Early 2000s fashion trends 2018

Popcorn Shirts Courtesy of eBay

Popcorn Shirts

Fact: Early-aughts kids were obsessed with watching things grow. If you weren't sporting this chic, multicolored crinkle shirt (which was originally the size of your hand) at school every week, you were for sure watching itty-bitty squares unfold into washcloths in the bath, or checking on your grow-a-pet toy as it morphed into a slimy sponge dinosaur in a bowl of water. See what kids were forced to find entertaining before the existence of Snapchat?

Kevin Mazur/Wire Image

Overly Embellished Denim

If you didn't have flare jeans with some combination of splattered paint, rhinestones, whiskers, safety pins, and cheese-grated holes, you didn't experience the joy of begging your parents to spend the extra on them. (Also, please note the following in this Alicia Keys photo: visible bra strap, studded belt, newsboy hat. That is all.)

Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Pants Without Back Pockets

Wait—before the giant whale tale poking out of Christina Milian's light-wash denim transports you to seventh grade (when you thought a visible thong was, like, totally cute and not at all creepy on a 12-year-old), let us instead bow down to the lack of back pockets on Milian's pants (which I'm willing to bet also laced up in the front). Adorable circa 2002, but shudder-inducing now.

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Patchwork Jeans

Bonus points if your patched-together denim also had frayed edges and a one-inch-long zipper that basically did nothing but fluster your mom. Xtina, as you can see, nailed this trend with not one but two zippers on the front of her jeans.

J. Vespa/WireImage

Spaghetti-Strap Tank Tops

Here, we see Zooey Deschanel modeling the very chic trend of Tank Top With Bra Straps Showing. The real gems of 2000-2003, though, were camisoles with built-in bras, available in every single color under the ROYGBIV sun, with or without rhinestones and glitter, and most likely from Limited Too, Old Navy, or Kohl's.

Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage

Unflattering Formal Dresses

I think we all knew, even at the time, that unstructured dresses with mesh overlay, appliqués, and a tendency to dig into your armpits, creating the ever-flattering skin roll (why were they cut so high?!), weren't doing us any favors. But as every budding fashionista early 2000s fashion trends 2018 (Kirsten Dunst) knew back then, the best way to jazz up a fancy pastel dress was to add an even fancier matching wrap.

Courtesy of eBay

Platform Flip-Flops

The unofficial slogan of platform sandals: Your all-in-one shoe for added height, zero comfort, and the constant threat of tripping and rolling your ankle (which was adorned with a bFfs4eVeR anklet from Claire's that you kind of hated, but Ashley gave it to you for your birthday, and you did not want to get into another fight with her on AIM, so, ugh, w/e).

Mick Hutson/Redferns

Bandana Tops

Because skintight pants and visible thongs weren't sexy enough for our middle-school bodies, we also tied handkerchiefs around our chests as supercool DIY tube tops. Kudos to you if your bra matched your bandana (I see you, Beyoncé).

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Velour Tracksuits

Low-rise bootcut pants (with or without "Juicy" plastered on the butt, depending on your cool points/parents) with matching zip-up hoodies were great for when you needed to both highlight your nonexistent assets in class and also run a mile at a moment's notice. Bet you paired yours with Uggs!

Jim Spellman/WireImage

Polo Shirts

Between 2003 and 2005, tweens experienced a beautiful time during which 100 percent of stores geared toward their age group carried a colorful array of polo shirts, all weirdly tight-fitting and all adorned with some sort of animal logo stitched on the top right, à la the OG trend-setter, Lacoste. You'd get bonus points for layering multiple polo shirts and for wearing the collar popped. Slay, 16-year-old Allison Williams in (probably) Dickies pants. Slay.

Steve Granitz/WireImage

Belts That Served No Purpose

You had five belts in rotation back then: a studded leather belt from Hot Topic (you weren't goth, you swear!), a seat-belt belt for sk8r days, a stretchy sequin belt that came unclasped every two hours, your dad's necktie that you wore as a belt because Avril, and a jumbled mix of thin chains, jewels and string that acted as a belt-hybrid thing and was probably inspired by Shakira. And not one of them got anywhere near your belt loops, because gross. Michelle Trachtenberg's leather-and-feathers wrap belt gets it.

Jason Merritt/FilmMagic


Is it a cardigan? Nope! Is it a shawl? Not even a little! It's a shrug! A tiny doll jacket for your shoulders and armpits, primarily worn over ribbed tank tops, terry cloth dresses, and—if you were Fergie—a pre-romper romper.

Robert Mora/Getty Images

Peasant Tops

Lest you be tempted to show off your budding new boobs, loose and flowy peasant tops—which were somehow still full of elastic and artificial fibers—were there to shroud you in mystery for another three years. While you may have thought you looked as good as Eva Longoria in her grown-up peasant top, you actually looked like a child in an embroidered potato sack. Sorry.

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