Gen Z and the Return of 2000s Fashion

How the younger generations are bringing back what’s considered one of the worst eras for fashion.

This screenshot from the movie Mean Girls, shows one of the best movies in terms of showcasing 2000s fashion.

Daryn Okada

This screenshot from the movie Mean Girls, shows one of the best movies in terms of showcasing 2000s fashion.

Lindsay Grimm, Staff Writer

Along with being the start of a new decade, 2020 has brought about the revival of a handful of fashion trends from the early 2000s. Given the concept of the “20-year rule” of fashion, which states that something popular now will see a resurgence in twenty years, the comeback of the fashion from the 2000s is hardly a surprise. Y2K fashion, the style from the early 2000s, is heavily influenced by technology, globalization, and the emerging market for fast-fashion. However, given how despised trends from the 2000s seem to be on the internet, this revival of 2000s fashion can be mostly attributed to nostalgia. 

Generation Z and Millenials have recently started to make up a larger portion of the economy and are estimated to account for $350 billion of spending power in the U.S. By having these younger generations make up so much of the economy, fashion companies are starting to listen to their demands and create clothing and accessories tailored to their tastes and trends, Y2K fashion being one of them.

Logo prints, small camis, baggy pants, bright colors, cardigans, small purses, and fun hair accessories are a handful of the staple pieces seen in Gen Z’s revival of Y2K fashion. These trends are both created and spread on social media, most notably Instagram and TikTok. Videos under #Y2K on TikTok have collectively garnered 468.3 million views and videos #2000sfashion has 34.3 million views. 

Social media is undoubtedly to thank for the spread of these fashion trends, but what sparked the comeback is most likely a wave of nostalgia. The generations that grew up watching movies like Mean Girls, Legally Blonde, Bring It On, and other staple 2000s movies now have the money and ability to emulate the fashion in the movies they grew up watching. Rather than relying on their parents for money and clothes, Generation Z has reached the stage in which most of them have their own source of income and ability to style themselves. 

Although there is no doubt about the resurgence of 2000s fashion, this revival seems eager to leave some of the more gauche parts of 2000s fashion in the past. There will probably be no celebrities wearing denim dresses and suits on the red carpet, and nobody has tried to revive wearing dresses over jeans. 

Given the cyclical nature of fashion, it was only a matter of time until these 2000s trends made a comeback. I’m sure that by 2030, these trends that are on fire right now will be denounced as trashy pandemic-era fashion, and the skinny jeans and millennial pink of the 2010s will be all the rage.