Beyond the movies and television shows, the food and the fashion, some of our most important and vivid memories are tied to the actual items that we own growing up. We are talking everything from the clothes that we were wearing like they were part of an unspoken dress code to the toys that we played with after school. These were things that we cherished and still remember fondly, and we just couldn’t have a Y2K Throwback without highlighting the iconic items that defined the decade for us.
- (I hate to say it, but) Abercrombie Sweatshirts
I wish I had stood my ground and stuck with Gap sweatshirts, but unfortunately I was too shy in middle school to make such a “fashion statement.” This led me to purchasing far too many zipper and over-the-head hooded sweatshirts from Abercrombie & Fitch that basically made me a walking advertisement. There was hardly any originality in these sweatshirts and paired with skinny jeans and folded over ugg boots, the girls in my middle school hallway looked like a cult––and not a particularly friendly one. However, since middle school, I have removed these items from my wardrobe via donating them to Goodwill. I may own a few Abercrombie t-shirts, but there is no logo, just a moose and regret about a spontaneous purchase.
– Elizabeth Berry ‘21
I remember vividly when Heely’s first came out. Everyone wanted a pair. I remember begging my mom to go to the shoe store to get me a pair. I think I was in second grade and not many people had a pair, so I would be one of the first. My mom did get me a pair. I remember that I was a size 6, and they had my size, and I was so happy. I tried them on but was too scared to actually “skate,” but after a few practice runs, I got the hang of it and was heeling away. I wore them to school, and I thought I was so cool. There were only like 5 of us who had this shoe, so I felt extra special. We would skate about the school rubbing it in everyone’s faces. Then unfortunately, the adults thought it was a safety hazard, so we weren’t allowed to skate anymore. But I lived as a queen for a week or so in my Heely’s.
– Elyce Afrifa ‘22
- iPod Shuffle
It’s difficult to imagine a time before touch screens, but I do remember LOVING my iPod Shuffle back in elementary school. The little device had no screen, only buttons to pause/play, skip, and change the volume, and it even had a little clip so you could attach it to your clothes if you were on the go. Some of my best childhood memories are of me and my friends sitting around my family computer, curating playlists and downloading them, so we could share headphones together and listen to music while we rode the bus to and from school. While Apple unfortunately discontinued the iPod Shuffle, it still lives on with me as a key part of my childhood memories.
– Kendall Foley ’24
- Nintendo DS
If you wanted to fit in with the rest of the cool kids, you had a Nintendo DS. Some of my favorite games were Cooking Mama and Mario Kart. I remembered saving all the money I got during the holidays to buy an DS; it was one of my biggest investments. There were so many games to choose from, and it was a way to bond with other kids. In elementary school if you had a DS, you were considered to be cool, and you would play with others. Afterschool, some of the other kids and I would sit together and link our DS and play Mario Kart. A DS makes me feel like a child again, and to this day, I still have my Nintendo DS, and I’m not going to lie during quarantine, I got so bored to the point where I started to play some of the old games on my DS.
– Jasmine Li ‘22
Webkinz were honestly such a genius concept, because they had a little bit of everything — an actual stuffed animal you could play with in real life, traditional computer games (the Webkinz arcade was elite, even though as a kid I only played the Wheel of Wonder because it required the least strategy), and a virtual pet that you could feed, take care of, and build a really sick house for. When I think of my favorite toy or game from the 2000s, I think of Webkinz — they’re the epitome of childhood nostalgia.
– Samantha Barth ‘21
Wow, this article really took us back! For us college students, the 2000s were the decade of our childhood, so it will always hold a piece of our heart. Did any of these iconic items inspire a trip down memory lane? Tell us your favorite iconic (or underrated item) from the 2000s on Instagram @hercampusconn.