The Resurgence of the Y2K Fashion

Growing up, the person I always wanted to be was my aunt. Her room had pink walls, and all of her perfumes smelled amazing (her Britney Spears perfume was my favorite). She always sported a glossy pink lip, and her hair was as blonde as the girls I’d watch on Disney Channel. But above all this, her closet was my sanctuary. It was like a second Christmas to me when she’d go through her closet and give me the clothes she no longer wanted. I grew up wearing her clothes. I still wear her clothes. And oftentimes, I find myself shopping for clothes that I know my aunt would love and wear, circa 2008. So as you can imagine, the resurgence of the Y2k style is dear to my heart, along with the rest of Gen Z. 

If you analyze fashion trends, it becomes very clear that trends recycle. The “20-year rule” is a term often used in the fashion industry to describe the idea that every 20 or so years, trends will resurge. It is currently 2022, so according to the 20-year rule, fashion trends from the 2000s are the most popular right now. This could not be more true, as we see in the media celebrities sporting low-rise jeans, halter tops, and chunky platform sandals (the ultimate Y2k uniform). We also see popular brands from the 2000’s such as Von Dutch and Juicy Couture reinvent themselves to profit off of the trends. Even here at Verrado, we see students take influence from the era. In fact, these trends are more popular amongst the younger generation than the older ones. And although one could argue that Generation Z has a strong desire to remain fashionable, the reason Gen Z loves Y2k so much is because we grew up with it. Our idols were sporting these trends, and naturally, we wanted to dress like them. My aunt was my idol, and the clothes she wore when I was younger left a lasting impact on my identity today. 

Around Verrado, students particularly favor baby tees, platform sandals, lowrise and baggy jeans, and eclectic jewelry that truly encompass the essence of the Y2k culture. After speaking to a few students about the Y2k style, a lot of them expressed the sense of comfort and personality invoked by wearing clothes with 2000’s inspiration. 

Senior, Jayde Grant, says that the reason she likes Y2k fashion so much is because “it makes me confident because I’m not showing off every little inch of my body when I’m having a moment of insecurity…” 

Sophomore, Taehani Scott, says: “I’ve been trying to figure out how to dress for the longest, and I haven’t been comfortable with dressing how I was, so I just go on Pinterest and look up different things on Tik Tok too.” Tae references how trendy the Y2k style is amongst the youth, and she says she finds inspiration from social media and other influencers to find herself through fashion. 

Senior, Grace Gastellum, says she loves y2k because of its uniqueness. “I like it because it’s different. I feel comfortable with it, and I like it because it describes my personality, I guess.” The eclectic and fun styles that fall within the y2k style often are a sense of self-expression for the wearer. 

Y2k inspired styles are undoubtedly a huge part of Gen Z’s identity. It inspires nostalgia and allows for comfort in one’s self-image.