Ah, 2002: the year you watched Legally Blonde on repeat and prayed to the church of the Sex and the City wardrobe department. Spice Girls dominated your stereo — when you weren’t dancing to Britney Spears after school, that is. You counted Paris Hilton as one of your style icons and, the more accessories you piled on, the less actual clothing you wore. Slip dresses, cardigans as tops — the less-is-more list goes on.
Fast-forward two decades to today: Although plenty has changed, a lot has stayed suspiciously the same. And Just Like That was just renewed for another season, everyone is cheering for Britney Spears, and trends like low-rise denim are, unfortunately, back in style.
Though 2000s trends have been on the rise for a while, this two-decade marker is a perfect reason to celebrate the ones that are going especially gangbusters this year: You’ll find Legally Blonde-inspired pink and Sex and the City-popularized baguette bags, as well as structured corset tops, choker necklaces, and so much more.
Here, take a trip down memory lane to see the biggest trends from 2002 that are making a comeback today.
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“Legally Blonde” Pink
In July 2001, Legally Blonde premiered to the world, and the years that followed were awash in pink. Now that the unforgiving bubblegum tone is back with a vengeance, it’s time to shop for everything from dresses and trousers to overcoats, bags, and more.
You know the bags: Made iconic on Sex and the City, they fit barely more than your cellphone, especially now that you own an iPhone 13, but they fit so perfectly under your arm that you can’t help but love them. Make sure you reach for the very same silhouette, but update the look with understated hardware, luxe materials, and an overall cleaner look than you remember from two decades ago.
The ’90s and early aughts were huge when it came to cardigans, both layered over other tops (“going-out top,” anyone?) as well as buttoned-up and worn as a shirt. While you might have worn yours exclusively with mom jeans 20 years ago, now is the time to style cropped cardis with high-waisted jeans, slouchier styles with midi skirts, and even a classic crewneck with a pair of vintage shorts.
The underwear-as-outerwear look hit it big in the early aughts, and now the corset is back for another trip around the sun. This time around, style the boned bustier top with everything from oversize blazers to bright white tees and everything in between.
Be it a tiny pendant, black velvet ribbon, or chunky chain, it’s time to channel your inner 2002 fashionista with a choker necklace this season. Back in 2002, chokers tended to be made from casual materials, like stretch plastic, grosgrain ribbon, and the like. Today, designers have elevated their beaded, metal, and higher-end designs to shorter lengths that sit right at your collarbone.
Yes, that’s right. While you’ve spent the last few years settling into the high-waisted trend, your waistband is ready to get low again. Channel Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan, and more from the beginning of the early aughts to truly immerse yourself in the look. Though you might not exactly channel Keira Knightley with a bra top and hip-huggers, consider balancing out a lower-rise bottom with a bodysuit or layered cardigan so that you don’t look as though you’re ready to hit the beach.