The 2000s (particularly the early 2000s) are known for fun romantic comedies and the golden age of teen culture (I could be biased because that’s when I became a teenager). Many millennials and older Gen Zers look back on the era with a fondness for their youth. While we look back on these days with starry eyes, it’s hard to deny the fact that some of the fashion trends of the 2000s were disastrous and don’t deserve a second chance (especially now that we’re older and wiser!). Here, we take a look at the fashion items that we hope never return!
1. Low-Rise Jeans
If you take one thing from this article, take the warning sign from literally every millennial to Gen Z that bringing back this trend may as well be the seventh sign of the apocalypse. It’s not flattering on anyone (even if you’re 16 and a size zero), and the risk of accidentally showing your butt crack outweighs the benefit of showing off a bit of your toned stomach. Nobody misses this, so why bring it back?
2. Belly Button Rings
Remember when this was the most scandalous thing you could do, and everyone would gossip about the girl in eighth grade who convinced her cool older sister to pierce her belly button? It was a cute way to be edgy back in the day, but the trend hasn’t aged well and looks trashy more often than not.
3. Trucker Hats
Girls who wore trucker hats were the 2000s equivalent of today’s cool girls, like Alix Earle and Hailey Bieber, but we’ve evolved since then. Trucker hats were fun, but they were a product of their time and deserve to stay in the past. Cool girls today wouldn’t be caught dead in these, so why bring them back?
4. Body Chains
We all saw our favorite pop princesses like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera rock delicate body chains in music videos back in the day, but were they really necessary? Plus, they look kind of trashy. Some trends are only meant for music videos.
5. Visible Thongs
Thongs are sometimes necessary to avoid showing panty lines (and I don’t care what others say, they’re comfortable), but they’re meant to stay under your clothes. When they start peeking out on purpose? No. And let’s be honest, the look was always trashy, even back then. Fashion is supposed to evolve, and this trend deserves to stay extinct.
6. Dresses or Skirts Over Jeans
Honest question: Who thought this was a good idea? Not having to wear jeans is the best part of wearing a dress or skirt, so why ruin it? It’s not even cute (even when gorgeous celebs like Anne Hathaway and Ashley Tisdale did it), so count us out if this ever comes back.
7. Unnecessary Belts
I get that wearing a chunky belt over a dress was supposed to mimic a cinched waist, but did it really work? I’d say no. Belts are supposed to hold up your jeans or pants, and though I’d be open to stretchy sequin belts making a comeback, these ones deserve to stay in the trash.
8. Glitter Eyeshadow
A little glitter is fine; too much gives us dance recital vibes. The only time this is acceptable is if you’re wearing a costume, but never IRL. Though glitter is fun, it has a time and place. Do you really want to look like you did your makeup with an eyeshadow palette from Claire’s?
9. Curls With Straight Bangs
Give me a second to explain how this trend worked: We used to scrunch our hair with gel or mousse to create crunchy curls that resembled ramen noodles and then straightened our bangs. It didn’t make sense and hardly ever looked good, and I can’t explain why we thought this was a good idea. Gen Z, learn from your elders and never bring this back.
10. Razor-Thin Eyebrows
While many of us have naturally thin eyebrows, there’s such thing as too thin, and that was the trend back in the day. Overplucked brows were not only everything, some went as far as shaving their eyebrows and drawing on thin ones to replace them. While there’s nothing wrong with plucking your brows if you want them to be thinner, let’s not make super-skinny ones a thing again.
11. Lower Back Tattoos
This might sound harsh, but there’s a reason that lower back tattoos are called “tramp stamps.” They look trashy and unflattering on everyone, and there’s no way they age well. You may think it looks cute for a few years, but tattoos are forever, so it’s probably best to avoid any tattoo trend that will eventually go out of style.
12. Anything Playboy
Before the dark secrets of Playboy were revealed in 2021, the brand and magazine were a pop-culture phenomenon. From movies like The House Bunny and reality shows like The Girls Next Door, it was so glamorized that anything Playboy bunny-themed was fashionable. Now that we know the true (and disturbing) story of what happened to these women behind the scenes, it’s doubtful that this trend will ever make a comeback.
While the resurgence of Y2K culture is the dream of any millennial, some things should stay in the past. Let’s bring back boy bands and leave low-rise jeans in the past, how’s that for a deal?
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