It’s already 2023, but the Y2K fashion trend is still alive and kicking. We all know that fashion is pretty much cyclical, and that if you hold onto something long enough, it will eventually come back into style- usually these cycles take decades, but Y2K fashion became a mainstream trend in such a short time due to its appeal to nostalgia, its affordability, and its relevance to the current cultural climate that favours all things retro and aesthetic.
So what is Y2K fashion anyway? While there are multiple interpretations on it, the most commonly agreed upon interpretation is that Y2K fashion is essentially a call back to the biggest trends of the late 90s and early 2000s. It blends the pop culture of the millennium with bright, vivid colors and kitschy aesthetics to create an unapologetically maximalist look. Bold and daring, it is not such a surprise that most people tend to view the trend as somewhat ‘gaudy’ and ‘eccentric’. But by rejecting the minimalism that we millennials had strived for for ages (and have a closet full of blacks and neutrals to prove it) Y2K-inspired outfits is honestly a breath of fresh air in contrast to all of the subdued monochrome looks that have been plaguing the runways and streets throughout the years.
That being said, the current Y2K fashion trend isn’t so much about bringing back the late 90s and early 2000s, but more towards modernistic interpretations of the respected eras. It is more like a mix and match of the 90s’ streetwear-heavy hip hop aesthetic, early 2000s splashy chic style coupled with the quirky 2010s hipster look. In other words, fashion enthusiasts are taking the maximalist elements of Y2K fashion and running havoc with them. Think ‘Simple Life’ era Paris Hilton meets the Mean Girls movie and cross it with a Bratz Doll and you’ll get the gist of it.
Interested in rocking out some gorgeous 90s to 2000s era inspired fits but not sure where to start? Have no fear- scroll away to find out how to best pull off the Y2K fashion trends!
Going metal for all things metallic
Metallics are the perfect way to glam up your look, so set aside your little black dresses and embrace all things metallic! From the runways to the streets, all the best looks are dripping in liquid shine as shiny textures and iridescent fabrics are definitely “in” this season. While traditional gold and silver hues are still popular, so too are options fashioned in shades of electric blue, green and Barbie-esque pink. Styling metallics can be a little tricky, especially when you’re incorporating it in a Y2K look. Being very attention-grabbing, they need to be carried just the right way to not cause any fashion disaster, and that is exactly what we are here to save you from! Here are a few ways in which you can incorporate metallics in your Y2K inspired outfit:
Don’t be afraid to mix and match different metallic shades to add more dynamic elements to your outfit. That being said, if you are wearing a metallic shade on your upper body, avoid looking washed out by selecting a metallic that best suits your skin tone, hair and eye colour. Silver works well with warm complexions, gold flatters cooler tones, and copper or rose gold compliments light eyes. If your skin tone is more towards neutral, you can pair a silver metallic blazer with a gold metallic belt, or wear a bronze top with silver metallic pants. Metallic accessories like a mini metallic gold shoulder bag or clutch would definitely pull the whole look together.
If you are not ready to go all out metallic, you can start by adding metallic accents to your outfit instead. A metallic handbag, metallic shoes, or metallic jewelry can really elevate your overall look. For a bolder statement, opt for a silver metallic blazer or coat that will make you stand out in a good way. Personally, we prefer to rock metallic footwear as a statement piece- Shoes are as important as any other part of your attire or accessories, if not more. The best part is, you don’t have to buy a whole new look to get the metallic look. Simply style a black blazer (cropped, embellished, or otherwise) with a miniskirt, and then add silver metallic sandals.You could also try styling a pair of silver leather boots with a printed T-shirt and maxi skirt for that rocker chic vibe. Heading to work? Add some flair to your usual all black get up by adding a pair of metallic pumps. Going to a tropical destination? Style a neutral tank top and ruched skirt with metallic platform sandals for the perfect vacation-ready look.
Metallic on Vintage
When in doubt, go retro. While metallics are not commonly worn with vintage pieces, there is no law against incorporating these two different vibes together. Try a metallic top with a cropped leather jacket and a mini skirt with metallic embroidered florals for that edgy vintage chic vibe. Rock a pair of biker ankle boots to complete the look. Also, one of the easiest ways to introduce metallics into your everyday looks is with a showstopping blouse. You can double up on dazzle by wearing a metallic skirt, but a simpler option is to team it up with high-waisted jeans or black trousers.
If you prefer something a bit more casual, try combining a silver metallic camisole with a pair of comfortable jeans and sneakers for that casual yet sparkly look. You could also pair a maxi skirt with a metallic sweater for that subtle edgy vibe.
While many might still favour sequins for glamorous evenings, muted, brushed and lacquered metallics are the perfect alternative for the party season, as they’re eye-catching without being overwhelming. Rock a metallic skirt with some nude heels and a pair of dangly metallic earrings to really stand out.
Moreover, glossy pieces always steal the show for the better. Style a slinky metallic dress with dainty accessories and metallic slingback heels for ultimate chic and stylish look. If you prefer a more modest look, why not try a classic blazer or cardigan with metallic foil in the weave or solid metallic with dark toned pants and metallic heels. A metallic maxi dress with a trench coat also looks fabulous, while sleeveless metallic dresses can be worn layered over a black long-sleeve roll neck or under a leather jacket for a more edgy vibe. You could also rock a pair of metallic trousers- just pair it with a plain knit or T-shirt to make an extremely striking daytime look.The key is to keep everything else in the outfit simple and let your trousers do the talking. And don’t go too tight either; a straight leg or wide leg is much cooler than a skinny fit.
Denim on denim
While ‘denim on denim’ and Y2K style in the same sentence together might conjure up the hilarious yet iconic image of double denim fashion faux pas by the 2000s darling couple Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, (who could forget that denim constructed, strapless ball gown and matching denim suit) we promise it isn’t anything like that.
There are several ways to successfully rock the denim-on-denim style, and the best way is to combine a pair of denim jeans with the same material denim jacket or chambray shirt. If you are hoping to add a bit of flair to your denim-on-denim outfit, look for pieces with eye-catching embellishments, such as a jean jacket with beading, fringe, or embroidery.
Still, it is possible to take your denim-on-denim outfit beyond a pair of flares or mom jeans. You can opt for a denim dress or a pair of dungarees instead- since the washes don’t need to match, the options are truly endless. When it comes to denim dresses, we recommend lighter washes for flared dresses, and solid solid wash dark denim for fitted dresses. If the dress comes with details like gold buttons, add similar toned accessories for that luxe touch. Add a pair of bold coloured heels and it is a perfect look for a night out.
What’s more, unlike your go-to pair of casual, comfy jeans, a denim midi skirt is instantly polished. Pair an asymmetric ruffled denim midi skirt with a denim cropped jacket to elevate your outfit to the next level. Other than that, a denim blouse is perfect for those with a more feminine approach to dressing. Pair a denim blouse with puff sleeves and smocked elbows with a pair of wide-leg jeans for a chic twist on the denim on denim ensemble.
Feeling a little daring? Why not branch out of the regular blue denim shades and rock denim in other colours. Fashion elites like Gigi Hadid and Stassy Baby both opt to forgo the classic blues in favour of printed pink jeans with denim tops. If printed denim is a little bit out of your comfort zone, you can always rock colour block jeans with classic denim jackets for that bold and chic look. You could also rock a white on white denim look- a cropped white denim jacket with a distressed white denim skirt looks absolutely stunning on sun kissed skin.
You could also go the ‘model’s casual day out’ look like Emily Ratajkowski and rock a pair of baggy jeans and denim jacket tied at the front with a plunging neckline top. Moreover, rather than grabbing a classic pair of jeans, consider opting for denim accessories instead. A mini denim handbag can be worn with just about anything.
Florals are universally flattering, hence why the print is always trending, one way or another, and it’s one of the most feminine prints you could ever wear. From ditsy floral prints to over-sized flower patterns, blooms are certainly in this season.
Thinking about how to wear the floral print with your Y2K look? We recommend you to go for the floral on floral look. Yes, mix and match floral patterns (head to toe!) for a maximized take on the trend. Or try to pair a floral dress with a floral patterned handbag or sandals.
If you’re aiming for the safe way to wear floral print pieces, make sure to pick an interesting pattern; whether they’re large in scale or understated, floral print pieces give an instant uplift to your look. With that in mind, keeping the overall look balanced is key. When you wear something flora, especially if it is a one-piece such as a dress, romper, or jumpsuit, we recommend you keep your accessories to a minimum, or you risk looking like a walking bouquet of assorted flowers, and not in a good way. If you would like to add a pop of colour, it is better to add a pair of heels and handbag in a block colour that corresponds with the colour of the flower print. If you’re rocking a bright floral print, be sure to stick to minimal, muted colored accessories and nude shoes to keep the look polished.
While it is fun to mix prints, we highly recommend you do not mix floral prints, as it can be overwhelming even on the brave and seasoned fashionistas. If you want to be bold, add an edgy piece like a leather jacket to your floral, but don’t add another print that competes. In short, always ground your prints. This means adding accessories in one of the (main) colors of the print. Doing so is easiest when using the print’s background color.
Personally, our favourite way to rock the floral print is to channel some Euphoria vibes- Like Maddy’s memorable little mauve dress with white daisies, paired with neutral accessories and footwear. Another favourite of ours would be to rock a semi sheer all-over floral print dress with nude heels and a statement bag for that ultra feminine and chic date night look.
Interested in trying out all the latest Y2K trends? Check out Melissa and SHEIN on Atome today.
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