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Y2K fashion: why everyone is so obsessed with the 2000s-inspired aesthetic this year

The early-aughts trend is still going strong

y2k fashion
Orin Carlin
Orin CarlinContent Writer
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The Y2K trend has been trending for what feels like an age now, and yet, somehow the fashion world remains utterly captivated by the 2000s-inspired aesthetic. For those who missed it the first time around, Y2K is all about early-aughts style and all the accompanying vibes.

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If stepping back in time fills you with intense dread rather than a warm glow of nostalgia, you might want to sit this one out. Pop princesses who defined the era – think Anastacia, Destiny's Child, and, of course, Britney Spears – led the way in denim corsets, tinted shades, ultra-low-waisted jeans, and pretty much anything diamanté. Not for the fainthearted – that's for sure.

What is Y2K?

 

Paris Hilton Fendi Baguette© Photo: Getty Images

 

Y2K is an abbreviation for 'the year 2000’ more specifically the Y2K 'bug' – news to us, too. The phrase referred to the doom of expected computer errors related to the date change from 1999 to 2000, following the turn of the century - which never actually manifested.

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Style-wise, the term is synonymous with the Gen-Z-adored aesthetic which harks back to the early aughts. Thanks to the TikTok girlies among us, the Y2K hashtag has been viewed more than 10.1 billion times – yep, billion with a 'b'. If nothing else, the resurgence has proved that fashion is 100% cyclical, and if you lived through it the first time around, count yourself lucky that you probably still own some authentic Y2K pieces that are now considered 'vintage'.

Basically, if in doubt, use Paris Hilton (and ingenué Kim Kardashian for that matter) as your main reference point. The OG It-girl is essentially the physical embodiment of the 2000s aesthetic.

Paris Hilton Fendi Baguette© Photo: Getty Images

Fendi Baguettes, velour tracksuits and butterfly tops – what Paris doesn't know about Y2K, frankly, isn't worth knowing.

What are the need-to-know brands for nailing the Y2K aesthetic?

 

Bella Hadid Y2K Denim Corset© Photo: Getty Images

 

These days, the list of Y2K devotees is growing ever-longer, but the likes of Dua Lipa, Bella Hadid and Lily-Rose Depp deserve a special mention.

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Clad in contemporary brands such as Miaou, Poster Girl, The Attico, and KNWLS, as well as vintage archival pieces by Jean Paul Gaultier, Dior and Versace, these girls seriously know their stuff – and we can't get enough.

Hello! Fashion shares our top Y2K picks to add to cart right now:

The butterfly top

  

area butterfly top

 

Area embellished butterfly-shaped top, £2,896, Farfetch

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The cargo pants

 

alessandra rich pink cargo trousers

  

Alessandra Rich Camouflage-print cotton-gabardine straight-leg cargo pants, £585, Net-A-Porter

 SHOP NOW

The bedazzled bag

  

off white bedazzled bag

 

Off-White Paperclip mini crystal-embellished satin tote, £1,110, Net-A-Porter

 SHOP NOW

The fluffy cropped cardi

  

jacquemus cropped cardi

 

Jacquemus La Maille Neve cropped brushed knitted cardigan, £220, Net-A-Porter

SHOP NOW

The cowboy boots

  

steve madden silver cowboy boots

 

Knighly bootie silver, £180, Steve Madden

SHOP NOW

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