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The 2000s look better now than they did when we were living them. Seriously, my memories of the aughts involve embellished thongs peaking out from low-rise jeans, satin slip silhouettes that highlighted even the subtlest of food babies, and chainmail—all kinds of chainmail. But 2000s clothes have seen something of a resurrection in recent years—first, with tiny sunglasses making a serious comeback in 2018, and now, with everything from velour tracksuits and name-embellished jewelry, to colorful metallic barrettes and strappy flatform sandals re-entering the sartorial scene.
2018 was characterized by a veritable blend of retro resurrections. The ’90s have been cool for years now—dad sneakers, mom jeans and boyfriend sweatshirts, included—and the ’80s saw a brief revival in 2018. Shoulder pads didn’t see the light of day, necessarily, but boxy cuts, all-over sequins, slouchy boots and puffy sleeves definitely did. Pieces from the ’60s and ’70s have been floating around the zeitgeist since festival culture became mainstream (so, like, a decade ago). And even 1920s details, like fringe, began seeping into retailers’ day-to-day collections.
But even in this melting pot of eras, we managed to stave off the aughts. Because the aughts were cringe-worthy. The aughts were regrettable. The aughts weren’t worth resurrecting. Tiny sunglasses were the first crack in this fashion fortress—one that paved the way for the rest of 2000s fashion to come flooding back to us.
And now it has. But it isn’t as bad as we thought it would be, because several classic aughts pieces have gotten seriously contemporary upgrades—and even those that haven’t can be looked upon as delightfully tacky, or delightfully ironic, or just plain delightful. The 2000s were a strange time for fashion, but now that we’re nine years removed, we can pull stealth MVPs from this abject mess of 2000s clothes and render them chicer than they’ve ever seemed before. (And even if you’re not on board with that, you have to admit—the fodder for Halloween costumes is basically endless.)
1. Rainbow Bandeau Top, $6 at Topshop
Pair this rainbow tube top with your favorite ’90s mom jeans for a low-key, night-out look that’ll carry you through spring and summer.
2. March On Camo Joggers, $20 at Topshop
Camo started trickling into retailers toward the end of last year—so really, it’s no surprise it’s in the mainstream, now.
3. Baby Girl Earrings, $6 at Nasty Gal
The quintessential 2000s statement earring.
4. Shanghai Mini Bag, $38 at Topshop
Literally owned one of these in middle school—but hey, maybe it’ll look cuter paired with the rest of my adult wardrobe.
5. Motel Venchy Cutout Bodycon Dress, $66 at Urban Outfitters
Not a piece of aughts clothing I plan on reintegrating, but hey—can’t deny how iconic it is.
6. Claire Lace-Up Platform Sandal, $49 at Urban Outfitters
Another favorite of middle schoolers in the 2000s—that might actually look cool on you as an adult.
7. Square Wrap Sunglasses, $19 at ASOS
Tiny sunglasses aren’t going anywhere. And they’re really just getting more aughts-y.
8. Tiny Crystal Butterfly Ring, $8 at ASOS
You know it’s legit when butterfly jewelry is making a comeback.
9. Lace Shrunken T-Shirt, $26 at Topshop
Honestly, glad to see these fun AF textured tops getting the attention they deserve.
10. Glamorous Metallic Snake Shopper, $42 at ASOS
A slightly understated take on your go-to 2000s tote.
11. Ryder Mesh Mule Sandal, $80 at Topshop
Bring on the mesh.
12. Wyn Washed Tie-Dye One-Shoulder Cropped Top, $29 at Urban Outfitters
If the tie-dye top isn’t enough for you, be sure to snack the matching joggers.
13. Black Satin Jamie Flare Jeans, $45 at Topshop
High-waters are back, baby.
14. Quay Australia Small Oval Sunglasses, $39 at ASOS
These sunnies might not protect your eyes, but they’ll make it clear you’re committed to 2000s style.
15. Amanda Mesh Mule Sandal, $39 at Urban Outfitters
Honestly, the aughts party shoe selection is pretty off-the-hook.
16. Hardware Design Hiking Clasp Earrings, $13 at ASOS
The contemporary take on those paper clip earrings you used to fashion in class.
17. Want Up for Grabs Patent Crossbody Bag, $20 at Nasty Gal
Another purse I literally owned as a middle schooler. My younger, aspiring fashion girl self has never felt so validated.
18. Mesh Off with Mesh Glitter Crop Top, $15 at Nasty Gal
Lettuce-edge hems are officially everywhere.
19. Hyphen Tubular Block-Heel Sandals, $56 at ASOS
Snakeskin slip-ons with wacky heels? Toto, we’re definitely not in 2019 anymore.
20. Geneva Ruched Empire Waist Midi Dress, $29 at Urban Outfitters
Such a classic 2000s silhouette.
21. Snap Clips (Pack of 6), $9.50 at ASOS
OK, barrettes are super cute. Not mad to see these making a comeback.
22. Strappy Heeled Sandals, $80 at Topshop
More strappy party shoes, because the aughts were full of ’em.
23. Project Social T Cross-Front Tank Top, $34 at Urban Outfitters
For the gal who cant decide whether she wants a strapless top, a halter top or a cami.
24. Missguided Chain Mail Ring Handle Bag, $34 at ASOS
Told you chain mail was on the menu.
25. Crystal Clear Slim Cat-Eye Sunglasses, $10 at Nasty Gal
The most Barbie-worthy sunnies you’ll lay eyes on all year.
26. Curve L’Amore Chain Waist and Hip Belt, $23 at ASOS
Remember chain belts? Thought so.
27. Darla Strap Mules, $48 at Topshop
Because nothing says “aughts” like colorful snakeskin.
28. Abstract Funnel-Neck Top, $35 at Topshop
I don’t even know what this print is, but I know what era it’s from.
29. Blue Life Shipwrecked Strapless One-Piece Swimsuit, $202 at Urban Outfitters
Even swimwear is getting the 2000s treatment.
30. AJ Morgan Slim Oval Sunglasses, $29 at ASOS
Yup, tiny sunglasses literally just got weirder.
31. Want You Asked Fur It Faux Fur Bag, $15 at Nasty Gal
Why reserve faux fur for jackets when you could put in on your purse, instead?
32. Roux x Strap Mules, $68 at Topshop
More saturated slip-ons. Because they’re the move.
33. Baby Slim Joggers, $35 at Topshop
Half of a velour sweatsuit.
34. Vanessa Mooney The Romance Earring, $132 at Urban Outfitters
Told my boyfriend these retro AF earrings were the only form of heart-shaped jewelry I’d accept.
35. Simmi London Sammy Rhinestone Clear Wedge, $60 at ASOS
Cinderella’s glass slipper—if CInderella were made in 2000.
36. Faux Fur Zip Hoodie, $30 at Topshop
There is no end to what you can put faux fur on, as far as the aughts are concerned.
37. Halter Neck Handkerchief Top, $29 at Urban Outfitters
Practically begging to be paired with low-rise jeans (but let’s stop before bringing those back, OK?).
38. Barely There Block Heel Sandals, $48 at ASOS
Because iridescent anything is a good idea.
39. Taz DMNT Frame Pouch, $48 at Topshop
Life isn’t complete without at least one delightfully tacky, rhinestone-covered bag—right?
40. Orelia Gold-Plated Star Hoop Earrings, $29 at ASOS
One benefit of the aughts resurrection: Hoops are available in more forms and fashions than ever before.
41. Out from Under Markie Seamless Cropped Cami, $18 at Urban Outfitters
Let’s be real—we could all stand to benefit from integrating a few more camis into our wardrobes.
42. See Ahead Round Sunglasses, $15 at Nasty Gal
These sunglasses come with clip-on black lenses—I’m not even kidding.
43. Mixed Link Chain Anklets (Pack of 3), $13 at ASOS
Remember anklets? Yeah, they’re back.
44. New Look ’90s Flatform Sandal, $42 at ASOS
Quite possibly the comfiest going-out shoe on the market right now.
45. Reclaimed Vintage Clear Bucket Hat, $23 at ASOS
Come on, you knew bucket hats weren’t going anywhere.
46. Chrissy Square-Toe Heel, $39 at Urban Outfitters
Keep the kitten heels coming.
47. You’ve Got Chainmail Cowl Dress, $50 at Nasty Gal
If it’s good enough for Paris Hilton, it’s good enough for you.
48. Truly Madly Deeply Butterfly Cropped Tank Top, $29 at Urban Outfitters
One relic from elementary school that might not actually be chic-able. But give it your best shot.
49. Revival Feather Mules, $81 at Topshop
Need more of these fluffy feathers in my life, TBH.
50. Padlock Hoop and Chain Drop Earrings (Pack of 2), $9.50 at ASOS
Don’t these instantly transport you back to puberty?
51. Reclaimed Vintage Iridescent Metallic Clutch, $30 at ASOS
A clutch that’s undeniably party-worthy.
52. Stud Clear Belt, $12 at Nasty Gal
Studded clear shit is officially back on the sartorial menu.
53. Tie-Dye T-Shirt, $35 at Topshop
A take on spring’s tie-dye trend that feels distinctly 2000s-y (and not as DIY ’90s).
54. Liars & Lovers Gold Baby Pendant Necklace, $16 at ASOS
Because life is better when it’s full of nameplate necklaces.
55. Dita Strap Sandals, $55 at Topshop
Silver snakeskin—need I really say more?
56. Ribbed Ruffle-Trim Cardigan, $59 at Urban Outfitters
A 2000s outerwear favorite you can now wear as a straight-up top.
57. Fluro Bucket Hat, $19 at ASOS
Not sure what that logo is, but I know it feels 2000s as hell.
58. Knot a Lot to Ask Strappy Tie Sandals, $30 at Nasty Gal
I told you the party shoe selection was lit.
59. Monarch Butterfly Lettuce-Edge Baby Tee, $34 at Urban Outfitters
Again, would’ve suggested leaving these lettuce-trim tees in the past, but they’re back—whether we like it or not.
60. Perfection Pearl Flip Clip, $10 at Urban Outfitters
Fully embracing our collective obsession with hair accessories.
61. Katie Slingback Heel, $49 at Urban Outfitters
Not even kidding—buying these and wearing them to every wedding on my radar this year.
62. Caught My Attention Leopard Earrings, $8 at Nasty Gal
Because it wouldn’t be a 2000s fashion roundup without at least one hot pink animal print.
63. Sacred Hawk Mixed Snake Print Bag, $60 at ASOS
Snakeskin has seen some seriously 2019 iterations—and it’s also seen some early aughts ones, too.
64. So I See Frameless Tinted Sunglasses, $9 at Nasty Gal
Bella Hadid’s been sporting sunnies like these since last summer. It was only a matter of time until they trickled down to us, too.
65. Tie-Dye Waffle Top, $38 at Topshop
More veritably 2000s tie-dye.
66. Satine Square-Toe Sandals, $60 at Topshop
Proof pastel leathers and iridescent plastics are far from mutually exclusive—at least, as far as the aughts are concerned.
67. Ella Woven Bucket Hat, $24 at Urban Outfitters
The bucket hat movement is officially in full force.
68. Trella Metallic Snake Flatforms, $48 at ASOS
A going-out shoe for the aughts-loving maximalist.
69. Pink Wrap Half-Frame Visor Sunglasses, $19 at ASOS
Visor sunglasses never felt particularly trendy in the 2000s, but they were definitely around then—and they’re definitely trendy now.
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