Y2K fashion: What's behind the trend?

What is behind the Y2k fashion trend?

Fashion y2k
In fashion, everything comes back at some point. The best example is the Y2K fashion trend, in which Generation Z revives mainly one or the other, almost forgotten fashion sin. Never heard the term before?

Remember the times when low-waisted jeans with sparkly stones on the bottom were the ultimate fashion statement piece, spaghetti strap tops couldn't be tight enough and block tresses were a serious hairstyle? In fact, what might shake up memories of the worst fashion moments of the last decades is suddenly a trend again: Y2K fashion is celebrating a comeback! The Y stands for year and 2K stands for 2 kilos, i.e. 2000 - year 2000. And the name says it all: the Y2K fashion trend reflects the aesthetics of the late 90s and early 2000s: wild, loud, colourful and beyond.

What makes the Y2K fashion trend special?

Fashion at the turn of the millennium was inspired by the abundance of technological innovations. A new era was dawning, and this should also be expressed in the right clothes. Classic cuts were sworn by, but asymmetry, tight fits, shiny metallic fabrics and a lot of bling-bling came into play. In general, fashion became younger, more rebellious, more futuristic, and some people probably say today: more tasteless.

How is Y2K doing today?

What began innocuously enough in 2019 with the return of scrunchies and platform soles is now being taken to the extreme with thongs peeking out of low-waisted jeans and brightly coloured sunglasses. Meanwhile, almost every questionable fashion trend from the 2000s has been rehabilitated and, of course, major fashion chains have expanded their range with retro pieces with a fresh coat of paint. The end of the Y2K fashion trend hype? Not in sight.



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So dig out brightly coloured hair clips, ultra-short pleated skirts and slip dresses with a clear conscience. Or for an authentic Y2K look, head to a well-stocked thrift shop and don juicy couture sweatpants made from Nicki fabric and rhinestones. In fact, almost everything that was cool in the 2000s is possible again, without looking fancy. The only Y2K style that hasn't made a comeback yet? The ever-popular red carpet combination of dress or skirt and trousers, and that's a good thing.

y2k fashion trend
Who wears 2000 clothes now?

In principle, anyone who likes it can wear the style. Generation Z, however, is leading the way: those who were born around the turn of the millennium. All those who may have seen the trends at some point, but haven't really experienced them. It is therefore less surprising from whom the young Y2K followers get their fashion inspiration: for example, they emulate the outfits of the then popular "Bratz Dolls" - toy dolls that competed with Barbie in the 2000s - and styles from teen movies like "Clueless" or "Girlsclub".

But stars like Kendall Jenner and Dua Lipa also serve as role models for the Y2K fashion trend, although they belong to Generation Z, but to the Millennials. 

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Why is the style coming back now?

Some bloggers link the return of Y2K fashion with the crown pandemic and the longing for the past (better?) sometimes. Others think that with glitter and bright colours you can free yourself from negative vibes and bring some fun into the exhausting pandemic years.


But no matter what intention may lie behind the trend's comeback, one thing is certain: every fashion hype, no matter how persistent, will eventually be replaced by the next, even the Y2K fashion trend will pass.

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