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Article: Y2K Fashion: The Top 10 Real 2000s Trends

Y2K Fashion: The Top 10 Real 2000s Trends

Y2K Fashion: The Top 10 Real 2000s Trends

Y2K fashion was always a little bit extra. A plain t-shirt? Of course not; it would be tight, cropped, and saying something back to you. Even your tracksuit would be bedazzled, and your jeans couldn't just be plain denim. 


The Y2K fashion we really wore


As a teenager in the early 00s, Y2K fashion has a special place in my heart. I would spend hours poring over fashion magazines and making wish lists in mail-order catalogs (the days before internet shopping!).

These are the top 00s trends that I remember drooling over. And, if I was lucky enough - wearing!




 1. Boho Y2K Fashion

Y2K boho fashion

The early 00s brought back the 70s bohemian look with a modern twist.

From tie-dye to ruffles and paisley print, it was equally as free-spirited and effortlessly cool as before, but this time with a bit more bling.

My prized possession in 2004 was a tiered, paisley print mini skirt. It was pink and brown tie dye, and the paisley print was bedazzled with sequins. This thing took me from discos to barn dances and casual summer days.


Boho Y2K clothes

Y2K boho styles from our collection

Where did we wear it?

  • Worn by 00s fashion icons like Kate Moss, Sienna Miller and the Olsen twins
  • Music festivals like Glastonbury 
  • Summer street style

 What did we wear it with?

  • Strappy sandals
  • Anklets 
  • Layered belts
  • Long necklaces





2. Handkerchief Hems

Y2K Handkerchief hems

The boho revival brought handkerchief hems to the rest of Y2K fashion.  

Handkerchief hems have an asymmetric cut. Basically, one side or part is longer than the other, like a folded handkerchief.

They were found on tops, skirts, and dresses. From the boho look to blinged-out club wear.


Y2K handkerchief hem clothes

Y2K handkerchief hem styles from our collection


Where did we wear it?

  • Clubwear
  • Music festivals
  • Formal occasions - Silk and chiffon tops, dresses, and skirts in pink and white were popular wedding guest outfits

 What did we wear it with?

  • Strappy heels
  • Gladiator sandals
  • Denim jackets
  • Low-waist jeans
  • Mini skirts





3. Y2K "Going Out Tops"

Y2K going out tops

A Going Out Top was considered the peak perfect look in Y2K fashion.

Also known as a "Nice Top" or an "Evening Top". A conversation heard in every dorm in the 2000s would go something like this:

"We're going out tonight; what are you wearing?", "oh, just jeans and a Going Out Top."

A Going Out Top must have one of the following features to turn a pair of jeans from a day-to-night look:

  • Spaghetti straps
  • Halterneck
  • Sequins, glitter or diamante
  • Handkerchief hem
  • Cowl neck

 My Going Out Top of choice was a sequined, black strappy top with a layered chiffon handkerchief hem.


Y2K halterneck tops


Y2K going out tops

Going Out Tops from our collection


Where did we wear it?

  • Day-to-night clubwear
  • Discos
  • Parties
  • Drinks at the bar
  • Weddings
  • Any time you needed to dress up, but also down

 What did we wear it with?

  • Jeans
  • Mini skirts
  • Formal trousers (see Smart Casual)
  • Strappy and bedazzled stiletto heels
  • Chunky necklaces





4. Y2K Mini Skirts 

Y2K mini skirts

Y2K mini skirts went from short to about as wide as a belt.

Micro minis in the 2000s were everyone's favorite skirt. Mini skirts came in the classic straight denim style but also in pleated styles in corduroy, tartan, or pinstripe.

There was nothing I wanted more in 2002 than a Burberry tartan pleated mini skirt. While I never got one, I've since filled my wardrobe with enough pleated tartan skirts to make up for teenage me's heartbreak!

Seen all over the characters in iconic pop culture movies like Mean Girls, Y2K minis have come back as the perfect example of the decade's aesthetic.


Y2K mini skirts 

Y2K mini skirts from our collection

Where did we wear it?

  • Everywhere!
  • Clubwear
  • Casual wear
  • Steet style

 What did we wear it with?

  • Baby tees
  • Going Out Tops
  • Ugg boots
  • Strappy heels
  • Wide belts





 5. Y2K Casual Bling

Y2K casual glam

When it came to Y2K fashion, everything could be bedazzled.

Diamante, rhinestones, sequins and glitter. A bit of glam was added to everything, from tracksuits to jeans and skirts. Nothing was safe from the bedazzler.

Y2K casual glam clothes

Y2K glam from our collection 


Where did we wear it?

  • Street style - velour tracksuits were a favorite errand-running outfit of celebs. From WAGs (wives and girlfriends of footballers), to pop stars, and IT girls like Paris Hilton and Britney
  • Red carpet - blinged-up tracksuits, jeans, and t-shirts were considered fancy enough for red carpet events in the 00s

 What did we wear it with?

  • A flip phone
  • Sunglasses
  • A tiny dog in a handbag (I'm only half joking)





6. Y2K Baby Tees

Y2K baby tees

Y2K baby tees were tiny and cropped.

Short sleeves or sleeveless baby tees were decorated with brand names, logos, patterns, or tongue-in-cheek slogans. 

The look was kind of like you were wearing a kid's t-shirt (hence the name!). Paired with low-waist jeans or baggy cargo pants, capris, or miniskirts.


Y2K baby tees

 Y2K baby tees from our collection


Where did we wear it?

  • Everyday casual wear

What did we wear it with?

  • Low-waist jeans
  • Mini skirts
  • Ugg boots
  • Vans





 7. Y2K Surf-Core Fashion

Y2K Surfer Style
The 00s experienced a surfing revival that made surf style the new street style.

Y2K surf-core was all about Hawaiin prints in oranges, blues, and browns.

Brands like Quicksilver and Billabong rode the wave of the success of TV shows like The OC that made beach casual look so cool.

The surfer look had us all in a chokehold. In the early 2000s, I dressed in far too many teal and Hawaiian prints for someone who could not tan, did not have beachy waves, and definitely could not surf.

 Y2K surf clothes

 Y2K surfer styles from our collection


Who wore it and where?

  • Summer street style

What did we wear it with?

  • Shell necklaces
  • Flip flops
  • A tan 





 8. 2000s Smart-Casual Fashion

Y2K smart casual outfits

2000s fashion took a business casual turn.

Satin shirts, fitted blazers, pinstripes, and black and white were the go-to smart-casual look.

Blazers came in every fabric and color, from denim to satin, but they were always fitted and detailed with ruffles, embroidery, or bling. Blouses had puff sleeves with belted waists, or peplum fits. 

It was the perfect way to turn up looking smart, but not too much.


Y2K smart casual clothes

 Y2K smart casual styles from our collection


Where did we wear it?

  • Office wear
  • Day to night clubwear

 What did we wear it with?

  • Patent stiletto pumps
  • Chunky necklaces
  • Tiny handbags





 9. Y2K Denim

Y2K denim styles

More than just jeans, denim in the 00s was for everything.

Denim blazers with denim midi skirts. Denim capris with denim tank tops. Y2K denim was pretty out there and never, ever boring. Full double denim outfits were even often worn to red carpet events.

Y2K denim wasn't complete without distressing, faded washes, or embellishments.

My 00s double denim outfit was a fitted denim blazer paired with distressed bootcut jeans.


Y2K denim

  Y2K denim from our collection


 Where did we wear it?

  • Everywhere! Y2K denim was fit for every occasion
  • Club wear ✔
  • Street wear ✔
  • Red carpet event ✔

 What did we wear it with?

  • Baby tees
  • Going Out Tops
  • Uggs
  • Stilettos
  • Lots of rhinestones





 10. Y2K Jeans

Y2K jeans

Jeans in the 2000s had the lowest waist possible.

Washes were usually dark blue or greencast with fading and whiskering. 

Brown, patterned, and white jeans were also popular.

The trendy fit for Y2K jeans was a flared bootcut. A hip and thigh hugging style, kicking out at the knees and calves to a shoe-covering flare. It was common to wear too long jeans, so your flares would drag on the ground, catch under your heels, and tear.

And when it rained, we all got soggy ankles as our dragging flares soaked up the puddles!


Y2K women's jeans

 Y2K low-waist, bootcut jeans from our collection


Where did we wear it?

  • Everyday casual
  • Clubwear
  • Streetwear

What did we wear it with?

  • Cropped baby tees
  • Zip up hoodies
  • Tank tops
  • Going Out Tops
  • White trainers
  • Tucked into Ugg boots
  • Stilettos






Where can you buy real Y2K fashion?

Our 2000s clothes are hand-picked to bring you the authentic styles we loved back then, so you can nail your own authentic and unique Y2K outfit.