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Top 10 Decade-Defining Fashion Trends of the 2000s

VO: Lisa Yang
Script written by Genevieve Methot If you’re watching this now, we can guarantee you’ve rocked some of these looks.Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the top 10 decade-defining fashion trends of the 2000s. For this list, we’re looking at the clothes, hairstyles, accessories and more that have made the noughties what it is when it comes to fashion and style.
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Top 10 Decade-Defining Fashion Trends of the 2000s


If you’re watching this now, we can guarantee you’ve rocked some of these looks. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 decade-defining fashion trends of the 2000s.

For this list, we’re looking at the clothes, hairstyles, accessories and more that have made the noughties what it is when it comes to fashion and style.

#10: Bedazzled / Studded Accessories


Remember when everything just had to have colorful rhinestones or metal studs on them? We’re not sure where this came from or why, but in the 2000s, much of our clothing sparkled and shone like diamonds. If you weren’t satisfied with the level of bling attached to your favorite sports jersey, there were even machines you could use to add more bling so that you’d never walk into a room un-bedazzled. And if you still weren’t impressed with the amount of studs and rhinestones on your outfit, you could even jazz up parts of your body. Anyone remember vajazzling? This is one of the fashion trends that have mostly died away, and it’s left behind a tasteful echo of its former glory.

#9: Skater Chic


Teen idols like Avril Lavigne popularized a style that fit the kind of girl who wasn’t interested in dressing like a Barbie or a pop star. Lavigne’s “pop punk princess” style was geared towards girls that were more into hanging out with their friends at the skate park, listening to slightly edgier pop, pulling pranks and wearing dark eye makeup. Or something like that. This punk look for beginners was only a step down from the fishnet stockings, black corsets and body modifications that were also widespread during this time (and which Lavigne would later adopt into her style). So ironically, despite it starting off as a rejection to teenage sex appeal, skater chic seemed to just open the door to the kinkier side of fashion.

#8: Cargo Pants


Sure, cargo pants are still in style. Except now you can only find them in the camping section of your local big box store. Since the death of this fashion trend, the world has come to realize that clothes with too many functions are never timeless. Sold as a single piece or with zippers around the legs to convert into shorts, these pocket-happy trousers were “sexy” (cough) ten years ago. Especially when worn right above the pubic bone and preferably paired with a barely-there crop top to offset the sudden elephant-itis of the lower half. While it’s perfectly acceptable to wear them on your next backpacking trip, you will not be forgiven for wearing them in any non-recreation-related activity these days.

#7: Juicy Couture Velour Tracksuits / Jogging Suits (or Knock-Offs)


Nothing says “I’ve never stepped into a gym a day in my life” like a tracksuit made entirely out of furniture textile with the word ‘Juicy’ written on the bum. This look was suitable for all ages, shapes and sizes and was an attempt to make gym wear sexy - something that just a few years later yoga pants were more successful at. Whether your two-piece was from Juicy Couture or it was a knock-off, there was no sacrificing
comfort. This look was the fanciest way to dress like a slob and still look decent enough to run errands – and it was also only outfit on this list that was perfectly acceptable to wear as pyjamas.

#6: Uggs with Leggings, Sweatpants or Skirts


Even avid wearers of these Australian sheepskin boots know that they’re ugly. Adding buttons and changing the color doesn’t change that fact; it only makes it more apparent. Although wonderfully warm and comfortable, Uggs were not designed for the harsh winters of North America. But that never stopped fashionistas from sporting the soppy, salty crusty winter version. Because they were the real eye catcher of any outfit, girls didn’t hesitate to match them with leggings, sweatpants and even skirts. While you can still find these and many copycats, they’ve largely retreated back into homes and onto socked feet as slippers, where, to be honest, they should have stayed.

#5: Hair Streaks / Highlights / Frosted Tips


The man bun may be the 2010’s most recognizable hair fad, but ten years before that, it was all about the highlights, low lights, and frosted tips. Made trendy by pop culture icons like Kelly Clarkson during her “American Idol” debut and Christina Aguilera when she was a dirrty diva, it seemed like everybody back then was getting their hair did. Since there were so many colors and styles to choose from, getting streaks was a fun way to express one’s creativity. Just ask every single member of NSYNC. Hair streaks have evolved and became more subtle in in the 2010s, but we have a feeling they’ll be back again someday.

#4: The ‘Jersey Shore’ Look


Although this style is also associated with Jon Gosselin of “Jon and Kate Plus 8,” the guidos and guidettes of “Jersey Shore” made the look synonymous with summer partying, drunken hook-ups and stupid fights. You may be from or a fan of “Jersey Shore” if you’ve worn Ed Hardy or flesh shirts with “tattoos”, trucker hats, sparkly sunglasses, gold and silver chains, and barely-there tops. The missing piece that completes the look is of course the wonderful carroty glow of the spray tan, which is an essential part of the GTL routine. When the show and the style wrapped up, Ed Hardy’s designs magically retreated back into tattoo parlors - where hopefully they will stay.

#3: Halter Tops


Levels of modesty ebb and flow with the trends of the decade, and in the new millennium, the motto has been skin is the new black. While halter-tops were a pretty flattering way of showing off the shoulders, they were usually accompanied by a plunging décolletage and bare tummy like the ‘70s-inspired disco shirts and edgy biker tops. Needless to say, this style of shirt was largely banned in high schools for showing too much skin. Maybe it would help principals if they knew that the design had a very unsexy inspiration: the animal halter or head collar, which is essentially a harness strapped around an animal’s neck.

#2: Rapper Clothing Brands


Hip hop fashion has been around since the late ‘70s when artists began to express themselves by wearing certain clothes that achieved the street style aesthetic that was unique to hip hop culture. It was more than just throwing together Timberland boots and low-hanging baggy jeans though, as almost every rapper you could think of was also demonstrating his or her fashion forwardness by designing his or her own brands. Rocawear, Sean John and Apple Bottom Jeans are all the successful spawn of famous rappers who’ve not only defined hip hop fashion of this century, but who also have built prosperous multi-million dollar empires around their names.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Crocs

American Apparel Clothing / Shiny Leggings

Popped Collar Polo Shirts

Hoodies Under Blazers

Big Face Digital Watches

#1: Low Rise Jeans with Crop Top


This look may be the most understated outfit on our list. Whether or not they had the body to pull it off, every pop diva, teen and young woman wore some form of this revealing combination in the 2000s. Neither of these styles have completely disappeared off the racks, but rarely are the two worn together anymore. While crop tops were not a 21st century invention, the jean silhouette has made some remarkable changes after spending decades making women look frumpy and ten pounds heavier. With low rise pants, the waistline got so low that for a quick minute we even considered plumber-crack sexy. Meanwhile, fashion has moved on and reinvented different ways to make women take on the next look of the moment.


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