Who could forget the year 2000? It’s emblazoned in many millennial minds as the year where not only did the internet shut down, but it also marked the era of experimental styles and trends.
It was also perhaps one of the most iconic years in that generation for pop music, soon to be played at every teen club in the area (if kids were old enough to get into one).
And what were they wearing on their nights out? Oh, just the usual—flared jeans with kitten heels, color sunnies even on a dark dance-floor, likely a denim jacket to conceal their halter tops from their parents. Feeling nostalgic yet?
It was also likely that they’d gone to their hairdresser the week prior for chunky highlights. It also wasn’t uncommon to be listening to a SanDisk Sansa Clip MP3 player—which held exactly 15 songs—or blasting the pop station in hopes of hearing “It’s Gonna Be Me” for the eighth time that day.
They were the worry-free days of teenhood for most ’90s kids when the biggest concern on their minds was finding coveted Hit Clips. It was the days of cliques because they were either preppy, punk, jocky, or just “weird” (nowadays referred to as indie/boho).
While the dissolution of these labels and the styles that came with them has come and gone, some of that generation winds up looking back and thinking it wasn’t all bad.
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20 Leave It: All Denim Everything
In all honesty, wearing all denim is just not as easy as it looks. Since the material doesn’t stretch, it’s nearly impossible to have everything fitting accurately enough to work as a cohesive outfit. While Britney’s dress is super flattering, Justin’s attempt at a denim blazer just… isn’t. Just because denim is popular for jeans and jackets doesn’t mean everything should be created with it. While we are rallying for denim jackets over denim jeans to come back, we’re just not here for denim on denim on denim… on denim.
Oversize denim jackets are slowly making their way back on the scene, though, which is great news for millennial babies.
19 Bring It Back: Oversized Hoop Earrings (And Bright Pink Hair)
The queen herself, ladies and gentlemen: Gwen Stefani. While singer Pink claimed the bright pink hair trend for herself, Stefani rocked it for quite some time and we were totally there for it.
Of course, we were too scared to dye our entire heads neon pink, but you can be sure that we all had pink highlights at some point—temporary, of course.
Another trademark of hers was those gorgeous oversized hoop earrings. If you were a girl in 2000 who didn’t have your ears pierced yet, this trend was enough to make you run to the nearest shop to get it done. They were cute, simple, and the perfect addition to any outfit for a bit of glam. Bring it back, please.
18 Leave It: Platform Flip Flops
They just weren’t practical in any way, shape, or form. It’s unclear whose idea it was to put platform shoes and flip-flops together, but it turned out to be a bad ’70s twist on a modern shoe. Nevertheless, we all had them.
While most people didn’t have platform flip flops this sky-high, there was no shame in our game flaunting our two-inch flip-flips at school dances and at the mall. There was no point in wearing them to the beach (you know, where you’d normally wear flip flops) because they were impossible to walk in. We always went for white, but they’d end up soiled and grimy within a week, not that we cared too much. Black would always show off dust and scuffs, but hey… That’s the life of a millennial, right?
17 Bring It Back: Choker Necklaces
The true mark of an early ’00s teen or late ’90s teen is the famous black choker. It’s easy to pick out who went through the decade of wearing these until they were stretched double their size because these kids probably still wear them today (like myself).
They were essentially the easiest form of jewelry—if you can call them that— to adorn an outfit with and they could be worn with literally anything.
Stacking them was bold and seeking out neon-colored chokers was even bolder. It’s surprising that Claire’s and Icing never ran out of these because almost every kid had them at one point or another. Here’s to forever hoping they make a permanent comeback.
16 Leave It: Low-Rise Jeans
Simply put, low-rise jeans were just not kind to everyone. There was only one point in time when anyone could really get away with wearing these, and it was between the ages of 13 and possibly 16.
After that, we actually began growing into our parts, getting hips, and becoming women. If you happen to be one of those people who could still rock them then all the more power to you. For a majority of the population, it was a sad moment when we’d completed puberty and realized these jeans wouldn’t make it past anything, much less continue to sit perfectly at our hip bones.
15 Bring It Back: Pocketless Jeans
Pocketless jeans, however, were everything. They flattered everyone, hugged all the right places, and were usually especially stretchy due to their lack of pockets.
If you were able to find a good pair, there would either be fake or microscopic pockets on the front, which were essentially useless but looked cute.
These jeans were comfortable, had superbly strong belt loops (probably because that was the only method of getting them up), and echoed our teenage need for rebellion. Not having back pockets was new, interesting, and stood as our little sign to the world that we weren’t about rules. Or excessive pockets.
14 Leave It: Dresses As Shirts (With Flared Jeans)
Kelly Clarkson is adorable, there’s no denying that. What we are denying is the need to take an adorable dress and pair it with super flared jeans. This is a trend that did not last very long at all, likely because outfits just ended up looking bulky and awkward. While it’s a comfort to have something as foolproof as jeans underneath a dress in the event of a wind storm, it just looks awkward.
Some of the cutest dresses were overshadowed by dark denim this way and, equally, some of the cutest jeans were covered up by overhanging skirts. Indecisive outfit choices or perceived fashion trend?
13 Bring It Back: Frosted Lip Gloss
We’re totally here for this one. Frosted lip gloss was so iconic of the ’00s that nearly every girl was likely to have at least two in her bag. One would be school-approved and the other would be after-hours approved for things like the mall, the movies, coffee dates, etc. The brands were cheap but we didn’t care.
The frostier the better, because it really wasn’t possible to have too much metallic or shimmer on your face in 2000.
Inevitably, these would need to be applied once every hour and they’d stick to whatever we drank or ate. Our hair would also get stuck in it which was annoying but luckily, we always had a headband on us to remedy this problem. It’s all part of the year 2000 101 guide.
12 Leave It: Velour Tracksuits
It was a bit of a heartbreaking decision having to add velour tracksuits to this list but it’s all for the better. Velour tracksuits made it easy for us to be a little bit lazy while still looking somewhat fashionable. They came in all types of colors and those who didn’t mind investing in the trend wore Juicy or Baby Phat brands. It wasn’t unusual to swap out one of these babies for an actual outfit in high school because unlike Mean Girls, they were actually kind of cool.
With all the yoga pants and totally comfortable workout gear that we have access to now, there’s no need to bring back these slightly heavy, fuzzy tracksuits.
11 Bring It Back: Butterfly Clips
It seems that most people had a love/leave relationship with butterfly clips but if we forget all the times they got stuck in our hair, they were pretty adorable. You’d get two options with these: the tiny, plastic butterfly clips, or the larger, metal-winged clips.
If the patience was there, you could essentially create an entire butterfly garden on your head, which was totally trendy in 2000.
The metal butterfly clips came in all different colors and some even had glitter on them, adding a bit of sparkle and shimmer to any hairdo. We’re voting to bring them back because they were unique, feminine, and just downright pretty.
10 Leave It: Rhinestone Shirts
Chances are, we all had this exact same rhinestone shirt from Guess. Chances are also that it was worn at least once a week with our favorite eyehole belt and most comfortable jeans. While it was a trademark look in 2000, we’re voting to keep the baby tees but get rid of the rhinestones altogether. After two or three washes, there would be rhinestones all over the dryer, littering our bedroom floors, and they’d fall off randomly throughout the day.
They were in stark competition with graffiti tees, another style trend we were all too quick to forget. Rhinestones are the annoying glitter of the fashion community.
9 Bring It Back: Studded Belts
In 2000, belts left you with one of two choices: strappy, leather belts that could be tied at the waist or studded belts. The great thing about studded belts is that they went with nearly everything and automatically threw off that pop-punk vibe that we all lived for.
Some of us are still living for it today and have yet to part with this metal-studded fashion statement.
They came in all different colors and styles and later on in the ’00s, they’d even come in the form of neon and paint-splatter. These belts are probably one of the only fashion accessories from 2000 to fully evolve and we’re fully here for it.
8 Leave It: Layered Shirts
The result of layering shirts would either be poor or okay-ish. There was no “perfection” to be reached when laying a tank top on top of another tank top on top of a tee. It just wasn’t happening and this was something we did purely for aesthetic, since the second you sat down, you knew that shirt was shifting in one way or another.
They never remained exactly where they were intended to sit and this was infuriating by the fourth hour of wear. They were likely paired with a crazy boho skirt or flared low-rise jeans, which resulted in constantly pulling down each shirt just so that everything stayed in place.
7 Bring It Back: Fishnets
In any form, forever, always. Fishnets went from a sultry style in the ’80s to a punk-rock statement in 2000 and most of us were living for it. We’d wear them as stockings, shirts, and even sleeves like Avril did.
They made any bold tee that much more fashionable and made us look rebellious when paired with a studded belt.
Aside from these sleeves constantly sliding down every time we sat down or stood up, they were awesome. As long as they didn’t get caught on a sharp edge or the door handle when you walked in a room, they were probably one of the most iconic additions to any punkified wardrobe.
6 Leave It: Popcorn Shirts
No matter what the feeling is toward these shirts, just put it down and step away… Just kidding. We’re not shunning the popcorn trend, but we are telling it to move aside. This style never actually came back for a second-go and for good reason. It didn’t matter how these were washed and/or dried, they always seemed to shrink. It wasn’t your imagination —these shirts were designed to fit perfectly the first and maybe a second wash, then become nothing more than a piece of doll clothing.
The colors were great, the texture was interesting and unique, but the design was so flawed. RIP, popcorn shirts.
5 Bring It Back: Funky Halter Tops
Contrary to popular belief, halters suited just about everyone. They could be easily adjusted via the neck ties and could be found in a form-fitting or lose torso style. The best part about these was how great they were in the summer because they allowed for optimal style with minimal fabric conducive to overheating.
They also came in nearly any style and could totally be paired with any bottom, making them one of the most versatile shirts in our 2000 wardrobes.
We’re fighting hard to bring these back but maybe if there’s a halter uprising, it’ll happen? They were far superior to the infamous tube top, that’s for dang sure.
4 Leave It: Polo Shirts (With Collars Folded Up)
Marissa rocked plenty of them on The O.C. but that doesn’t mean the style was universal. Polos had little to no stretch back in the early ’00s which was infuriating if they happened to shrink in the dryer. They also needed to be slightly oversized if the goal was to layer them with additional shirts which quickly became an exact science that no one really had time for. Eventually, they’d be revamped to incorporate stretchier fabric, smaller collars, and better fabric.
Unfortunately for 2000, we weren’t yet graced with these modern innovations in polo fashion. For the record, the collars should be flipped down to avoid looking like a goof.
3 Bring It Back: Trucker Hats
Trucker hats were thrown out for the ever-so-popular fitted cap which is still pretty trendy. The difference was that trucker hats flattered everyone’s head despite hairstyle or face shape.
They could be perfectly fitted and were unbelievably easy to throw on in the event of a bad hair day.
Renegades could wear them backward if so desired while traditionalist could rock their favorite Von Dutch label on the front. They looked super adorable with a pony which could be uber feminine or suitably tomboyish. Basically, these hats were a must-have and versatile in every way possible. We all have them but we never wear them anymore, for some reason.
2 Leave It: Graffiti Shirts
Yikes. Graffiti shirts were a great go-to in 2000 because they conveyed the idea of fashion without actually being fashionable. We all had them, though. These bold and occasionally obnoxious designs would often be the farthest reaching detail in any outfit, often accompanied by oversized hoop earrings and flared jeans. Later on, Timberlands and high-tops would be added to this outfit but we claimed the early stages in 2000.
The reason we’re denying the graffiti tee is that the design would inevitably become sadly distressed after several washes and it never looked as good as it did the first day you brought it home. They were also impossible to read without staring at them, making for a rather awkward situation.
1 Bring It Back: Colored Aviators And Sunnies
Admit it, you probably wore these even on days when it was raining. Colored sunnies weren’t just a way to keep UV rays out of our eyes (if they even really did that), they were a bold fashion statement. They added a pop of color to any outfit and were universally accepted in any style.
If you had colored aviators, it was automatically tres, tres cool.
The more unique the color the more fashionable the look and in 2000, there was really no such thing as miscoordination… That was kind of the point. We’re rooting for this one to come back and it’s slowly beginning to, with high-end sunnies now producing pink and yellow-toned lenses.