By Tiana Browne
y2k fashion describes the trends of the late 90s and early 2000s. Fashion styles from certain eras never stay in the past as fashion is cyclical and rotates over the years. However, only specific trends seem to make a comeback while others are fortunately overlooked with time. With that said, these y2k trends have made a massive comeback while also being a bit controversial in the fashion industry.
Pop culture of the 2000s started what we now know as “y2k” fashion. It can be seen worn on people such as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Missy Elliot, Paris Hilton, Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, and Regina George of Mean Girls. People used to wear things like big sunglasses and baguette bags and the popular velour tracksuits and Kangol hats.
Tiktok, Instagram, Gen Z and the global pandemic all played a part in bringing back y2k fashion. The pandemic caused people to be bored and stuck at home resulting in a lot more time spent using social media more than we usually have time for. Tiktok is a brilliant app for sharing your creativity and it can be really good for exposure especially with good hashtag use and a specific niche for the type of content you create.
y2k fashion became a Tiktok trend that inspired many teens as it made quite the fashion statement and people wanted something new and cool but also something familiar. Teens in particular are more likely to get fashion inspiration from sites such as Tiktok, Instagram, and Pinterest. Online shopping sites such as Asos, Pretty Little Thing, Boohoo, Fashion Nova etc are now incorporating a lot of the vintage styles into their new and mass-produced fashion lines; it takes away from actual second-hand clothes and makes it seem more eco friendly than what it is which deludes people because they then believe they’re doing their part for the environment when they aren’t.
I don’t think fashion is real I think it’s just a huge cycle of pre-existing fashion that suddenly comes along again and becomes a trend. Your favourite rapper/influencer starts wearing it and because we’re easily influenced by things we see on social media and we tend to do things our friends are doing, we resurrect past clothes and style inspirations perhaps with a new twist as well and claim it to be something else than what it originally was which I disagree with. I feel like it takes away from the first original niche and the reasons why and how people started to get into it.
I personally use Depop for cool and vintage clothes I can’t get from anywhere else. I often go to London when I want to go thrifting because there are a lot more stores with far more variety. I’ve queued outside pop up shops that are usually open for a short while or sometimes I have to buy a ticket beforehand to get in and go at an allocated slot as they can be quite busy, it’s fun.
Public Service Announcement: You should really consider buying from thrift stores/charity shops and use Depop or other equivalent places to get clothes. I hate fast fashion it’s so bad for the environment and you can really buy Balenciagas from a ‘luxury streetwear plug’ on Depop bro it’s actually not that deep. Fast fashion is mass-produced for what’s trendy right now, that trending fashion style quickly gets boring and people find something else; that just isn’t sustainable, people also don’t donate enough to charity or resell, a lot of those clothes get thrown away which is the problem. At least support someone’s small shop on Depop instead of going to Selfridges, they already make enough money! Fashion accounts for around 10% of greenhouse gas emissions from human activity. Clothing in general has complex supply chains that make it difficult to account for all of the emissions that come from producing a pair of trousers.
I do actually think y2k is cool but I now see it as a more basic kind of style because it’s trending now.