Fashions come and fashions go. Then, some of them come back again, while others we try to forget. Whether you loved it or hated it, the early 2000s was an iconic decade for fashion – arguably for bad fashion. As millennials, many of us were very invested in the trends of the time and, if we don’t cringe, we may even feel a tinge of nostalgia when we uncover the pair of very low-rise jeans at the back of our closet. Here are some of the most memorable – or embarrassing– fashion trends of the 2000s. How many of them do you remember?
1. Low-rise jeans
We’ve already mentioned these so we may as well put them right at the top of our list – even if in reality they only barely reached the top of our pubic bones. As an older, wiser wearer of clothes, I’m now a firm believer that these abominations need to stay firmly in the past. It’s not like they were ever comfortable to begin with, or flattered anybody that had actual hips – god forbid a stomach.
This, in particular, is one of the 2000s fashion trends that I believe belong only in a museum, behind glass, so that generations of the future can marvel at peculiar dress of their ancestors, and never ever repeat our low-rise mistakes.
2. Juicy Couture tracksuits
Arguably the origin of iconic aesthetic athleisure, these tracksuits were donned by celebrities on their day off and too-cool-for school mean girl cliques a like. They were attention-grabbing while still being comfy – indoor clothes to take on the outside world. Without the power of the socialites that wore them, these outfits could easily have remained in the domain of stay-at-home moms, but instead they dominated the spotlight and every teen girl’s closet.
I can’t say I miss them, but looking back, they do have a certain pizzazz (it might be the bedazzling) that attracts a lot of people and also most magpies.
3. Dresses over pants
The Hannah Montana of looks, wearing a dress over a pair of jeans (presumably to enjoy the best of both worlds) somehow became a trend in the early 2000s. I for one, am relieved we let this one go, because it doubled up the laundry and let’s be honest – excessive layers make everyone look like the Pillsbury dough boy.
4. Ed Hardy Prints
As tattoos became increasingly commonplace, so did tattoo imagery on everything else we wore on our bodies. Jeans, those trucker caps that also became a thing in the naughties, tank tops – any item of clothing had room for a recognizable Ed Hardy tattoo print. It gave the wearer a little edge – or so we thought – and like the Juicy Couture tracksuits, everybody who was somebody was sporting this iconic 2000s fashion trend.
5. Sparkly shrugs
Does anyone even know what the function of these were? Not quite a vest, nor much of a scarf, and definitely not a jacket, these shrugs were one of the fashion trends of the 2000s that I personally subscribed to – and now regret deeply.
The fact that I ever spent money on the things, never mind wore them out in public with my low-rise jeans – now causes me actual grief. May we find better uses for fabric offcuts in the future.
Gents and ladies alike are guilty of falling into the trap of the fedora. What seemed like a great idea at the time now looks more like toddlers playing dress-up.
To be fair, wearing a hat has a lot of great benefits – sun protection and the advantage of hiding a bad haircut among them – but perhaps in future we’ll choose hats that won’t be as cringeworthy when we look back at the pictures of what’s left of our youth.
7. Cargo pants
They’re definitely not cute, but at least they had pockets – a feature that women’s pants are notorious for lacking (the fashion industry would much rather we splurge on adding a handbag to our look). No 2000s punk or skater look was complete without a pair of cargo pants and a Blink-182 mixtape blaring from your walkman.
Watch out though, folks, this one seems to be making a comeback – perhaps due to the fact that they’re just that much more practical. Let’s just hope they make them come up above our hip bones this time.
8. Tank tops paired with skinny scarves
Forget the fact that these items are made for entirely different seasons, pair them together and you had one of the most iconic and awkward fashion trends of the 2000s. Unfortunately.
Extra points if you had some extra skinny strap sandals to go with them.
9. The flashiest belts
There was a belt buckle for every occasion. The faster it drew the eye towards your crotch ( because of course, with those low-rise jeans, that’s where they’d go) the better. The only exception to this was when the belts were the extra chunky kind we wore around our waists – probably over our dress and jeans combo.
Again, I’m not innocent here. I’m just reminding you of the mistakes of the past.
10. Livestrong bracelets
Whether you knew what they were supposed to represent or not, it’s likely you needed one or more because everyone else in your school had them, and you didn’t want to be left behind.
The plus side is that the things were damned near indestructible so you didn’t have to take them off for any reason at all. That is, until you realised that it was no longer cool to support a cause only because fashion dictated you do so. Some of us may still have to learn this lesson.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this walk down memory lane, perusing the fashion trends of the 2000s. As much as I enjoyed chuckling at some of the ridiculous things I wore when I was young and naive, I now need to go and wash out my eyes with soap.