People got really hyped up about Y2K. It was the turn of the century, you could finally listen to that Prince song and mean it, plus there was a lot of talk about how there was a computer bug that was going to turn everything off at the stroke of midnight, as our PCs wouldn’t be able to understand the switch from 1999 to 2000. While programming disasters were (mostly) averted, I can’t say the same for fashion. Y2K was a particular sort of era. Sure, it was a simpler time when people could still wear jeans or a nice top and trousers to a red carpet event, but there were fedora hats, Juicy Couture trackies and lots of pointy-toe heels that everyone seemed to wear with bootcut jeans (shudders).
The thing is Y2K trends are booming. Thanks to Gen Z, who didn’t experience the trends the first time around (unlike this “officially” geriatric millennial), these 20-year-old looks are now on the rise. Just today, Depop revealed, “Gen Z are flocking to Depop to find original gems from the era. Y2K is one of the most prevailingly popular searches on Depop; from April 2020 to July 2020, the [number] of searches for ‘Y2K’ and ‘noughties’ increased by over 640%.”
But today, I want to pay special attention to Y2K jeans trends because in my mind, there was one prevailing trend: low-slung. Whether flared or über-baggy, jeans always sat under your belly button, and if you wanted to flash your midriff, which had to be adorned with a belly chain, then even better. Yes, I do occasionally have nightmares at the thought of these trousers returning, but it’s happening. Being the investigative journalist that I am, I did a deep dive into the Y2K denim archives to see who did it back then and whether or not we’d wear the look in 2021. The good news is that there are plenty of Y2K jeans outfits I’d 100% wear now. Plus, I’ve discovered how influencers are wearing this trend now. Keep scrolling to take a look back, and then shop jeans that come Y2K-inspired.