We’re Calling It: These 7 Early Aughts Trends Are About to Be Everywhere

Thanks, TSwift

PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.

early-aughts-styles-trending-corset-tops-on Sarah Jessica Parker and Taylor Swift
Getty Images: Theo Wargo, Marc Piasecki

Thought the ‘90s were too close to recent memory to mine for nostalgia? Welp, there’s a new retro fashion style that’s coming and sure to make you even more squeamish: the early aughts are back, baby.

The years just after the turn of the last century were full of the playful fashion choices of millennials—after all, the first wave of that influential cohort, born in 1982, turned 18 in the year 2000. To be sure, there are some looks we refuse to repeat—for instance the sub-category we think of as Doofus Hattery (friends don’t let friends wear ironic furry caps or trucker hats). But there are a handful of looks that are being embraced and tweaked by fashionable influencers today, to surprisingly cool effect. (We see you, bedazzled jeans and cargo pants). Here, 7 early aughts fashions we’re starting see back in the zeitgeist.

Double Waistband Pants are Trending and Even Anne Hathaway Is a Fan

Early aughts styles trending: crystal-enhanced jeans
Getty Images: Steve Granitz / Rob Carr

1. Bedazzled Jeans

Back in 2001, Beyonce was in Destiny’s Child, and the trio wore diamanté bedecked denim to an MTV event. Fast forward to 2024, when Taylor Swift wore her own crystal-embellished wide-leg style to the Super Bowl. Note that today, the way to wear any diamondy jeans is to keep the rest of your outfit simple, like Swift’s basic black ensemble. (Unless you get cold, in which case sure, wear your star football player’s athletic jacket too.)

Get the look: Bebe rhinestone detail jeans ($129; $89); Reformation Chesapeake studded wide-leg jeans ($198); Area wide-leg jeans ($725)

Early aughts styles trending: jellies sandals retro and updated styles
Getty Images: Kirstin Sinclair, Daniel Zuchnik

2. Jelly Sandals

Jellies are analogous to La Nina, the globally disruptive weather pattern that resurfaces every decade or so. Like La Nina, the jelly shoe trend re-emerges to wreak havoc on otherwise predictable summer days, then disappears until who-knows-when. As far back as 1994, nascent style avatar Chloe Sevigny was sporting the shoe, and by the year 2000—quelle surprise—the rest of the world was hoofing around in pairs of plastic platforms molded to look like fisherman’s sandals. Today’s iteration is a less candy-colored, more subtle jelly sandal that’s made of a softer and therefore less blister-inducing material.

Get the Look: Bamboo Jelly Chunky Block Heel Sandals ($20); Los Angeles Apparel classic jelly sandal ($45); Larroudé PVC Slingback Pumps ($145)

Early aughts styles trending: Donna Karan and Eva Chen wearing cargo pants
Getty Images: Gregory Pace / Edward Berthelot

3. Cargo Pants

Cargo pants have re-emerged as a fashion staple, perhaps because, as a culture, we’d appreciate some non-sweatpants leg coverage that’s equally hella comfortable. Cargo pants—generally a light cotton pair of trousers with oversized pockets for carrying “cargo”—fit the bill. Donna Karan wore a charmingly slouchy pair in ’04, and honestly, we would wear that same outfit today as well. But we’re really admiring editor Eva Chen’s satiny version, worn recently in an elegantly monochromatic look, matchy-matchy down to the pointy heels.

Get the Look: Open Edit satin cargo pants ($90); BlankNYC satin cargo pant ($128) Ser.o.ya satin cargo pants ($248)

Early aughts styles trending: Graphic T-shirts on Paris Hilton and with a shawl
Getty Images/James Devaney; Lindsay Pennington

4. Graphic T-shirts

Skate culture and Paris Hilton were all about the graphic T-shirt, worn in the early aughts with low-slung jeans or a pair of baggy trousers. It was part of indie sleaze, a sort of grunge-meets-glamour look that is again popular for its casually sexy vibe. Today, though, we’re toning the skin-tight and overly exposed elements down, say with a nice scarf, like in this post from a Los Angeles-based designer.

Get the Look: Uniqlo Andy Warhol graphic T-shirt ($25); LP Anita shawl ($68); Desigual Rolling Stones T-shirt ($80)

early aughts styles trending: Corded earphones on a model in early 2000s and on recent New York woman
Getty Images: Paul Hawthorne/ Edward Berthelot

5. Corded Earbuds

The first Apple iPod, a now discontinued portable MP3 player, was introduced in October 2001 and shipped with little corded earphones, called earbuds. In the decades since, the design has evolved to fit into the ear canal more securely, and has been replaced in fidelity and popularity with wireless versions. That said, Gen Z trendsetters today find a certain retro-chic to just plugging in a tiny pair of wired, little white corded numbers which are hard to lose (unlike AirPods Pro) and easy to carry (unlike Airpods Max). And of course, it doesn’t hurt that, when you wear them, you signal “please don’t disturb me,” as a guest at New York Fashion Week coolly telegraphs above.

Get the Look: Apple EarPods headphones ($19; $18)

early aughts styles trending corset top
Getty Images: Jeff Kravitz / Gotham

6. Corset Tops

In 2004, Sarah Jessica Parker wore a satiny corset top over a puff-sleeve top in Aspen, giving ye olde wench vibes. Last summer, Taylor Swift wore a corset top with black shorts and a crossbody bag, exuding a pulled-together pop star aura. Our takeaway? Less is more when it comes to styling the contemporary corset.

Get the Look: Kutumai floral corset crop top ($30); Free People Melanie corset top ($58); House of Una floral cowl neck corset ($135)

early aughts styles trendign: Bayonetta style glasses on Jeanine Garofalo and Bella Hadid
Getty Images: Theo Wargo/Marc Piasecki

7. Bayonetta Glasses

Did you ever think you’d see the day? Indeed, Bayonetta glasses, which have thin, oval or rectangular frames and clear lenses with minimal adornments are back…and we kind of don’t hate them. The name itself comes from a popular 2009 Japanese video game character, Bayonetta, who was known for rocking similar specks while summoning demons and attacking her enemies. We appreciate the way these glasses are unobstrusive enough to coordinate with every other item in our wardrobe, including Bella Hadid’s sweater-rugby top—just not the huntsman’s cap Jeanine Garofalo wears in this early 2000s photo.

Get the Look: Pep Talk Bayonetta-style glasses ($30); Giant Vintage Fragile clear glasses ($32); Vint & York Cheaters glasses ($129)

dana dickey

Senior Editor

Dana Dickey is a PureWow Senior Editor, and during more than a decade in digital media, she has scoped out and tested top products and services across the lifestyle space...