Celebrity Style

12 Unforgettable 2000s-Inspired Met Gala Looks

Slip dresses, naked gowns, and more.

Originally Published: 
Beyonce attends the "China: Through The Looking Glass" met gala in rhinestone naked dress
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The second installation of the Met Gala is upon us. Broken into two parts, the first occurred in September and the following on May 2, 2022, returning to the gala’s “first Monday in May” tradition. This year’s Costume Institute exhibit closes out the “In America” theme with “An Anthology of Fashion” — meaning it’s about to be a fashion-filled week from the runway to the red carpet.

While the dress code has been slated as “gilded glamour” according to Vogue, it’s a sure bet that 2000s style will work its way into this year’s fashion prom. After all, the decade has infused itself into the current style lexicon more so than any other decade, so you can almost guarantee that the gala’s glamorous looks will follow suit.

The current 2000s fashion resurgence is fitting for the theme, so designers will likely be looking toward patriotic, Americana-focused looks for the red carpet. Many of those styles have 2000s influences.

Although this year’s ensembles might be particularly aughts-focused, prior years saw their fair share of throwback trends, as well. Ahead, find the best 2000s-inspired outfits ever to hit the Met steps — from Jennifer Lopez’s halter gown to Hailey Bieber’s visible thong and more jaw-dropping looks.

Beyoncé, 2015

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Beyoncé chose a totally sheer embellished “naked dress” for the 2015 Met Gala: China, Through The Looking Glass. Designed by Givenchy, it continued the popular 2000s trend of barely-there, all-over sheer designs.

Bella Hadid, 2019

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Body conscious dresses with strategically placed cutouts were all the rage in the 2000s. Bella Hadid elevated the Moschino look with a pixie cut and some bold embellishments for “Camp: Notes on Fashion in 2019.”

Kim Kardashian, 2018

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The early aughts were all about boudoir-inspired structure, like a bustier top, form-fitting simplicity, and sparkle. Kim Kardashian brought all that and more in 2018 with this sequined gold gown by Versace.

Jennifer Lopez, 2011

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Two trends that defined the 2000s were cut-outs and halter necklines, and Jennifer Lopez merged them both brilliantly with her Gucci gown at the 2011 Met Gala.

Zoe Kravitz, 2018

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The 2000s were all about showing a little bit of skin, be it a midriff, a shoulder, or a leg. For the 2018 Met Gala, Zoe Kravitz brought back the up-to-there slit with an asymmetrical black lace gown.

Kylie Jenner, 2019

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The aughts were a time that forever will be known for its “baby” hues, popularizing pale blush, slate blue, light sage green, and more. Kylie Jenner’s Versace look in 2019 certainly harkened back to the early 2000s with its vibrant lavender feathers.

Madonna, 2013

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Studded belts were peak ‘00s. Madonna perfectly blended the preppy/punk looks in an embellished plaid blazer, accompanied with thigh-high stockings and fishnets. The look was wonderfully on-the-nose for a”Punk: Chaos to Couture.”

Hailey Bieber, 2019

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One of the biggest 2000s throwbacks on the Met Gala red carpet came in 2019, when Hailey Bieber chose a light pink turtleneck gown by Alexander Wang. It boasted not only a totally open back but a built-in visible thong with an embellished “Wang” at its juncture.

Kim Petras, 2021

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This Collina Strada ‘horse girl’ look lives in my head rent free to this day. The bustle, the cartoon horse head, and colorful print are giving Lisa Frank in the best way.

Lady Gaga, 2019

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In one of three looks that Lady Gaga debuted while making her way up the Metropolitan Museum stairs in 2019, she turned heads in a bright pink satin slip dress-style gown that existed in every chic woman’s closet throughout the 2000s.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 2021

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Bold, controversial statements printed on t-shirts (read: “DUMP HIM”), coffee mugs, the butt of your velour sweatpants, etc. were a big trend of the ‘00s. This “tax the rich” dress by Aurora James of Brother Vellies is both ironic and iconic.

Amal Clooney, 2018

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One of the most controversial trends of the 2000s: pants with dresses. Amal Clooney elevates the look by Richard Quinn at “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination.”

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