Picture this: The year is 2003. Britney Spears’s masterful In the Zone is climbing the charts, social media has not yet taken over our lives, and Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie are taking over our TV screens on The Simple Life wearing Von Dutch trucker hats. These were simpler, sillier times! Sure, Y2K fashion gets a bad rap in general, and it may have been gaudy at times—remember when we wore huge belts with literally everything?—but it was earnest and less produced than the average celebrity ’fit you see today. More importantly, it was fun, which is what getting dressed should be all about right now. But don’t get too sentimental about fashion of the past—because in 2021, like it or not, early-2000s style is coming back with a vengeance.
The early aughts fervor was first ignited by Gen Z last year, when they began rocking bootcut jeans and silk scarves as tops on TikTok. Soon after, we saw the aesthetic pop up on the runways too, where labels like Blumarine have debuted ruffled minidresses, blingy belts, and low-slung denim (“My Blumarine is more dirty, bitchy, sexier,” said creative director Nicola Brognano). And now, the trend is gaining momentum on the streets as well. Over the summer, stars like Rihanna, Dua Lipa, Bella Hadid, and more have been dusting off their best Y2K wears and giving them a new, modern feel. Let’s explore their various outfit propositions, shall we?
One of the biggest tacky-chic accessories of the era that we’ve seen come to the forefront is the trucker hat. With a mesh back and graphic front, it was all the rage in the early 2000s. Justin Timberlake is largely credited with starting the trend when he wore a Von Dutch hat to the Grammy afterparty in 2003. Ashton Kutcher, Gwen Stefani, Lindsay Lohan—they all wore them, especially if it was by Von Dutch, the It label of the time period. Eighteen years later, in April 2021, Rihanna stepped out in a new take on the look, sporting an Esso trucker hat with a tracksuit and Prada bowler bag. Earlier this month, Hailey Bieber also headed to Vegas in a lime green trucker hat, styling it with a white tank and classic jeans.