Clothing, movies and culture of the 2000s return in 2021

David Matos, Staff Writer

It’s time to dust off those low-rise jeans and velour tracksuits because the 2000s are making their way into 2021. 

Michael Clement

If you have recently scrolled through Instagram and TikTok, you may have noticed some familiar fashion trends from the 2000s. This trend is known as Y2K. People often associate the term with the literal meaning, “year 2000,” but it’s much more complex. Y2K fashion is essentially a modern reimagination of popular trends and aesthetics from the decade of 2000-2009.

Those who are old enough to remember, may believe the term has a different meaning. In the late 1990s, many people feared what was known as the “Y2K bug,” also known as the millennium bug. This was the fear that digital calendars wouldn’t generate dates after the year 2000. Many people viewed this problem as the end of the world, which was luckily later proven nonsensical by computer scientists. Today, the term is usually associated with 2000s nostalgia.

The resurgence of Y2K fashion was inevitable as fashion trends from the past tend to make a comeback in later decades. We also recently entered a new decade with a similar state of mind to those who experienced the Y2K bug in the late 1990s. Due to the pandemic, we have acquired a new reliance on technology and are wary of the future. Naturally, this fear of uncertainty has caused young adults now to yearn to go back to a simpler time, the 2000s.  

Some of the more notable fashion trends that are making a comeback are matching velour tracksuits, low-rise jeans, designer pieces, cardigans, denim on denim and blinged-out clothes, to name a few. People who indulge in Y2K fashion often take direct inspiration from movies and pop culture icons of the time. 

Many of us who grew up in the 2000s might recall the popular doll brand, Bratz. Aside from their oversized heads and removable feet, Bratz dolls are known for their trendy, more controversial fashion choices that earned media attention for the entirety of the 2000s.

Photo from Wikimedia commons

Despite the doll brand no longer being sold in stores, Bratz is more relevant than ever among adults who grew up with the brand. It has become heavily associated with Y2K fashion. Popular clothing brands, Dolls Kill and Hot Topic, have already capitalized on their new-found popularity with their recent collaborations with the brand. 

Movies like “Legally Blonde”and “Mean Girls” have also had a major resurgence. The hyper-feminine and rather dated fashion choices in both films have recently become a prominent inspiration for today’s trends. Due to their new status within today’s pop culture, both films are receiving reboots with “Legally Blonde” getting a third movie and “Mean Girls” being recreated as a musical. The 2000s trends have heavily influenced celebrities such as Ariana Grande, Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, Dua Lipa, Bella Hadid, Kylie Jenner and Chloe X Halle. It can be seen through their music and fashion choices.  

Several of the fashion choices from the decade are often seen as questionable. Those who grew up during that time remember being ridiculed for something that is now seen as trendy. Needless to say, many of the adults who were at least teens during the 2000s are not so fond of the decade making a resurgence. 

Though it’s unclear how long society’s recent obsession with the 2000s will last, it is wise to take advantage of the moment before the inevitable happens again to the next decade, the 2010s.