“What goes around comes around.” When Justin Timberlake sang those words on the microphone in 2006, he was talking about love. But the third single from her album FutureSex/LoveSounds was also prescient when it came to pop culture. Things are back and the fashion world is once again embracing the flashy, bare-bones styles of the era.
Look to the runways of Miu Miu (with its runaway success – the ultra-miniskirt) or Blumarine (whose comeback is defined by floaty, sequined and butterfly-adorned pieces) as proof. “There’s a huge sense of nostalgia that comes with the Y2K era, and its return is somewhat heartwarming,” says Heather Gramston, womenswear manager at Browns. “Looking back, it seems like a much simpler time, both politically and economically. Post-pandemic, we could all use an injection of fun, and that aesthetic sounds good with all of us agreeing to go out and get dressed. .
Social media has been a driving force behind many comeback trends. Vintage images of Victoria Beckham and Jennifer Lopez have popped up on Instagram’s discover page, and the biggest brands are on board. But the renewed nostalgia isn’t just for celebrities. On TikTok, users sparked interest by sharing their vintage runs and style ideas.
To embrace the playful fashion of the decade today, Gramston says there’s no need to worry about looking dated. A 2000s-inspired head-to-toe look can still look modern. The reality is that it’s all about having fun, playing around with shorter hemlines, Barbie colors and crystal shards.
“We’ve seen brands use Y2K references very literally: butterfly prints, low combat and rhinestones have all resurfaced,” Gramston says. “A lot of these trends seem to have been lifted straight off the backs of celebrities in the 2000s and into the modern era. Personally, I like that it doesn’t deviate from the original trend and I think that in itself seems somewhat modern.
Ahead, find five trends to adopt this summer for a little dose of nostalgia. Now report SexyBack and do some shopping.
Subscribe to the Observer Lifestyle newsletter
A pretty butterfly print doesn’t have to feel childish. In fact, the trend can translate into unassuming evening wear. Try a colorful dress with heels and a baguette bag for a head-to-toe look. Finish with butterfly clips for a finishing touch.
Butterfly Print Kim Shui Mini Dress
$299, Buy Now
Ungaro butterfly-print ruched mini dress
$795, shop now
TikTok has embraced the rise of Night Luxe, a trend focused on shimmer and sparkle. Embrace rhinestones, sequins and crystal details, especially when it comes to accessories. For this trend, there is not too much.
Benedetta Bruzziches Vitty Crystal Embellished Shoulder Bag
$1,285 shop now
Low waist jeans
Although it’s a completely polarizing style, there’s no denying that low-rise jeans are back on trend-setters’ radars. If you’re unsure of the best way to approach styling, lean into it. “A low-rise vintage wash jean with a POSTER GIRL chainmail halter top would be my favorite,” Gramston says.
Reformation Addison Relaxed Low Rise Jeans
$148, shop now
Original 90s Levi’s 501® Jeans in Mad Love
$98, shop now
While Miu Miu’s miniskirts have garnered the most sartorial buzz, there are plenty of cool brands offering cropped hemlines. Look for iterations in fun colors or classic denim to fully embrace the sense of nostalgia.
Jacquemus cutout draped linen mini skirt
$475, shop now
YanYan Cloud Color Block Wool Blend Knit Mini Skirt
$295, shop now
Flip Flops Sandals
You might liken the flip-flop to a trip to the beach, but these days you can find platform and heeled iterations that work just as well for dressier occasions. Wear them with a ribbed tank dress for a casual and cool daytime look.
X Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Gia Borghini embellished suede sandals
$670, shop now
St. Agni Brown Oliver Leather Sandals
$185, shop now