All the glorious outfits we wore in the 2000s

“You know how we’re choker-deep in a ‘90s fashion resurgence right now?” she asked as she tightened the strap on her platform jelly sandals in 2015. Well, that means a 2000s fashion resurgence is not far behind. I mean, I saw some SERIOUS bell bottoms in Urban the other day so I’d put us at around 1997 in the ‘90s so it’s not much time before we have to relive some less-than-stellar ensembles.

Back in 2004, I was shopping at the mall with my mom and saw a scoop-neck tee shirt that had a fake beer logo on it that said “Hottie Lite” on it. I was DESPERATE for this shirt. My mom, smartly, informed me that no one would know I was wearing it as a joke and I should put it down.

And that basically sums up what we were wearing in the 2000s: stuff we should have been thinking of as jokes. For example:

Sweatpants With Words On the Butt

Just the other day I threw on a pair of shorts to go to the gym and then ran some errands, all the while oblivious to the fact that I was wearing a pair of shorts purchased in the 2000s that said “NYU” across the butt.

This was also the era of Juicy Couture sweatsuits and anything velour. Also, 2002 is when Victoria’s Secret launched their PINK line, so there was a LOT of that. Everywhere. In every form.

Trucker Hats

Specifically Von Dutch hats, probably. I think we can safely blame this entirely on Ashton Kutcher and move along.

Butterfly Claw Clips

This was a hair style I couldn’t quite perfect with my thin-but-plentiful hair but I attempted MANY times. I wore a similar hair style as a 10-grader going to prom just into the year 2000 and I think we can agree it was…maybe a misstep.

ALL the Halter Tops and Tube Tops

If I had a shirt with traditional straps, I wasn’t wearing it in the 2000s. This was the time for tube tops (luckily I didn’t get boobs until much later) and halter tops. I specifically remember reading halter tops on my high school’s dress code and BRAZENLY wore one anyway in quiet protest. I mean, what even is this brown number I’m wearing with my little brother, college friend and mom?

See also: one-shouldered tops. I had a rainbow-striped one-shouldered SHORT-SLEEVED tee shirt that I was obsessed with.

Weird Weird Jeans

This includes – WHISKERED JEANS which is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever willing purchased. And also any kind of lace-up denim pant. But for some reason the 2000s was also the time of the dreaded pocket-less jeans. As women, we have a hard enough finding jackets with real pockets and in the 2000s even our jeans betrayed us.

Polos, Popped Collars, Layered Polos

Just. I don’t know how this happened.

I can’t. Never make me look at this again. (Please note this was for a fake frat party my friends threw in 2006.)

Dresses Over Jeans

Ditto this. Why were we trying to make this happen? The whole joy of wearing a dress was completely ruined by the fact that you were wearing jeans under it.

Which brings me to…

SHRUGS (or any sweater-type item too short to be useful)

Please know this is the single worst outfit I’ve ever worn in my life. And also just the worst all around I’ve ever looked. Please also know this was the year 2006.

Puka necklaces

Usually paired with frosted hair and and a halter top, because FASHION.

Platform flip-flops

They made you really tall. They were slightly dangerous. They were epic.

Paul Frank

Paul Frank in glasses, Paul Frank with braces, Paul Frank as a sailor, devil Paul Frank —the options for this cheery little monkey friend were limitless and he lived on our shorts, our PJs, our hoodies, our t-shirts, etc.

Oh, and blue camo. Because we needed to blend in with our blue surroundings


(Images via author, ebay, ebay, ebay, ebay, ebay, ebay, Touchstone Pictures)

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