Gen Z is Bringing The 2000s Back

The aesthetic that the younger generation are obsessed with.


Fashion consists of cyclical patterns, defined by phases of referring back to a fond decade and celebrating its iconic styles. While the millennials have kept the ‘90s alive for quite some time, platform shoes and velvet have been pushed aside for Y2K trends, popularised by Gen Z.

Being born in 2001, I don’t remember much of the 2000s. I learnt about fashion through my favourite icons: Groovy Chick and Hannah Montana. As I entered my teens, I realised the real aesthetic of the ‘00s was built up of Mean Girls, Christina Aguilera and Bratz dolls. 


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Britney Spears and Paris Hilton have become our muses as we praise their hyper-femininity and iconic moments in crop tops and low-waisted denim skirts. 

Today has seen a revival of the much-loved trends, that have taken form through Juicy Couture tracksuits, Playboy bunny symbols, tinted rectangle sunglasses and bandanas. In fact, celebrity culture has been the main stimulation for the comeback. I can guarantee that pretty much every fashion influencer you love contains some inspo from the aughts. 

Growing up during the rise of social media, Gen Zers draw from trends that are captured on Instagram. Take Bella Hadid, who often gravitates towards the era, rocking her trademark twist-up hairstyle and acid-wash ripped jeans. It’s not always about looking to past icons, but also about embracing a revamped style.  


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We can’t forget hip hop artists either, who have also helped revive the aughts. Charli XCX led to a comeback of chunky hair clips and a sporty aesthetic in her music video ‘Claws’, a total 2000s fantasy. 

As we look back at the nostalgic ‘00s decade, it forces us to consider the current state of fashion amongst the Covid pandemic and climate change crisis. Holding on to a past that consisted of going to the mall and worrying about which plaid skirt to wear acts as an escape from all this. The ‘00s displayed an aesthetic that will constantly be recreated and in the words of Paris Hilton, “That’s hot.”


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