An Ode To Fashion From the Early 2000s

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times: the early 2000s were filled with covert IM away messages, Sum 41 lyrics scribbled on our binders in black Sharpie, and a wardrobe that was just as confusing as Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake’s relationship. As a 13-year-old, my way of embodying the role of “fashionista” was to cut out photos of Kelly Osbourne and Mandy Moore from my Seventeen magazines and proudly wear my Avril-inspired neck-tie to school (after I generously applied NYC black eyeliner in the girl’s bathroom so my mom wouldn’t know I wore makeup). Here are 20 more fashion moments from the beginning of 2000’s that truly defined an era.

1. Necktie belts

The necktie belt was fabulously useless. It didn’t functionally hold up your pants, and it didn’t make you look any more professional.

2. Camo

In the early 2000s, camouflage everything and anything was totally acceptable for Red Carpet events. The baggier your camo pants and the tighter your camo tank were, the better.

3. Hilary Duff circa Lizzie McGuire

It’s hard to believe our Hilary Duff is all grown up! She’s a mom these days, and doesn’t really rock the choker necklaces, fake nose rings, crimped hair, and butterfly clips anymore, but when she did, it was GLORIOUS.

4. Halter tops

Halter tops (preferably exposing midriff) were the most versatile of the tank top genre. They came glittery, transparent, spiky, pleather, and sometimes they were even made out of a red bandana.

5. This J.Lo dress

Seventeen deemed this as 2000s most “uncomfortable” dress, but I think Jennifer Lopez rocked that (super-duper) plunging neckline.

6. Corset tops

Corset tops paired with low-rise, pre-ripped jeans were simply what you wore out on an average day (if you were Britney Spears). Bonus points were awarded if the corset top required tying, or featured flames.

7. Jeans that tied up at the front, or on the sides

For awhile there, zippers were SO last decade. It seemed like everything came with the option of tying up: tee-shirts, tank tops, shorts — the sky was your limit and fabric was your canvas.

8. Puka necklaces

Although this trend seemed awfully universal, the prevalence of the puka necklace may just have something to do with Southern California. Or Hawaii. Or just 6th grade and the occasional bad date.

9. Dresses over pants

If you weren’t sure whether to wear a dress or pants on a given day, you didn’t really have to make that tough decision. Thanks, 2000s.

10. Long, hippie skirts

I had three long skirts that made me feel like I could do some non-stop twirling. The beauty of these skirts, was that you could sit cross-legged in the grass, you could wear them with your Converse, you could even pair them with your Paul Frank hoodie. The hippie skirt was accepting of all modes of fashion.

11. Frilly short skirts

In middle school, we’d wear our fringe skirts with a pair of Uggs, platform sandals, or skater shoes.

12. T-shirts with the neckline cut out 

These shirts tended to come pre-cut, but you could always get DIY-crazy at home with an old P.E. shirt. All you needed were scissors ,and voila! Effortless couture.

13. Jelly bracelets from Hot Topic

Oh man, did I have an entire shoebox full of these guys. This petroleum product also went by the name of “sex bracelet,” but I’m still unsure if this meant anything.

14. Von Dutch Trucker hats

Didn’t this trend all start with Ashton Kutcher in his “Punk’d” days? Thanks to him, trucker hats were simply invaluable. They went really well with pig-tails, knee-socks, and a skate board. It didn’t matter whether you could skate or not, obviously.

15. Jeans with no back pockets

These bootylicious jeans were all the rage because WHO NEEDS POCKETS? Actually, these were really annoying because it’s not like I carried around a purse in 7th grade. Storage space was at a premium.

16. Scrunch shirts from Limited Too

I desperately wanted one of these, but my mom wasn’t sure how to wash them, so I went without. I was devastated.

17. Silver charm bracelet and necklace from Tiffany’s

Ah, to be thirteen and not own one of these because why would you give a thirteen year-old a two-hundred dollar bracelet anyway?

18. Christina Aguilera’s orange pants

Christina Aguilera was pretty much my muse before she got into her Drrty X-tina phase (and even then, I admired her from afar; those low-lights were incredible). I always wanted her orange pants because they were so cool and so loud and so very Genie in a Bottle, baby.

19. Platform flip-flops

It was a miracle we didn’t twist our ankles every time were wore these platform sandals. Still, did they make us tall or WHAT?!

20. Skullz on everything

Nothing like facing your own immortality buy purchasing clothes with a lot of cute skulls on them. 

Isn’t that right, Avril and Kelly? Aw, these two.

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