As a young chap in the early 2000s, I will look at fashionable people and envy them. The styles of that era were epic enough to show adult sophistication and confidence, and I was not in that space. I could not imagine myself in any of the styles as they were not usually parent-approved or school-approved. But, now that Y2K fashion is making a comeback, don’t be surprised if you see me in a Y2K style.
I mean, now I have an income, a semi-alive social life, so it is fun to wear all the trends I did not take advantage of because I was too young to make my own decisions at the time.
Thanks to the emergence of now-giant social platform, TikTok and the industry’s leanings towards nostalgia, Y2K fashion trends are becoming bigger – from micro-mini skirts to baggy pants to big shirts. Those millennials who were taught that Y2K fashion is hyper-sexualised and has been tucked away forever are now presented an opportunity to finally wear the styles on their own terms.
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I may be thinking of embracing the retro trend with open arms, but some styles still feel off-limits to me. I may not ordinarily wear the baggy pants or the 3/4 shorts that were common that period. I may also not wear pants that are tightened from the hip down and loosened at the ankles.
For some, especially women, Y2K fashion brings back bad memories – of when they were made to feel inadequate. Thanks to awareness, and – wokeness (I honestly do not like to use that word) – there is some form of freedom.
Women now look inward and do not entertain comments that body shame them or make them insecure. Besides, the fashion industry now embraces size inclusivity, so the ‘must be slim’ ideas are only blurry these days. We now see different bodies in commercials, ads and on social media which shows that we are on our way to erasing unnecessary body shape comments.
For someone like me, I may be interested in some of the styles just to revisit my teenage self. Though, I was a pre-teen when those styles existed. But, I remember wearing boot cuts and trucker hats. The more I see stylists using Y2K fashion as a muse, the more excited I get about trying out trends again.
While some millennials see the current Y2K fashion renaissance as an entertaining way to revisit the questionable styles of their youth, for many, this latest wave feels like an opportunity to reclaim the freedom they didn’t have as teens.
To be honest, I don’t know why Y2K fashion went on a hiatus in the first place.