A blend of laid back vintage streetwear and futuristic luxury, Y2K fashion became a trend in the late 90s and early 2000s thanks to huge pop culture influences like Destiny’s Child, Paris Hilton, NYSNC, and films like Mean Girls, Legally Blonde, and The Matrix. The trend was reborn in 2020 when Gen Zers were spotted on TikTok wearing silk scarf tops and bootcut jeans, and the style quickly began to appear on runways as well. Y2K fashion harkens back to a nostalgic era following vast changes in film, music, fashion, and technological advancements. When current styles become tedious, we tend to travel back in time and embrace older trends with a fresh perspective. That’s the cyclical nature of fashion.
Why Is Y2k Fashion Making a Comeback?
Humans are creatures of habit and tend to reminisce about an idealistic past. For millennials and older Gen Zers, this year’s Y2K trend is sentimental, a reminder of their childhood and a much simpler time. Thanks to social media and pop culture, these iconic styles have resurfaced and are being fully embraced by the younger generation. Countless celebrities like Dua Lipa, Hailey Bieber, Olivia Rodrigo, Rihanna, and many more have been seen sporting their unique, modernized Y2K looks, and we’re here for it! After two long years of staying home and wearing sweats and pajamas, consumers are finally ready to break the cycle with bright colours and styles that reflect their individuality. Nevertheless, the casual comfort we have grown accustomed to over the past two years is most definitely here to stay.
Following the Y2K comeback, brands are launching all sorts of nostalgia-themed collections. The Von Dutch hat trend began in the early 2000s when Justin Timberlake wore one to a Grammy party. Shortly after, the same hats were worn by celebs like Lindsay Lohan, Gwen Stefani, and Ashton Kutcher. Almost two decades later, Rihanna was seen wearing her modified version of the Y2K aesthetic with an Esso trucker hat, and a matching tracksuit.
Major comeback brands include Ed Hardy with their graphic-bedazzled T-shirts, hoodies, sweatpants, and hats, Juicy Couture with their signature velour tracksuits, Champion and Russell Athletic with their sweatpants, hoodies, and crewnecks, and Von Dutch with their trucker hats, T-shirts, bags, sweatpants, and other accessories. Von Dutch’s general manager, Ed Goldman, has said that the rise in the appeal of the Y2K trend and the Von Dutch brand allowed the company to bring back their popular styles with a modern twist, and their current success is comparable to that of their prime in the 2000s.
Get the Y2K Colour Palette
In the early 2000s, hot pink was extremely popular and apparent in movies like Mean Girls and Legally Blonde. The colour was a favourite of celebrities like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan. Meanwhile, Destiny’s Child were seen wearing hues of purple, light-blue, and baby-pink outfits. NYSNC sported many looks using muted greens, yellow, bone/cream, and frosty blue as they took on retro streetwear and futuristically inspired looks.
How to Add the Trends to Your Roster
The Y2K trend can be characterized by statement pieces, so don’t be afraid to experiment with patterns and bright colours. What’s the trick to pulling off the Y2K fashion trend? Take it one piece at a time.
Crop Tops & Baby Tees
Crop tops and baby tees were all the rage in the early 2000s, popularized in films like Bring it On, and Mean Girls, and popstars like the Spice Girls. After the style resurfaced in the 2010s, and continue to be on-trend in pop culture, and on social media by influencers like Charlie D’Amelio, the trend is back, and a lot of people are using it to style minimalist outfits.
Graphic Tees, Oversized Fleece, and Matching Tracksuits
Worn by hip-hop artists like Missy Elliott and Diddy (formerly P. Diddy), matching tracksuits and oversized sweatshirts dominated the 2000s. The trend extended to matching velour tracksuits from brands like Juicy Couture and Baby Phat, worn by celebrities like Madonna, Paris Hilton, and Britney Spears. Along with many Y2K trends, the style has reappeared as fashionable streetwear and can be widely seen on social media thanks to celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Jennifer Lopez. This signature Y2K outfit has always been topped off with a bucket hat or a bandana to enhance the streetwear vibe.
The trucker cap was a staple in the early 2000s used alongside a maximalist outfit. This iconic cap is fairly popular in our industry, but now it’s a huge hit on social media and one of the go-to elements of the Y2K trend.
Through the late 90s, bucket hats were widely popular accessories in the hip-hop community. Although they were seen in music videos and on album covers, the hats weren’t quite considered high fashion and, as a result, lacked popularity among the general population. Still, the revival of bucket hats can be widely seen today on social media, fashion runways, and television series like Emily in Paris, where they’ve been modernized to create a more preppy look.
*Arriving July 2022
The iconic bandana is a multi-use accessory that’s been seen everywhere from hip-hop concerts to high-fashion runways. Associated with hip-hop and R&B artists in the early 2000s, the trend has resurfaced to become fully embraced by millennials and Gen Zers on TikTok. Bandanas are the Y2K hair accessory that can completely transform your outfit. The fabric is super versatile and can be folded into a triangle or a thin strip.
Puffer vests were widely popular in the 2000s, with influences like Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent styling them over sweatshirts and tracksuits in music videos. This Y2K seasonal piece has definitely made a comeback, as it’s pretty versatile and can be used to sport high-fashion outfits or laid-back streetwear.
As we make our way through a global pandemic and foreign conflict, looking back at past trends and feeling comfortably nostalgic might just be the perfect outlet. Want to pull off the Y2K look? Don’t miss out on these key statement pieces and accessories that’ll keep your clients on trend. Shop these styles today.