Delving into the UK's fashion archives can be a bit of a mixed bag. Sure, there are some styles that have stood the test of time, and keep coming back year after year (looking at you, slip dresses). While other pieces provide the comforting nostalgia of youth (thank you, tie dye). There are also many looks that deserve to stay in the past, but are occasionally worth returning to for the memories and the lols. Here's an edit of those favourite fashion trends from the British 2000s that you know you wore, loved, and might still have at the back of your wardrobe.
In recent years, several fashion trends from the '00s have made a return – some more surprising than others. On the more wearable side, especially during a year of on-off lockdowns, there was the Juicy Couture-esque velour tracksuit. While in the slightly less comfortable stakes, some fashionistas re-embraced a low-rise jean.
The real '00s fashion trend shockers, however, have probably been repressed along with the likes of Mr Blobby and Alien Slime Eggs from the same era. Not to mention the brands that didn’t quite make it through to the 2010s – RIP Tammy Girl – would calling them "vintage" be a step too far?
Think Groovy Chick tees, skirts-over-trousers, chunky belts, and Skechers platforms... What an outfit. Keep scrolling to see the best of the British '00s fashion trends, for the ultimate hit of style nostalgia.
Not a trend as such, but a fashion mecca for '00s teens and pre-teens nonetheless. A small part of every British girl’s style history was lost when Tammy Girl went into administration in 2005 (when it was absorbed by BHS). The original trendy yet affordable high-street store was a glitter-filled treasure trove, where shoppers could spend their hard-won pocket money on anything from one-shoulder tops and bandanas to sparkly football tops, and fishnet fingerless gloves. Joyful.
Tassel Combat Trousers
A baggier-the-better style combat trousers with pockets that could carry every flavour of lip gloss you could ask for were bad enough in hindsight, but for some reason, teens across the UK thought that adding tassels and straps would be even cooler. The added weight on the bottom half meant that the low-rise waist was even lower, and riskier — for a trip, if nothing else.
You can blame Kate Moss for this one. Or was it actually Christina Aguilera's doing? In fact, pick pretty much any '00s celeb, and they were probably spotted in a waistcoat. I’m not talking about the loose-cut, knit styles on the catwalk of late. The '00s version was very specifically one to be layered, over anything and everything, complete with lapels and more often than not double breasted. Trilby hat optional.
Rolled-Down Ugg Boots
Long before Ugg Boots had a glow up, the Australian brand’s beige original sheepskin boots were the It shoe of the '00s. The style became synonymous with the era's cool-girl aesthetic – Sienna Miller favoured a rolled-down pair in all weather. They were a must have, and it didn't really matter whether you could afford the original or not. Shoezone’s own version was just as good, right?
Jewelled & Embroidered Jeans
Not satisfied with the sheer width of jeans in the '00s – from flares to baggy styles, it was either wear them with platforms or give in to an eternally soggy hemline – there seemed to be a need to add 'bling', too. Adorned with everything from diamanté embellishment to sewn-on costume jewels, badges and floral embroidery – more was more.
915 at New Look
Think back to non-uniform days, and at least 60% of teen girls in the '00s would be wearing something from New Look. In fact, it's highly likely you and one of your friends would be wearing exactly the same top. Taking its name from the age range it was aimed at, 9 to 15 year olds, the 915 teen range at New Look was where a) everyone bought their jeans, and b) probably their first pair of heels, too.
Not quite content with having these groovy cartoon girls plastered all over their school folders, fluffy pencil cases and brightly coloured diaries, 00s teens took to wearing them on their clothing, too. Much like the resurgence of other 00s trends (here’s looking at you coloured sunglasses), we came full circle when ASOS stocked a selection of Groovy Chick T-shirts in late 2020.
The bigger the better, even more so if there was a huge buckle involved, too. This belt wasn't exactly functional, it didn’t fit through belt loops or work to hold anything up. Instead, it fell into the 'anything goes' '00s category, you just had to sling it over whatever you had on. Once again, Sienna Miller led the charge on this look.
While this trend evolved for the better beyond the '00s, that specific, unstructured, soggy style that all the cool girls wore to school back then certainly epitomised the era. Whether New Look was your go-to for faux leather ballet flats, or Jane Norman’s patent pumps were a bit of you, you’d be hard pressed to find a British girl who didn’t own a pair of ballet pumps in their early teens.
Skechers Platform Trainers
Long before we had the resurgence of 1980s-style Dad Trainers (New Balance 990s, to be precise), there was another chunky trainer on the block. We had the cool curvy soles of Skechers platform trainers to keep us company. Add low-rise flared jeans (or even – god forbid – flared tracksuit trousers) and a cute-but-entirely-impractical halter-neck top andand you have the go-to uniform for every birthday party that took place in the 2000s.
A strong trend from the 1990s that transcended the decade, the choker made a reappearance in the 2000s, too. Replacing the elastic black weave that we’d come to know and love from the 1990s, the choker came back with a hint of glitz and glam, making appearances on stage and the red carpet with velvet and diamante additions, and a clasp this time, to avoid getting it stuck over your head.
Jane Norman Bags
Jane Norman, RIP. Sure, the store was great, and I’m sure there are many millennials out there with fond memories of spending their allowance in the high-street shop on a Saturday, but it's the bags that make this list in their own right. It didn’t matter what you’d bought, the carrier bags became the thing to carry everything in, from school books to P.E. kits.
Long Beaded Necklaces
Long beaded necklaces became the accessory du jour for much of the 2000s. Heavy beaded necklaces with multiple layers, or long necklaces beaded onto ribbon or silk was even better. Wearing a vest (or layering two)? Add a beaded necklace. Prom dress? Add a beaded necklace. Going-out in a “nice top and jeans”? Not complete without a beaded necklace.
See also: One-shoulder tops. Jeans (low-rise, of course) and a nice top (probably bought at Tammy Girl) was the enduring look of the noughties. The one-shoulder top especially was deemed the height of sophistication and sexiness, and the ultimate choice for a Friday night meal at Pizza Hut. Elsewhere, cropped halter-neck tops were just as ubiquitous, and makes my twenty-something self quiver at the thought of wearing one now.
Another one to thank Kate Moss for on this list. Mixing with the height of rock’n’roll at the time, she nicked a fair few style tips from her rocker friends. This time, the skinny (and entirely pointless) patterned scarf. Not used for any sort of insulation whatsoever, it was best worn over a vest top and under a leather jacket.
Boleros/Short Cardigans In Any Form
This one in particular brings back a whole lot of bad memories. Cardigans on the red carpet were bad enough in my opinion, but a whole sub-category of shorter cardigans? Even worse. The bolero style – a short-sleeved, short-bodied knitted cardigan – and the lace style – bonus points for it tying at the front, Cheryl – are my particular 2000s fashion regrets.
Baker Boy Hats
Baker boy hats, and sometimes flat wool caps, were a pop band essential in the 2000s. From Girls Aloud and Atomic Kitten to Hear’Say and Liberty X, one band member would end up in a hat, undoubtedly to differentiate them from the rest of the group. Most of the time, it worked. Add the super-tight waistcoat and a skinny scarf and you’ve got the 2000s band fashion trifecta in full motion.
2001 was a big year for Victoria Beckham and her bandanas. From here performing at the One Big Sunday radio show in London to her now-famous Burberry bandanas, it was her go-to style for a while (maybe she stole the idea from David? Who knows). But it wasn’t just VB, celebrities from Christina Aguilera to JLo to Mary-Kate and Ashley were going bananas for the bandana in the 2000s.
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