The early 2000s brought us many great things, including The O.C., Lancôme Juicy Tubes, and Facebook. However, there are some things many of us would much rather forget about the decade, including popular early 2000s shirts that featured the most bizarre slogans. Today, these tees can offer us a cringe-worthy snapshot of our adolescence and the overall vibe of what it meant to be a tween in the new millennium.
Growing up in the UK in the early '00s, I vividly remember my shopping trips to Tammy Girl, which was a retail heaven for tween girls. I would lose myself among the clothes: One moment being distracted by bright baggy trousers, the next by tees sporting cartoon characters and incorrectly-spelled catch phrases.
One day, I stumbled across what I believed to be the coolest T-shirt in existence: A golden hued top with the word "babe" emblazoned across the chest and written in golden sequins. My mom gladly bought it for me, most likely thanking the universe that I hadn't chosen a top repping a swear word. When I wore my new tee to go visit some family friends, a little boy looked at me and asked, "Babe?" He chuckled, adding, "Don't you mean Babe: Pig In The City ?" Tween me was mortified, but I couldn't help but laugh.
So here's a shrine to all those bizarre slogan tees of the earlier '00s, simply because it's fun to laugh at our crazy, outdated fashions.
Size SM Flirt T-shirt, $5, etsy.com
If you were an introvert IRL but a totally flirtatious babe when you got behind a computer screen, this tee was for you. Such a shirt made it obvious that you knew how to woo someone on MSN or AIM and take the cutest MySpace profile picture. Depending on how strict your parents were, your mom probably thought this tee was sweet, while your dad inwardly cringed every time you wore it.
Trashy '90s/'00s Angel Top, $5.49, etsy.com
Your mom possibly bought you this shirt so people would think you were the most well behaved darling in existence, even though you were actually a little monster. You only agreed to wear it because it had cool angel wings on the back.
3. "Ciara Goodies"
CJ Ciara Studded Goodies Tee Women's T-Shirt Sizes Small Medium & Large, $6.97, ebay.com
Even if you were a big fan of Ciara, putting the word "goodies" across the chest of a top created for tweens wasn't the wisest of moves.
4. "I'm With Stupid"
VTG '90s '00s FCUK Top "I'm With Stupid" — Size Large, $21.14, ebay.com
How was it socially acceptable to wear these T-shirts? They said way more about the wearer than they did about the unlucky soul standing next to them.
5. "Thou Shalt Spend"
These kinds of shirts were a silent omen alluding to the global recession that would hit at the latter end of the '00s. Nowadays, it's seriously not cool to be a shopaholic.
6. "Babe Sexy Hot Kinky Foxy Angel Lush"
1990s/2000s White And Red Graffiti Text Kinky Babe T Shirt Size Small — New Without Tags, $14.88, etsy.com
The graffiti style font obviously showcased how edgy and cool we were. There wasn't room to fit any more adjectives on this tee.
7. "Von Dutch"
Von Dutch Originals Women's Or Junior's Size Small Purple Pink Short Sleeve Top, $7.06, ebay.com
When Von Dutch was first worn by the popular kids at my school, I thought it meant something like, "I'm Dutch." How very wrong I was.
8. "Once I Get The Ball, You're At My Mercy."
Vintage Nike Air Jordan Mercy Script T Shirt Early 2000s Rare, $10, ebay.com
Like most slogan shirts of the early '00s, sports tees were about self-celebrating. This Nike Air shirt featuring the Michael Jordan quote, "Once I get the ball, you're at my mercy," could usually be sported on the coolest athletic boys of your high school.
9. "Love Boat"
What was Britney's love boat and where was it located? We didn't care. We just wanted to match Ms. Spears in her music video for "Do Somethin'."
10. "Insatiable Thirst"
2003 Ladies Womens-Insatiable Thirst Underworld Vampire Club Stretch Top Shirt-M, $34.99, ebay.com
If you watched horror movies before you were legally allowed to, you may have been a fan of the Underworld series. This was the perfect tee for vampire-loving alt girls, but if people had never seen the movie, they probably thought you were chronically dehydrated.
11. "99 Percent B*tch"
1990s/2000s Red Sexy Kitten 99% Bitch Crop Top Size Small / Medium, $14.88, etsy.com
If your parent actually let you wear a shirt like this out of the house, it meant you were a legit bad girl. In hindsight, these tees were problematic AF.
In 10 years time, I'm sure we'll look back and laugh at our healthspo "kale" tees, self-deprecating "geek" ones, and witty "fries before guys" shirts. But for now, we can amuse ourselves by reminiscing about all the ego-boosting slogan tees from our youth.
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Images: Courtesy Brands