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27th February 2020

The return of Y2K fashion: the generation that won’t grow up

Noughties fashion: why can’t we let it go?
The return of Y2K fashion: the generation that won’t grow up
juicy couture store

Love it or loathe it, Y2K style is making a comeback. There’s a lot of talk about the 90s, but is it really Y2K fashion that we can’t seem to let go?

“Fallowfield style” is pretty much a crossover between a young Britney Spears and a Bratz doll. Bandeau tops in shiny or reflective/wet-look fabrics and kerchief or chainmail tops bring back fond memories of iconic celebrity moments from Y2K.

There’s a childishness to the scrunchies, headbands and butterfly clips that feel like they could have been in our dressing-up boxes as children.

Roll-on body glitter on has gone underground and then emerged again as a Parklife staple, daubed on faces. Thick, insta-perfect makeup has been left behind, for a fresh-faced look and a more playful take on makeup. Think sheer gloss or shimmer, like those children’s makeup palettes with their jelly products.

Looks tend to be rougher and darker, think dirty trainers and vintage denim, but there’s still a pop of colour in there that harks back to the Y2K trend. A lot of influence seems to come from the music industry rather than actresses or other celebrities, the kind of people we grew up singing into a hairbrush to.

Destiny’s Child is apparent in the slightly mismatched but similar brands or colours that female students love to wear as if part of some huge disbanded girl group. There’s also a naivete and a sweetness to the chunky trainer trend at the moment. It’s as if we’re wearing clothes that are a bit too big for us, probably filched from an older sister, who wants her Air Max 97s and bandana back.

We idolise the air of the playground more than the red carpet. Painful high heels, belt miniskirts, huge handbags and whale tails don’t made the cut. Instead, there’s oversized and high waisted jeans or track pants that allow you to move, bum bags that you can clip around your waist. It’s somewhat practical.

There’s a widespread longing for a return to cuteness and fun that’s apparent in the relaunch of Baby Phat, with its pastel colours and glittery cat logo. There’s been a similar craze in the Juicy Couture collaboration with Urban Outfitters this winter.

To indulge your inner child, look to Instagram accounts dedicated to Y2K fashion, such as @y2kplaymate, @partylikeitsthe2000s and @_milkshakespeare, which are less about influencer culture than remembering fads like butterfly tops, Von Dutch and Playboy.

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