5 Noughties Trends That Are Best Shopped Vintage

5 Noughties Trends That Are Best Shopped Vintage
Source: https://www.refinery29.uk/en-gb/noughties-fashion-vintage?utm_source=feed&utm_medium=rss

Sometimes it feels as though fashion has sped up, doesn’t it? While trends used to circle back round at a leisurely pace, now they sink and resurface quick enough to give us a kind of sartorial whiplash.

Case in point: the current reign of Y2k style, which has everyone reaching for the same bias cuts, bandanas and velour tracksuits that we were only stuffing into a bin liner bound for the charity shop a hot minute ago. No sooner had we trained ourselves to stop referencing Sex and the City every time we wore a corsage or ate a cupcake, than those early series circled back round and we started flirting with kitten-heeled mules and Baguette bags again.

But flirting is the key word here, because how often do these things bed in for a long-term relationship? Many don’t last a whole summer. How many times did you wear that padded headband before it gave you a migraine and got usurped by a giant hair clip? Be honest.

And while the looks might be familiar, one thing is very different since the dawning of the new millennium. With some 300,000 tonnes of used clothing now festering in UK landfill alone, and an estimated £2.7 billion spent this year on clothes we’ll only wear once, we’re in the midst of a fast fashion crisis.

Which is why the most logical way to buy into the Y2k style redux is to seek out the originals. By which I mean: secondhand.

It’s cheaper, it’s more sustainable, it’s so much less guilt-making when you inevitably go off the idea in three weeks’ time. And the helpful thing about these trends being barely old enough to drink is that so many of them are still out there, well-preserved and just waiting to be unearthed in your local charity or vintage shop.

True, there’s no guarantee you’ll always find the exact thing you’re looking for in the size you need – but you’d be surprised how easy it can be, especially since these days we have something our turn-of-the-century selves didn’t: a well-stocked internet. Now that you can buy from Oxfam on ASOS, TRAID on eBay and endless quality vintage via Instagram and Depop, there’s no excuse for a flash-in-the-pan Zara fling anymore.

Here are five great preloved buys for this season, to remind you that second really is the best.

The Belt Bag

For two decades they were the exclusive preserve of tourists trying not to get pickpocketed on Las Ramblas; now they’re slung across the chest of every hip kid from here to Honolulu. And you laughed at first, but now you want a little of that hands-free liberation for yourself. You want a bumbag. But you’re not going to buy a new one, because the end of summer is nigh and soon we’ll all have moved on to quilted totes. Nope, you’re going to be sensible and go secondhand.

Charity shops and vintage stores are brimming with £5 nylon fannypacks, so you should have no trouble there. But if you’re looking for a way to wear the trend that’s a little more luxe, a little less like you might be about to get busted for vaping in your mate’s parents’ basement, may I direct your attention to this incredible vintage Gucci number from Rokit? Complete with hot pink buckle strap and some shameless logomania, it’s the aughts ‘it’ bag that never was.

It is also £265. But you’ll be wearing it in 2039 too.

The Slip Dress

There are clingy, bias-cut slips all over the place right now – including the preloved market, where you can find them in every colour, print and fabric you fancy, maybe with a cowl neck if you’re really lucky.

But for maximum season two Carrie Bradshaw, I like this floral £14 number from Oxfam online. Killing two 2k birds with one stone, it’s Paris Hilton-approved fucshia – the original millennial pink – and it comes, delightfully, from Marks & Spencer, so you know it’s going to have a quality lining. Because we’re grown-ups this time round.

The Attention-Seeking Sunnies

Which will happen first: you start feeling like a knob in your space age/pointed cat-eye/candy-coloured/comically oversized/minimalist rectangle/otherwise out-there shades, or you accidentally sit on them? Either way, spending serious money on silly season trends is for chumps. Let’s be sensible; #ChooseUsed, save our cash for timeless classics like Wayfarers and aviators, and spare the planet another round of plastic cast-offs to swallow.

A charity shop crawl will usually come up trumps with at least one pair of timely sunnies, but if you’d rather exercise your scrolling finger, try a Y2k-focused boutique like Volga Volga. These transparent, rose-tinted, angular cat-eyes tick virtually every trend box at once.

The Barely-There Sandal

Minimalist ‘floss’ sandals with modest stiletto heels have been the runaway – or, wobble away – hit of wedding season. But why would you drop dollar on a new pair when there are so many vintage incarnations out there that barely saw a full circuit of a noughties marquee before being kicked off to dance to Sonique?

These delicate beauties from ASOS Marketplace will look as good with cropped jeans as they will a satin sheath dress and ironic pashmina. And later you can be thankful for that other Y2k comeback kid, the flip-flop.


Everyone’s favourite youth club craft project enjoyed a fashion resurrection this year thanks to Prada, Collina Strada and Proenza Schouler on the catwalk, and more than a few girls-on-shoulders at Coachella. Given the state of the world just now, the peace-loving print couldn’t have come at a better time – even if our efforts end up looking a little less Adwoa Aboah, a little more Melanie C in the “I Turn To You” video.

Of course, the most sustainable way to wear this year’s tie-dye mood is to roll up your sleeves and get the Dylon out. But if you’d rather maximise the time you’ll actually want to wear the trend before autumn arrives and rains on your groovy parade, go vintage. Beyond Retro has the biggest tie-dye archive you’ll find online, from sleeveless tees to hippie-dippy halter dresses, and all in a refreshingly wide range of sizes. None of that post-rationing ‘everyone had a handspan waist in the 50s!’ crap. This is the new millennium.

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