Brace Yourselves: Noughties Style Is Back

Are you ready for the return of low slung jeans?


by Zing Tsjeng |
Published on

Maybe this all started when Katy Perry resurrected Justin and Britney’s 2001 double denim ensemble at the MTV VMAs. Or when Moschino flooded the runway with a Barbie-inspired collection that was Paris Hilton pink, with blonde extensions to match. But I think it definitely clicked when Vogue – Vogue, for crying out loud – published a feature heralding the return of low-rise jeans, and ran it with THAT photo of Keira Knightley in pube-skimming denims.

Proust talks about madeleines sparking a flood of involuntary memory; Keira’s Bend It Like Beckham abs did it for me. I was instantly transported back to a time of Miss Sixty belt skirts and tiered gypsy skirts from Jane Norman. I could smell the singed, over-straightened hair follicles in the air. I caught myself feeling my wrist for a Livestrong bracelet that wasn’t there.


'Oh god,' I whispered. 'The noughties are back.'

READ MORE: Seven Noughties Fashions We're Praying Don't Come Back

As somebody who relentlessly mined the 90s for style pointers – stretch chokers, dungarees, mini floral dresses and all, I never really understood why people despised its comeback so much. What harm is a little good old-fashioned nostalgia, right?

I get it now. It’s all fun and games when you don’t reeeally remember the period in question the first time around. I was 12 when the 90s ended, which definitely provides some objective distance between me and the decade that brought us The Craft, Nirvana and the Gulf War. The noughties? Reader, I lived it.

When the New York Times writes about people ditching their smartphones for clamshell mobiles, I feel the old, terror-filled suspicion that my BFF Sarah was NOT texting me back because she was probably DEFINITELY pulling the boy I fancied from school. When Dries Van Noten and Roberto Cavalli cast boho babes in floaty frocks for spring/summer 2015, I remember the argument I had with my mum over my brown imitation suede hobo bag ('it looks like a dead animal,' 'NO MUM YOU’RE SO WRONG').

The nail in the coffin? I found myself looking at Timberland boots today. Those sand-coloured clumpers are responsible in part for the worst and most noughties photo of Girls Aloud ever (don’t argue with me), and they’re most indisputably back. Rihanna paired hers with a Miu Miu coat. I think I paired mine with Esprit cargos.


Fashion historian James Laver theorised that fashion trends operate in cycles – a year after its peak, it looks dowdy. According to Laver’s Law (yes, this is an actual thing), it takes over 30 years time for a style to phase back to amusing and quaint.

Obviously, the trend cycle has compressed and sped up over time; it’s why every vintage shop you walk into is flogging 90s slips dresses. But there’s only so long 90s nostalgia can hold out for – which is why, I guess, we’re due to enter the 2000s.

I still have hope fashion will cherry pick the best of the decade and not its Etnies-wearing worst. After all, even at the height of 90s nostalgia, nobody ever brought No Fear t-shirts back. But I’m digging up my old Baby G just in case.

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**Follow Zing on Twitter [@misszing


Pictures: Getty

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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