a comeback. And if you haven’t heard of it, then surely you saw bits and pieces of it on Instagram feeds, your favorite shops shelves as well as the whole wide web!
At first the buzz was rather muted, with articles/ Youtube channels talking here and there about the all time classic Mean Girls aesthetic, or the Prada Re-edition Nylon bag. By the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021 we saw more and more focus on the Y2K styles. Not only that, but even the back-then famous stars like Lindsey Lohan, Amanda Beynes and Paris Hilton have also gotten back the attention, though videos covering their life stories and in many cases, tragedies.
What is Y2K Fashion?
This distinctive fashion style and aesthetic is associated with late 90s and early 2000s fashion era. It was the beginning of the .com era and internet became more and more popular.
For a better understanding, try to envision bubblegum pink, with shiny fabrics, pleated colorful skirts, chunky sneakers and a tiny shoulder bag! Baby tees and lingerie worn with normal clothes were also a popular combination.
As fashion trends are from past decades are circling back, no wonder that we are seeing these styles back to life, when nostalgia of the ‘good old times’ is at its’ peak. And no wonder, with all the time spent in quarantine, all of us have had plenty of time to re-watch our favorite TV series and get the ‘nostalgia inspiration’ needed to fuel this new trend. I personally re-watched everything from the Gilmore Girls, to Sex and the City, to my Mean Girls and The Devil Wears Prada. Heck! I even went further back in time and watched Jawbreakers and the classic Clueless. So yea, it was a given that I will fall back into the bubbly pink and velour arms of the Y2K fashion!!!
The Signs of 2000s Fashion Big Return
October 2018 was the year of Dior. More precisely, the year when Maria Grazia Chiuri carefully and successfully brought back to life the early 2000s It Bag: The Dior Saddle Bag. End of 2019, Miuccia Prada blessed us with the launch of the 2000 and 2005 re-edition Prada Nylon bag. It was, and still is, an instant success, as women tend to gravitate towards the smaller sizes when it comes to handbags. Kim Kardashian launched her SKIMS brand, which started to slowly offer alternative, more neutral colors of essentially the famous “track suit”.
2019 overall was also an extremely successful year for the luxury fashion brands and we see a clear return to maximalist and logo-centric garments. This was the foundation of the 2000s, where pink bedazzled velour tracksuits with huge “Juicy Couture” logos was once a staple. Gucci is one of the brands that embraced and banked in a way on logo-mania and they were not wrong! They are ranking 1st on Google Trends for a reason!
One more aspect worth to look at would be the rise in thrifting and second-hand apparel market. As I mentioned in my Logos, Luxury and Status Symbol article (link here), in 2018 the overall market has reached $24 billion in the USA alone, versus $35 billion for the fast fashion industry same year. Why is this related you might ask? Well, thrifting is all about those old school pieces that belong to certain decades. There are plenty of new websites now that promote not only vintage, but also pieces worn by our favorite TV characters, or at least similar to them. One of my favorite websites is poshmark.com, where I found many pieces that were featured in shows like Gossip Girl. Queen B has always been an inspiration and having items in my closet even close to what she was wearing, is a dream came true!
Lastly, the pandemic. Yes, after such a long time of not showing off any of the nice outfits we have and living day and night in the same old matching sweatsuits, the time has come for some new aesthetics. It is no denial that the last year has been tough on all of us, and we all tend to find comfort in what makes us happy. The 2000s have been very playful when it comes to fashion, with pastel colors, accessories and tiny bags; a strong contrast from beige outfits and no-makeup looks right?
Where we are today. 2021.
As the year unfolds, it became more and more clear that the y2k aesthetic is coming back in full force. If we look at the new collections from the main luxury players, we can determine that indeed, we are back in the colorful era. And don’t get me started on the Blumarine 2021 collection! But I will get to that in a minute.
More specifically canvas handbags! Yes, canvas bags were a big hit in the early 2000s and made from many different fabrics. Simple, embroidered, tiny shoulder bags could, in-spite their size, make or break your outfit. Remember those fun and tiny bags we’ve seen in the Gilmore Girls and Sex and the City? How about that amazing Dior Saddle bag, Carrie Bradshaw was wearing? Not to mention her signature sequin purple Fendi Baguette?
We started seeing the dependency on leather decreasing throughout 2020 and now in 2021 we are back on with fun styles that only the canvas allows. Below are some example of the new Fendi and Dior collections for reference.
From high-end luxury brands, to affordable luxury, to our favorite fast-fashion brands, they all have introduced pieces that are reminiscent to the Y2K era. Especially when it comes to skirts and colorful crop-tops, variety is no issue in the digital era, am I right?
Below are some cute options I found from Asos, Pretty Little Things, Zara and Maje.
Dior is also going strong on the oblique monogram style, getting inspiration from Galliano’s 2000s Fall Collection that we still love today! Who can forget Mariah Carey rocking that pink Dior Monogram Jacket? Can you?!
Baby Tees were all the talk in 2000s, and once again, we see it coming back with few designers. Take Givenchy 2021 collection, with a heavy focus on baby tees and very logo centric. Maybe not the fan favorite as it is so basic in its’ simplicity and feels like an obvious money grabber, but hey… It’s there!
Sheer tops and fun-cut pants and bustiers have also made an appearance in the Givenchy collection, and to be honest I quite like the style! Makes fashion a bit more fun and after all the grim year we all had, we definitely need more adventure in terms of clothes cut and pairing.
However I would not give credit where credit is due, if I wouldn’t mention the amazing Fall 2021 ready-to-wear Blumarine collection. Heavens! That is such a throwback to the 2000s era, but with a modern twist. I mean, it’s simply breathtaking how all elements come together in one single amazing collection.
Vogue provides a slideshow of all looks and I highly suggest you have a glance. My favorite looks are 5, 13, 15, 16, 29 and 32. What are yours?
2000s fashion was also all about the accessories. From bandanas, to butterfly hair clips, to chunky necklaces, all of these are seeing a comeback. Another reason will be also the shift in focus from various luxury brands, towards the small leather goods and accessories realm. Just scrolling through my Instagram feed, I can clearly see how all luxury fashion brands are pushing the accessories more than the ready-to-wear, as that’s where they make bank!
Below are some pictures from 2000s to serve as inspiration for the next time you are browsing for some bling!