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The Good, The Bad, and The Most Cringe-Worthy Micro Trends Of The 2000s

The Good, The Bad, and The Most Cringe-Worthy Micro Trends Of The 2000s

Oh, the early 2000s. We had The Simple Life on repeat, were invested in the highs and lows of Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears and were pretty much obsessed with Groovy Chick. It was also a decade of some questionable fashion trends. While some have definitely been left in the past, (we’re looking at you gypsy skirts and disc belts) others are making a comeback.

Celebrities like Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner are bringing the world of the 00s back with double denim, bralets and flared jeans. And it’s not just the celebs – designers are taking inspiration from the decade too.

To give you a little insight, River Island has taken a look back over the past two decades at some of our most loved and cringe-worthy fashion micro trends. Recreating the most iconic looks from the past 18 years, be prepared for skirts over jeans, wedge trainers, velour tracksuits and more.

2000: Flared jeans and tube tops

The year is 2000. Nicole Richie has just made her first red carpet appearance, Bring it On has hit the big screen and Kirsten Dunst is the toast of Hollywood. Let’s also not forget the arrival of the ultra-flared jean. And what were we wearing with our flared jeans? A tube top, of course. Extra points for exposing your sparkliest belly bar.

Fast forward to 2019 and crop tops and flares are now firm favourites in summer wardrobes and a must-wear for festival season with a pair of chunky trainers.

2001: Low-rise jeans and slouchy boots

We may have moved on a year, but denim was still a major part of our tween wardrobe. Flared jeans were benched in 2001 for the low rise jean. Made famous from Jennifer Lopez’s iconic look for the 2000 MTV VMAs – and, of course, paired with the slouchy boot…

The denim on denim, on even more denim, fashion trend continued throughout the year. Who can forget power couple Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears at the VMAs? But the question that continues to divides the nation: how much denim is too much? Hint: double denim is double the fun – although with slightly less material than JT and Britney!

2002: Gypsy tops, ties and mini skirts

Denim took a back seat in 2002 with the release of Sk8er Boi, where Avril Lavigne not only taught us to give him a chance but that ties were making a comeback.

Gypsy tops as seen on Britney Spears in Crossroads and Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie-inspired mini skirts also took centre stage this year – although the mini has been a loyal friend to us all, even to this day!

What else were we loving in 2002? Halter necks and micro bags, of course!

2003: Skirts over trousers, tube tops and baker boy hats

In 2003, we moved into the skirt over trousers trend as seen on the likes of Ashely Tisdale. The first episode of The O.C. and release of Girls Aloud’s debut, Sound of the Underground meant a new era for 2000s fashion trends with baker boy hats being brought to our attention and into our lives. Tube tops made another appearance, with all credit going to Summer and Marissa, our fave Orange County characters.

2003 was also all about the cargo pants trend. When we weren’t wearing skirts over trousers, we were wearing our army pants. (Just without the flip flops.)

2004: Velour tracksuits and tinted sunglasses

No fashion trend from the early 2000s is quite as famous as the velour tracksuit. It was basically the uniform of Paris Hilton on The Simple Life that soon became the must-have staple of the decade. 15 years later, we’re all about athleisure trend in 2019, just without the diamante logos…

One trend we’ve welcomed into 2019 with open arms are tinted sunglasses. The likes of Selena Gomez and Bella Hadid have stepped out in the colour-tinted glasses, and we’re here for it

Oh, and remember those ties in 2002? 2004 saw them move from our necks to our waists. We blame you, Avril…

2005: Cowboy boots, gypsy skirts and disc belts

You’d be forgiven for thinking everyone was dressed as an extra from a country music video in 2005. Velour tracksuits were sidelined and out came gypsy skirts, disc belts and cowboy boots. Celebrities also took a shine to the trend, with Hillary Duff, Paris Hilton and even Victoria Beckham paving the way for all things Western. Even in the past year, designers have returned to the Wild West and have been bringing it to life on the runways.

If cowboy boots weren’t your thing, ponchos and pedal pushers also had their moment in 2005.

2006: Skinny scarfs and dresses over bootcut jeans

It’s safe to say dresses over bootcut jeans were ‘in’ in 2006. While Twitter might have launched that year, it’s the fashion we were really there for. Think extra-long bootcuts, pointed stilettos and frayed hems – the more fray the better.

2006 was the year of the Pob thanks to Victoria Beckham and also brought skinny scarves into our lives and wardrobes. Worn as an accessory and definitely not for warmth, we reckon this trend will stay firmly in the 00s.

2007: Footless tights, denim skirts and waistcoats

Cast your mind back to 2007, Keeping Up with the Kardashians had just aired its first episode and everyone wanted to get their hands on the first ever iPhone. Rihanna, Umbrella, had been released and we switched our jeans and dresses combos for footless tights and denim skirts. And while fashion trends are often short-lived, this is one style that still haunts us – it was even featured in a book: People of the Twenty-First Century.

An unexpected comeback trend of the year were waistcoats. Who knew? And vests also had a revival of their own thanks to September’s Fashion Week. We loved to layer them over a white tee with combat pants.

2008: Skinny jeans and shoe boots

2008 was the year that kept on giving for fashion. Enter the skinny jean AKA a long-standing addition to our wardrobes. Our favourite way to wear them was with a classic shoe boot and blazer or sandals and a colour pop top.

Denim trends come and go, but they’ve stuck around and have earned their status as a wardrobe staple. The foundation for any outfit and ultimate day to night piece, just add a ‘nice top’ and you’re good to go. We’re certainly not ready to part with them.

2009: Military jackets

2009 was the year we became soldiers. From Beyoncé to Rihanna, the military trend was happening and all over the catwalks and street style scene too.

Many trends leave us and never return, but just like the skinny jean, military fashion has stuck with us, though we’ve swapped classic button jackets for cooler camo and khaki tones.

2010: Jeggings

Jeggings entered our lives in 2010, which makes sense really, given our love of skinny jeans. A wardrobe staple for every age, we’re not surprised they’re still popular – they’re the perfect addition to any shirt, tee and, of course, the ‘nice top’.

2010 also saw the launch of Instagram and our very first posts. Scroll to the archives if you dare and you’ll be inundated with jeggings.

2011: Boyfriend jeans and skull print scarves

In 2011, we tuned in to the first episode of Game of Thrones, were obsessed with skull print scarves and swapped the skinnies for boyfriend jeans.

Borrowed from the boys, this relaxed and comfy fit was super flattering and loved by celebrities like Katie Holmes and Hilary Duff. We have to admit, we’re still a fan in 2019 for the ultimate off duty look

2012: Skorts and peplum tops

Is it a skirt? Is it a pair of shorts? 2012 introduced us to (and gave us a lesson in) skorts. The best of both worlds piece that ticked not one but two of our boxes. It was the year that also brought peplum tops into our lives. Kendall Jenner and co were huge fans of the streamline silhouettes. It’s no surprise then that they’ve been having their own mini-revival in the past year.

2013: Cut out dresses and wedge sneakers

As trends moved up in the world, so did our style. This time in the form of the wedge trainer. First spotted in 2012, Beyoncé and Jessica Alba were big fans, Alicia Keys even created her own line.

Celebrities were also loving cut-out skater dresses (and so were we.) So much so that we spent most of summer 2013 wearing them.

2014: Harem pants

MC Hammer loved them back in the 90s and Harem pants made quite the comeback in 2014. What was not to love? Comfy, cute and stretchy enough to rival Joey’s Thanksgiving pants. We were sold. And they soon became our go-to for summer holidays, worn with a strappy vest and sandals

While they did bring comfort to our lives for a year, harem pants, thankfully, remain firmly in 2014. Sorry, Joey.

2015: Button front skirts, lace-up bodysuits and gladiator sandals

2015 saw us swap comfort for cute with button-front A-line skirts and bodysuits. More edgy than girly, we were all about embracing 70s style without a white go-go boot or tea dress in sight. Inspired by swimwear, the bodysuit is effortlessly sexy so it’s really no wonder it’s become a firm favourite in our wardrobes even to this day.

We’ve covered the top half, but what about our feet? A good shoe can finish off a look and this was the year of the gladiator sandal. Kourtney Kardashian was an avid fan, and we can see why. They’re still our go-to summer shoe.

2016: Chokers and camouflage jackets

If there was ever a trending accessory, it would have to be the choker. From diamante-studded styles to lace, velvet and even DIY versions, it’s safe to say we were all obsessed.

Camo also had another comeback in 2016 with jackets, bags and jumpsuits. It was the print to be seen (or not seen) in.

2017: Bralet and micro handbags

If we learnt anything from 2017, it was that underwear can totally pass as outerwear. Bralets were our latest obsession – Kendall and Gigi loved them too. Worn under blazers, over a white tee or under a satin midi dress, the possibilities were endless.

Fast forward to 2019 and bralets still hold a place in our summer wardrobes. While we were less about chokers (for now) we were all about the micro handbag. Super small and super chic, it may have only held our lipsticks but we still loved them.

2018: Cycling shorts and Matrix-inspired sunglasses

2018 was all about athleisure, specifically, the cycling short. Throwing it back to the 90s, Kim Kardashian was a big fan and proved they’re not just for spin class. Worn with bodysuits, heels and puffer jackets, it was a whole new take on smart casual.

This was also the year of throwing shade, in the form of skinny sunglasses. Think The Matrix. Kanye himself said big sunnies were out – which is reason enough for us.

When it comes to trends, the 00s were the gift that kept on giving. Whether you rocked them all or just one, we can’t wait to see what trends the next decade has in store for our wardrobes. In the meantime, we’ll be digging out our disc belts this summer…


Image credit: River Island | Top image: Unsplash