Delving into the UK’s fashion archives can be a bit of a mixed bag. Sure, there are some styles that have stood the test of time, and keep coming back year after year (looking at you, slip dresses). While other pieces provide the comforting nostalgia of youth (thank you, tie dye). There are also many looks that deserve to stay in the past, but are occasionally worth returning to for the memories and the lols. Here’s an edit of those favourite fashion trends from the British 2000s that you know you wore, loved, and might still have at the back of your wardrobe.
In recent years, several fashion trends from the ’00s have made a return – some more surprising than others. On the more wearable side, especially during a year of on-off lockdowns, there was the Juicy Couture-esque velour tracksuit. While in the slightly less comfortable stakes, some fashionistas re-embraced a low-rise jean.
The real ’00s fashion trend shockers, however, have probably been repressed along with the likes of Mr Blobby and Alien Slime Eggs from the same era. Not to mention the brands that didn’t quite make it through to the 2010s – RIP Tammy Girl – would calling them “vintage” be a step too far?
Think Groovy Chick tees, skirts-over-trousers, chunky belts, and Skechers platforms… What an outfit. Keep scrolling to see the best of the British ’00s fashion trends, for the ultimate hit of style nostalgia.
Skirts Over Trousers
Definitely one to be filed under “trends I hope never resurface again”, this one is a true early ’00s classic. Why wear just a pair of trousers, when you could wear a pair of trousers
and a skirt? Not only did this ’00s trend filter down to every average British teen, shopping from racks of pre-made skirts sewn over trousers on the UK high street, it was also worn by teen idols on the Hollywood red carpet. Can’t argue with that fashion range.
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Pedal pushers, capris, cut offs – whatever you want to call them, the ’00s really embraced this look. From cargo crops to skin-tight 1960s styles, the pedal pusher was the perfect between-seasons trouser. Picking up a new pair from Peacocks on a Saturday, along with a “going out top” ready for a sleepover that evening, was the perfect sartorial start to any given weekend.
Not a trend as such, but a fashion mecca for ’00s teens and pre-teens nonetheless. A small part of every British girl’s style history was lost when Tammy Girl went into administration in 2005 (when it was absorbed by BHS). The original trendy yet affordable high-street store was a glitter-filled treasure trove, where shoppers could spend their hard-won pocket money on anything from one-shoulder tops and bandanas to sparkly football tops, and fishnet fingerless gloves. Joyful.
Tassel Combat Trousers
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Baggier-the-better combat trousers with pockets that could carry every flavour of lip gloss you could ask for were quite enough on their own, in hindsight. But for some reason, teens across the UK thought that adding tassels and straps would be
even cooler. A trip hazard, if nothing else.
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You can blame Kate Moss for this one. Or was it actually Christina Aguilera’s doing? In fact, pick pretty much any ’00s celeb, and they were probably spotted in a waistcoat. I’m not talking about the loose-cut, knit styles on the catwalk of late. The ’00s version was very specifically one to be layered, over anything and everything, complete with lapels and more often than not double breasted. Trilby hat optional.
Rolled-Down Ugg Boots
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Long before Ugg Boots had a glow up, the Australian brand’s beige original sheepskin boots were the It shoe of the ’00s. The style became synonymous with the era’s cool-girl aesthetic – Sienna Miller favoured a rolled-down pair in all weather. They were a must have, and it didn’t really matter whether you could afford the original or not. Shoezone’s own version was just as good, right?
Jewelled & Embroidered Jeans
Not satisfied with the sheer width of jeans in the ’00s – from flares to baggy styles, it was either wear them with platforms or give in to an eternally soggy hemline – there seemed to be a need to add ‘bling’, too. Adorned with everything from diamanté embellishment to sewn-on costume jewels, badges and floral embroidery – more was more.
915 at New Look
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Think back to non-uniform days, and at least 60% of teen girls in the ’00s would be wearing something from New Look. In fact, it’s highly likely you and one of your friends would be wearing exactly the same top. Taking its name from the age range it was aimed at, 9 to 15 year olds, the 915 teen range at New Look was where a) everyone bought their jeans, and b) probably their first pair of heels, too.
Not content with having these cartoon girls plastered all over their stationary and pencil cases, teens took to wearing the Groovy Chicks on clothing, too. Much like the resurgence of other ’00s trends (here’s looking at you colour-lens sunglasses), the trend came full circle when ASOS stocked a selection of Groovy Chick T-shirts late last year.
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The bigger the better, even more so if there was a huge buckle involved, too. This belt wasn’t exactly functional, it didn’t fit through belt loops or work to hold anything up. Instead, it fell into the ‘anything goes’ ’00s category, you just had to sling it over whatever you had on. Once again, Sienna Miller led the charge on this look.
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While this trend evolved for the better beyond the ’00s, that specific, unstructured, soggy style that all the cool girls wore to school back then certainly epitomised the era. Whether New Look was your go-to for faux leather ballet flats, or Jane Norman’s patent pumps were a bit of you, you’d be hard pressed to find a British girl who didn’t own a pair of ballet pumps in their early teens.
Skechers Platform Trainers
Long before the resurgence of 1980s-style Dad trainers (New Balance 990s, to be precise), the curvy soles of Skechers platforms were the ’00s must-have shoe. Add low-rise, flared jeans, and a cute-but-practical halter-neck top, and you have the uniform for every birthday party that took place in the 2000s.