Recreating Y2K Fashion As an Adult Is the Do-over I’ve Been Waiting For

It’s official, Y2K fashion has moved from nostalgic resurgence status to an inescapable trend. The revival has been polarizing, to say the least. While Gen-Z has largely embraced and pushed looks that would have absolutely graced the cover of the now-defunct YM magazine, millennials are standoffish at best, and in most cases completely dismayed that the clothing they once would have died for as teens, is back again. Somehow we find ourselves once again in a world where Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton are twinning in velour tracksuits, visible thongs are turning heads on runways and celebrities alike, and Bella Hadid is wearing chunky lucite rings that are identical to the ones I once used babysitting money to buy.

As a millennial myself, I find myself experiencing a Stockholm syndrome-esque response to the return of bucket hats, scarf tops, and futuristic fabric that once matched my Razr flip phone. I have vivid flashbacks to painted-on lowrise jeans and intentionally displayed g-strings, a combination that I was certain at the age of 16 was the epitome of sex appeal. Not exactly what I would describe as “a good look.” But at the same time, I feel drawn to the clothes of my youth once again. As an adult, I have the ability to dress THE EXACT way I assumed adults would dress when I was 13 going on 30. I get to give myself a do over without high school dress codes, without the body-shaming fashion rules I had memorized, and with a bank account that supports my sartorial desires. Maybe with a little finesse I would be fashionably on trend (again).

I spent so much of my youth consumed with how my body looked, afraid of it, angry at it. I don’t want to miss this window of opportunity to dress like the hot mean girl in every rom-com, without the body loathing that once came with wearing skin tight apparel. After spending the last year coddling myself with early aught sitcoms (How I Met Your Mother, One Tree Hill and the obligatory Friends rewatch) in isolation, I feel immersed in a world of baby tees, chokers, and body clinging mini-dresses, and that once flickering ember of nostalgia has sparked full on fandom for the era.

Best of all, for those of us who didn’t fit into the on-trend apparel of the 2000s, so many of those same staples are back with more size inclusive options (yes that includes plus size Juicy Couture velour tracksuits). It’s also relatively easy to still find these iconic styles in thrift stores, making this a trend to try without breaking the bank. In fact, the majority of my outfits were built off vintage pieces curated together with the help of Emma Zack, the owner of Berriez, an online vintage store specializing in size inclusion.

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