Naughty noughties fashion

Words by Tess Astle
Art by Bowen Shen

The 2000s were a different time. A time where everyone was watching Lizzie McGuire, typing like tH1$ on MSN and listening to Avril Lavigne’s ‘Sk8ter Boy’ un-ironically.

When I wasn’t practicing predictive text on my Motorola flip phone, I remember making devastatingly embarrassing style choices. These choices included fluoro Supre tops with three-quarter leggings under a ruffle denim skirt. I also remember rocking an outfit made up of a purple poncho and flared corduroy pants. As I said, it was a different time.

I think it’s clear that when it comes to the 2000s, we’d probably all prefer to forget about the fashion trends of this decade. Rather than forget, let us take a walk down memory lane. A lane lined with trashy chic trends and poor decisions.

Bedazzled everything

The millennium made us think anything embellished, studded and bedazzled was somehow improved. ‘Less is more’, was not a phrase people understood back then and thus people wore the word ‘faith’ across their jean pockets on purpose.  

Popcorn shirts

These tops were some kind of engineering feat. They somehow expanded from a shirt the size of your hand to a shirt that was one-size-fits-all. These shirts were more of a conceptual item rather than a practical one. If you were lucky enough to have worn one of these babies, you’ll remember how scratchy and unflattering they were, but boy were they intriguing.

Denim on denim on denim

Denim defined the 2000s. It was used to make everything. Denim jackets, denim bags, denim hats, even denim boots. The obsession turned iconic when Britney and Justin turned denim into a red carpet look.

Low rise things in general

The ultra-low-rise trend was potentially the most horrendous. I mean it was a great way to showcase the midriff but that’s about it. I mean there was even a time when having your G-string peeking out of your jeans was desirable.

Dresses over jeans

A cocktail dress over a flared jean was the ultimate layering of the 2000s. It is just so much fabric happening at one time, it’s honestly overwhelming. I think even at the time, all of us questioned the success of this trend, it manages to make anyone look messy and confused. Silver living? It makes cocktail dresses transeasonal.

Juicy Couture

Velour tracksuits, the unofficial uniform of the naughties. Thanks to Paris Hilton we all yearned for the word ‘Juicy’ plastered on our butts. This trashy-chic vibe was amazing because it made pyjamas not only acceptable but desired clothing items.

Tiny shoulder bags  

Other than your bedazzled blackberry I don’t know what else can fit in these small bags. But, these were not worn for practicality, but for fashion (ever heard of it?).


Belts in the 2000s were never actually used to hold anything up but to add a little pizzazz to your outfit. The category of belts broadened to include just about anything: scarves, neckties, tiny chains, sequined string and studded leather belts.


Need I say more?


Is it a cardigan? Nope. Is it a shawl? Nope. It’s a shrug. It’s tiny, useless and barely covers your shoulders. I don’t think I’m the only one wondering what the point of shrugs was?

Don’t worry we all made poor choices during the 2000s, it was hard not to.

These regrettable, albeit fondly nostalgic trends have gone for now, but not forever. I don’t know about you, but I’m scared by the fact that some of these heinous fashion trends are making a comeback. I’d rather double denim and body glitter to remain a thing of the past.




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