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How to Incorporate the Y2K Aesthetic into Your Own Style

The fashion industry is constantly changing, as new trends come and go. But lately, I have noticed that fashion trends from the past have been slowly becoming popular again. And one of the biggest trends that is coming back is the Y2K aesthetic. As suggested by the name, the Y2K aesthetic originates from the styles and trends popular in the late 90s or early 2000s. When people think of the Y2K style icons, they would think of paparazzi photos of Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera. To me, the Y2K aesthetic is a perfect combination of edgy and feminine styles, with hints of the streetwear style thrown into the mix. Since this aesthetic is everywhere in 2021, here are some easy ways to incorporate the Y2K aesthetic in your personal style, whether you want to use items that you already own or to introduce new pieces to your closet. 

A major component of the Y2K aesthetic is the bold statement pieces, which makes this aesthetic stand out even more when compared to the other popular style trends. The Y2K aesthetic is not afraid to embrace loud and quirky pieces that might not be considered as traditionally stylish. These bold statement pieces usually have unique textures to create interesting silhouettes or effortlessly elevate your outfit. Sequins, velvet, mesh, and latex are often seen as popular textures in this aesthetic. In addition, most statement pieces also have eye-catching patterns, which include any animal prints, plaid, big logos, bandana prints, all in bold bright colors. 

Nostalgia is also a driving force behind why the Y2K aesthetic made a come back this year and plays a big underlying role in this fashion movement. A huge part of this aesthetic includes fashion pieces from past popular brands, some examples are the velour tracksuits from Juicy Couture, Von Dutch trucker hats, New Balance dad shoes, and more. These trendy brands and styles can be easily found in thrift stores and maybe even in your parents’ closets. If you are still struggling to understand what the Y2K aesthetic is all about, I highly recommend watching teen movies from the late 90s or early 2000s. Not only are these movies great entertainment but you can also take style inspirations from the leading characters. My favorites are Clueless, Mean Girls, Freaky Friday, and Bratz.

At first glance, it might seem hard to incorporate the Y2K aesthetic into your own style. But in fact, many of us already have the basic pieces that could be used to build a Y2K outfit. As more people are abandoning skinny jeans, almost everyone has a pair of mom or boyfriend jeans. The revival of past trends also reintroduced tennis skirts into the fashion industry, which is becoming a wardrobe staple for many. You can easily style loose-fitting jeans or tennis skirts with any bold statement pieces, in order to create an everyday Y2K outfit. And last but not least, chunky boots are a must for the Y2K aesthetics. Whether it is Doc Martins or black combat boots, chunky boots add the perfect finishing touch to a Y2K outfit, giving off edgy and cool vibes. 

Like any other fashion trend, the Y2K aesthetic provides a great opportunity for people to explore new styles and express themselves through clothing. By incorporating bold colors and patterns, the Y2K aesthetic is all about taking fashion risks and having fun. So whether you are trying to find your style or just want to try something new, don’t hesitate to incorporate the Y2K style in your outfits. 

Iris Au

UCD '22

Iris is studying Communications and Economics at the University of California, Davis. She is currently a senior and is a big fan of cheesy rom-coms and cooking shows. She hopes to pursue a future career in public relations or marketing after graduating college.
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