Yes, your high school clothes are vintage now.
For most millennials, the early-2000s don’t seem like that long ago. Yet somehow, two decades have passed since the excitement of Y2K — and in the fashion world, 20 years is practically a lifetime worth of trends cycling in and out. Though some of the Y2K fashion trends should stay in the vault forever (looking at you, trucker hats), others have earned a modernized second chance. Wardrobe staples like light-wash jeans, kitten heels, and even frosted lip gloss are experiencing a resurgence thanks to the runways, celebs like Gigi and Bella Hadid, and (let’s be honest) TikTok. And sure, while these pieces might be divisive, there’s no denying that their cool factor is just as high as it was 20 years ago.
As you start thinking ahead to your summer wardrobe, we’re looking backwards for Y2K trends that are ready to see another moment in the spotlight. From halters (hello, going-out tops) to the actually-practical bucket hats, here are four Y2K must-haves that’ll have people asking What decade is it? in the best way possible.
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Y2K Essential: The Mesh Top
Say it with me: Sheer clothing is practical. Because depending on the cut, it’s easily adaptable to a wide range of styles. Go pop-punk with a black, grunge-inspired, jersey-mesh top; go hippie with a hand-dyed, gradient, long-sleeve tee; even go preppy with a yellow collared polo shirt. What you wear underneath — a bra, a tank, nothing — is just as up for interpretation.
Y2K Essential: The Bucket Hat
Thanks to their sun-shading abilities, bucket hats are one of the most functional 2000s trends — especially for summer. While they’re prime for laying poolside, they also add a relaxed-cool to any ready-to-wear look (think: a baby tee and jean shorts or a floral mini dress). Traditionalists will love solid-colored or printed cotton varieties. For the Y2K-obsessed, try a terry cloth version reminiscent of your favorite Juicy tracksuit.
Y2K Essential: The Halter
Over the past year, we might have forgotten the appeal of going-out tops. But as weather warms and restrictions loosen, they are undoubtedly primed for a resurgence — and no piece screams “I love the 2000s” like a halter. A universally-flattering cut, halter tops have the ability to tie a look together. Often a statement either in material, color, or print (or all three), they’re one of those trends that can be worn day or night.
Y2K Essential: The Tinted Shades
Sunny days are here again, and so are tinted sunglasses. Requiring little-to-no styling effort (just pick your color based on your style, personality, or outfit of the day, throw them on your face, and you’re good to go), sunglasses are one of the easiest ways for skeptics to ease into the Y2K trend. For a look that’s nostalgic but still fashion-minded, stick to frames that are pastel or jewel-toned: Colors like dark green, reddish-pink, or burnt orange lend a contemporary touch.