If you were an alt kid in the early 2000s, you probably cringe every time you catch sight of a photo of yourself rocking emo fashion trends. However, you'll likely feel a little flicker of happy nostalgia, too. The truth is, emo kids got a bad rep: Tarred with the same black brush — the whole scene often demonized by the media as glorifying self harm and depression. In reality, the emo era helped raise awareness about mental health issues, joining kids the world over in sad but unified togetherness.
The entire scene was dominated by music and it was an exciting time to be alive. Instead of relying on Top 40 lists to find new tunes, we'd sift through MySpace and discover new bands. Emo music was a lifeline for many teens struggling with tempestuous hormones, social anxieties, body image issues, and a myriad of other mental health struggles. Bands like My Chemical Romance taught listeners that it's perfectly normal not to feel OK 24/7, helping emo kids celebrate their individuality along the way.
Emo fashion was a huge part of the scene, of course. Kids who felt they didn't fit the bill of a "normal" mainstream adolescent formed their own tribe through their sartorial choices. Although many of our styles might seen cringe-worthy in 2016, these are the epic emo trends that we should incorporate into our looks immidiately.
1. Hair Bows
Gala Ombré Glitter Bow, $29.15, crownandglory.co.uk
Put a modern twist on the ironic hair bows you used to wear as an emo kid. Instead of picking a The Nightmare Before Christmas-themed one in tribute to the movie and the memorable line from Blink-182's "I Miss You," you can go for a modern ombré glitter bow.
2. Ripped Skinny Jeans
MOTO Black Ripped Leigh Jeans, $70, topshop.com
Take style advice from your younger self by investing in a pair of ripped black skinny jeans that will become your go-to concert pants and will look awesome at festivals. Stray away from styles that look as if they've been shredded by a tiger and are hanging together by a thread, though. For a modern approach, choose jeans with subtle rips at the knees — chances are, they'll last longer anyway.
Chuck Taylor All Star Plaid, $34.99, converse.com
Converse are iconic and once you've worn them in, they're among the most comfortable shoes out there. Your inner emo kid will love these plaid sneakers and — considering plaid has come back in a big way recently — the other parts of you probably will, too.
4. Studded Chokers
Pink Leather Heart O Ring Choker With Spikes, $15, etsy.com
Black spiked chokers were all the rage among emo kids. This pastel pink spike one, with a heart-shaped ring at the front, gives off stylish, cute, and creepy pastel goth vibes, which would be great for giving an edge to girly outfits.
5. Pop Culture Pins
Laser Kitten Clarissa Pin, $15, urbanoutfitters.com
In the golden age of emo, covering your backpack in buttons featuring your favorite bands or lyrics was the norm. Nowadays, the cool kids have started embellishing their bags and lapels with pop culture reference pins, because making a nod towards '90s nostalgia is all the rage right now.
6. See-Through Garments
Asos Mesh Long Sleeve Crop Top, $26, asos.com
It's time to retire your fishnet mesh gloves and wear fine see-through garments instead. The early '00s was a pretty in-your-face time period when it came to fashion in general, so invest in subtle fine mesh rather than OTT fishnets.
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Cold Pizza Club Patch, $5, etsy.com
Emos were known for wearing band logo patches, but this isn't how we roll anymore. In 2016, patches are coolest when they hold some truth about the wearer. Bonus points if your patch is food related, because being open about your love of eating is seriously great.
Vans Disney Slip-On, $60, vans.com
Back in the day, only the coolest emo kids wore Vans slip-ons, and they were most often the checkerboard style. Emo kids would have probably worn Disney print kicks in a tongue-in-cheek fashion as well, but now it's actually cool to like Disney. So celebrate the release of this year's live action/CGI adaptation of The Jungle Book with these awesome sneaks.
9. Band T-Shirts
Jess Bowie Printed T-Shirt, $20, boohoo.com
T-shirts featuring your favorite bands used to be pretty easy to get your hands on. You'd go to your favorite emo band's concert and there'd be someone selling merchandise from a table.
As the music industry has seemingly become more about pop than niche genres, we don't usually see as many people wearing band tees in everyday life — other than at music festivals. But in 2016, we've lost some game-changing music legends, so pay your respects to your favorite icons with a band or artist tee.
10. Tutu Skirts
Little Mistress Maxi Tulle Skirt, $81, asos.com
Emo kids loved playing dress-up, especially when it came to short tutu skirts, which would sometimes be worn with stripy socks or even over skinny jeans. We're all grown-up now, but that doesn't mean we can't have fun with fashion. Do a Carrie Bradshaw and wear a gorgeous tulle skirt to transform yourself into a ballerina.
11. Animal Ears On Hoods & Hats
Kawaii Pumpkin Orange & Tan Animal Ears Minnie Micky Mouse Inspired Hat Fascinator, $48, etsy.com
If you still like rocking animal ears, don't be shy! Give your animal ear embellished hoods and hats a sophisticated upgrade: Flaunt an elegant yet quirky animal ear fascinator.
There will always be some fashion trends we wish would crawl into a hole and die, but you might not want to say so long and goodnight to the emo trend just yet.
Images: Courtesy Brands