Looking at old photos from the original Y2K fashion, some may say that the fashion back then is lousy and unattractive. It can be unattractive if you say it comes off as unflattering to the body since this is true (from my perspective), but the Y2K aesthetic is not all that bad.
The aesthetic originally started from the late 1990s up until the early 2000s. It’s called Y2K because of when it emerged, the year 2000s “Year 2000” (get it, Y2K?). It’s also actually named from the famous Y2K Bug. The aesthetic itself is not hard to find especially in the Pinterest world and it’s common staples are that of leather jackets, tracksuits, short tops, shining clothing, and plaid skirts (this one is a must).
I guess I have said a lot of things regarding the plaid skirts before, but well surprise, in the Y2K aesthetic, the plaid skirts are still there and hailing in this fashion trend. On why the plaid skirts are famous in this trend, that can be deduced to the fact that the 2000s fashion really loves their low-rise mini skirts and unironically, these plaid skirts happen to be short, too. If you don’t see the picture of which plaid skirts that I am referring to, I am actually referring to these ones:
See how they’re low rise and mini? Yes, how one knows that we are in the Y2K fashion aesthetic. But make no mistake, the plaid mini skirt isn’t the only thing that makes this aesthetic so memorable. While many would think that the Y2K fashion aesthetic really isn’t the best aesthetic trends that happened in all of the fashion history, the aesthetic itself is starting an evolution and it’s known to have a revamping stage of its own elements.
So what are some of the known elements of the Y2K aesthetic?
Their clothing details are mostly composed of rhinestones and sequins
Probably their go to attires for the night out parties. One of the most famous fashion items is the sequin dresses that everyone is familiar with that was made famous by Paris Hilton, which was later adapted by Kendall Jenner in our current generation. But not only do these blinging crystals in dresses make up the aesthetic, but also how the designers are able to make use of these crystals on almost any fashion item that can be used on it. Take for example, some simple tops that can be used as an everyday attire, placing on some rhinestones strategically on a certain print is one of the known trends in Y2K. Heck, as tracksuits are an essential clothing in this aesthetic, the designers also try to make it classier by making sure that it blings in the dark (okay, I am exaggerating.), again, placing these small crystals on specific places of the outfit.
Even up to this day, sequins and rhinestones are considered essential blings in the fashion industry most especially now that the Y2K fashion aesthetic is going to a certain point of re-emergence.
Sounds fake but they show some good amount of skin
I get what you’re thinking, like ain’t that normal in fashion these days? I mean, Paris Hilton from the early 2000s is all I can think of whenever we talk about things relating to this aesthetic and the images that go through my head whenever I think of her fashion sense then as well, she makes sure that her belly button always shows up (lol). Now don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to sexualize anybody here since fashion is free but particularly for this aesthetic, it’s users normally wear a lot of their skin here (at least, that’s how I remember the Y2K fashion sense). It cannot be compared to today’s fashion since the 2020 fashion is very flexible and there are no definite fashion trends actually going on (aside from the fact that there are a lot of different fashion aesthetics that anybody can get into right now) due to the fact the people are starting to express themselves through the different fashion sense that they think they fit into.
This can also be properly observed by the types of tops that its enthusiasts wear such as those mini tops that you often see on Pinterest. I am referring to the tops that are open in the stomach area and closed off in the chest area by way of tying a ribbon piece in that part. I am pretty sure you saw a piece like this before too being worn by your favorite Instagram influencer. The low-rise bottoms are also one since again, often I see someone hailing this aesthetic, their belly button almost always shows - that’s still skin man. Another is well, the mini skirts, and you know what they are, these skirts are a thing in this aesthetic. Basically said, this aesthetic is not afraid to expose them legs (or even the torso) because they know they can rock them.
The 2000 icons that are the source of them all
I already mentioned Paris Hilton on the previous bullet as one of the star influencers of the Y2K fashion aesthetic, but there are still others that I haven’t mentioned yet. One of which is Britney Spears, and especially Britney Spears! Have you not seen her concert fashion items whenever she goes on stage to perform? Peak Y2K! Those jumpsuit-like attire that she rocks when she performs just speak volumes with this aesthetic. And again, she’ll never miss out on those low-rise bottoms paired up with a cute, small top, the size of a crop top.
But aside from real life influencers that made the Y2K trend seem so fashionable, there are also other influences that hyped the trend more and that is through movies. I am talking about movies like Mean Girls and Legally Blonde. If you are not aware of these movies, well simply put these were iconic films that made use of the Y2K fashion. Both movies were the influences of Ariana Grande’s music video for her song “thank u, next”. Somehow, it can be assumed that it was due to this that the Y2K aesthetic took a huge revival. But besides that point, aside from these movies, there is also another icon that wears this aesthetic to their core and that are the BratZ dolls. In case you don’t know who the BratZ dolls are, they are an American product line of fashion dolls and merchandise manufactured by MGA Entertainment and created by Carter Bryant. Four original 10-inch dolls were released in 2001—Yasmin, Cloe, Jade, and Sasha. They featured almond-shaped eyes adorned with eyeshadow and lush, glossy lips. Aside from their makeup features, the BratZ dolls are known for their fashion sense and guess what, they also were highlighting what the Y2K fashion aesthetic is all about: short, plaid-colored skirts, berets, high-platform shoes, and the crystals on their clothes (can’t forget about that).
The Y2K aesthetic right now
The aesthetic itself is rising back to popularity but it’s not like the original trend where everybody wears some unflattering attire for their figures. The aesthetic right now actually regained a lot of popularity probably due to a lot of artists trying the aesthetic themselves. I mentioned Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” music video as a possible huge influence for this as they used a lot of Y2K references from that video. But another seemingly acceptable deduction is the fact that those little girls who were born of the late 90’s are now basically in their 20s. And it is safe to assume that the icons that they love from 2004, such as from the movie Mean Girls (which is still a very popular chic flick even up until this day), they can now reenact in real life but in the twist of their own.
As I mentioned, the Y2K aesthetic right now has really evolved and it is now mixed with other aesthetics in its own aesthetic. Fashion styles such as that of the high-waisted jeans that are still a thing right now are being paired with those famous small tops of the Y2K aesthetic and everybody loves it! It’s such a simple attire yet you still feel very fashionable when you were to wear it this way. Another trend of the aesthetic of today is its love for the butterfly clips. Pinterest girls love them that even the soft girls adopted it into their own aesthetic. It is also very easy to confuse the Y2K aesthetic with the soft girl aesthetic due to how both make the wearer of the aesthetic look cuter/more petite than they are. The main difference between these two just basically lies in how they manifest their styles through the types of clothes that they wear. Most often, the clothes of the Y2K today may come from vintage clothing, or simply put from thrift shops, since once again this type of aesthetic is re-emerging when it was once just a thing of the early 2000s and the clothing of then is not that far from its time today, you know! The Y2K aesthetic of today also makes sure that the attire one wears is flattering to their body. Flattering by means of not necessarily wearing wide fashion items such as tennis skirts, but still gives room to make it sexy but not nasty.
The Y2K aesthetic is a definite aesthetic that you should watch out for this 2020 since it is most definitely going for a full on comeback once everybody starts to go back to the world we were once familiar with (I am talking pre-COVID!). With the classics going back with the help of the movies that we used to love and still love today, it is almost inevitable that this classic aesthetic will rise in glory in the fashion industry again, so stack up some mini skirts ladies! And if you haven’t yet then hop on ‘cause we’re going shopping ;).