Prince may have wanted to party like it was 1999 ever since the day he wrote the song back in 1982, but the Gen Z and millennial generation are trying to go back and dress like it’s 1999, today. I have seen this term, Y2K fashion swirling around social media for quite some time, so I figured it was time to sit down and fully dissect what it means, its history, and how you can pull off the look in 2021.
WHAT IS Y2K FASHION?
It is the reemergence of the clothes and aesthetic trends from the late ‘90s and early 2000s (2000-2010). Fashion trends are cyclical so it was only a matter of time before this era came back in style. It has also been made popular by Gen-Z as they were too young to fully embrace it when they were young and millennials to recreate their early teen fashion energy.
Y2K fashion embraces the period in time where the world was in a state of fear or having an end of the world crisis mentality. It was then intermixed with futuristic advancements in technology and pop culture. Pop stars like Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, and Paris Hilton were trendsetters in their bedazzled low-rise jeans, velour tracksuits, or mini sunglasses to name a few. Basically, statement pieces and over-the-top fashion will turn heads.
Why is it making a comeback?
Well, like all fashion trends, they come back around at some point. We can also thank the likes of the HBO series “Euphoria” for inspiration. However, possibly because much like the dawn of the 2000s when there was immense fear about the end of the world, it’s similar to what we are going through now. It’s like a rebirth after surviving a pandemic and spending a lot of time indoors. Much like the turn of the 21st century marked the start of an entirely new era, so has this year. So, this Y2K fashion obsession could also signify a bold, bright new way of dressing to bring happiness to an overall dark year.
HOW DO YOU WEAR THE Y2K TREND?
What’s old is new again with Y2K-inspired styles, bold patterns, and over-the-top accessories. Because Y2K fashion is making a comeback, here are some of the top pieces to rock (or let your daughter rock) in 2021.
Join the corset craze in waist-cinching designs that are this summer’s hottest statement piece. Corsets have been one of the most-searched-for items on the web recently and with all the new styles to choose from, it is obvious to see why. They are structured, a little sultry. You can also layer your corsets over T-shirts and tanks for a more casual, laid-back look.
Well, the obvious brand that made velour tracksuits popular back in the early 2000s is Juicy Couture. If you’re like me or most girls during that time, then you owned a couple of different velour tracksuits in a variety of colors and the perfume to go with. Nowadays, velour tracksuits are making a comeback in an array of bright colors with matching hoodies and even bralettes. Dress them up with the latest platform sandals, your colored sunglasses, and a baguette bag.
I recently wrote an article about how Carrie Bradshaw made the baguette bag super popular in the hit series “Sex and the City.” It’s no wonder this bag is on the list for being a Y2K fashion sensation. One that is getting a lot of hype on the social media scene is the Prada baguette bag. Although, if you’re not looking to spend an arm and a leg (me!), I suggest a cute little colorful shoulder bag with a gold chain strap, that will tuck nicely under your arm.
Wide-leg, loose-fitting jeans were mostly brought to you by the skaters of this generation for a grunge-inspired look. However, the girls of this decade gave them a feminine twist when paired with a crop top or baby tee. Remember Tai, Britney Murphy’s character, from Clueless? She made this style iconic.
Crop tops and baby tees are another major Y2K trend. These teeny-tiny T-shirts were so cool back in the day with kitschy graphics, funny sayings, or symbols. Or, if you wanna wear the trend a different way, try a mock neck crop top in a multicolored stripe or bring pink. This shorter style top pairs well with high-waisted anything like loose jeans, joggers, bike shorts, boxer shorts, or pleated skirts.
As if! Yes, pleated skirts are also making a comeback in Y2K fashion, thanks to Cher from “Clueless” and the Britney Spears music video for “Hit Me Baby One More Time.” So, lots of plaids and bright colors will be the perfect match for a pleated skirt. To complete the look, opt for crop tops, baby tees, and sweater vests. Knee socks and Mary Jane style shoes or boots are optional.
MESH AND METALLICS
Luminous fabrics were reminiscent of the early 2000 tech boom and the millennium-inspired futuristic fashion like in “The Matrix.” Lots of silver and opalescent hues were everywhere, paired alongside bright neon shades of pink, green, and yellow. Wear your mesh and metallics on jackets, bags, or even crop tops.
Bucket hats, bandanas, butterfly hair clips, and mini sunglasses all are another part of the Y2K trend. They are also perfect for summer for keeping your face out of the sun and your hair looking done!
Do you think you’ll be wearing any Y2K fashion this year? As Y2K fashion is back in a major way. Just like Prince said, even in 2021, we will be partying like it’s 1999.