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Picture a yellow halter top with bedazzled details and a coordinating floral skirt paired with strappy sandals. Did this outfit come from the Children’s Place’s 2008 summer catalog, or did you just see it on your Instagram feed from influencers like Shy Smith or Devon Lee Carlson? Turns out one of my favorite elementary school outfits could totally pass for a going-out look in 2022, meaning Y2K fashion is back and better than ever. While some things should stay hidden in the archives forever (we’re looking at you, dresses over jeans), this summer we’re excited for our chance to recreate some of our most memorable looks with 10 of our favorite Y2K trends!
It seems like everyone and their mother has hopped on the butterfly clip trend, and for good reason. While we may remember stars like Britney Spears, Mandy Moore, and the Olsen twins rocking these in their golden blonde waves, butterfly clips look great in a wide variety of hair textures. The key is finding quality clips—like these ones from Etsy—of the right size that’ll keep your curls in place. And the best part is, you can accessorize as much or as little as you want, opting for a minimalistic style that keeps your hair out of your eyes, or going full glam with face-framing pops of color. Creator BettyDreamShop offers a wide variety of clips with a sophisticated color palette as the perfect elevation from your middle-school pastels.
Whether you’re attending a graduation ceremony, a summer barbeque, or enjoying drinks in the city, a pair of strappy sandals are a summer must-have. This pair by Marc Fisher has a low block heel, making them easy to walk in and comfortable for long stretches of time. Pair with a flowy sundress or a pair of low-rise jeans (like the ones up next) to complete your Y2K aesthetic.
Love them or hate them, low-rise jeans are a 2000s fashion staple we never thought would return, but here we are. While I’ll always be biased toward my high-rises, these outfits from Lori Harvey, Bella Hadid, and Rihanna definitely make me want to reconsider with these skater jeans from American Eagle.
Built. In. Shorts. That is the key to nailing the miniskirt trend this summer, keeping you comfortable and stylish. This tennis skirt from Aritzia comes in 22 colors and is made with recycled materials to produce a sweat-wicking fabric that’s breathable enough to handle all of your adventures… even if they just include walking your dog for a puppuccino.
Cut-outs are a super sexy and fun detail that can be seen in everything from tops and dresses to pants. They can be dressed up or down based on fabric colors, patterns, and cut-out placements, making them a versatile standout in your wardrobe.
Didn’t we all own the same lace cami in every color of the rainbow, or was that just me? This classic piece is a step up from the Aeropostale tanks we used to love, trading elongated hemlines for a cropped lettuce hem and adding subtle cross lace detailing. For an extra bit of nostalgia, layer your cami over a plain tee or long-sleeved top—just don’t bring Polo shirts into this, k?
If Beyoncé was a fan of pink sunglasses, I’m a fan of pink sunglasses. The 2000s were all about oversized square frames, lots of rhinestones, and if you’re feeling extra bold, you can go for the full shield look.
Everyone from Dua Lipa to Harry Styles has been seen rocking chunky, beaded necklaces. Emulating a DIY vibe, this set is made with recycled plastics and adds a playful pop of color to any outfit. You can also look for necklaces with a variety of charms to spell out your name to add a personalized touch.
My elementary school self would be proud of this choice. I am absolutely obsessed with this halter from PacSun. The fabric is thick, yet breathable, making it perfect for warm summer days and cooler nights. Plus, the butterfly pattern is the perfect not-so-subtle nod to the 2000s… let me grab my hair clips!
We couldn’t close out a Y2K fashion round-up without mentioning the infamous baby tee. Bonus points if yours doubles as a graphic tee, like these ones from Garage and Betches.
Millennials and Gen-Zers might still be arguing about who does 2000s fashion better, but no matter where your vote lies, these trends are back for a reason and we’re ready to see them all summer long.
Images: Martin Pisotti / Deathtothestockphoto.com