Remember the early-aughts? It was a time for un-ironic tie-dye and unapologetic accessorizing. “More is more,” we’d tell ourselves as we crimped our Christina Aguilera hair and stacked our neon jelly bracelets, “Oops I Did It Again” softly trilling from a nearby cassette player.
Although much from that era remains retrospectively cringe-worthy, enough time has passed that we’re beginning to develop a soft spot for our desperately hip temporary tattoo-wearing selves, and the stars who inspired us. (See above: Britney and Justin dreamily pairing denim with MORE DENIM at the 2001 American Music Awards.)
Scroll down below to see some of the most incredible red carpet looks from the turn of the 21st century (you know at least a couple of these were on your outfit inspiration board—don’t lie).
Björk at the 2001 Oscars
I was 7 when this epic red carpet moment came to be, yet I remember it vividly—the shock, the awe, the Björk obsession brewing amongst our nation's youth...
Britney Spears at the 2000 Billboard Music Awards
This whole gallery should be dedicated to Britney, TBH. The princess of pop showed us what it meant to be a hip early-aughts teen, and for that we shall forever be grateful. Orange, tie-dye, fishnets, top hats... Britney Jean drove us crazy (we just can't sleep) with her trend blending.
Hilary Duff at the 2003 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards
Hilary, sweet Hilary. The Disney Channel star managed to incorporate the entire spectrum of pastels, a layered patchwork miniskirt, and sneaker heels into one outfit. Praise be, Hil.
Fergie at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards
Fergie-Ferg and her promotional posse hit the MTV VMAs in style. The Duchess herself paired a midriff-baring shirt and tie, a black bowler hat, tartan short-shorts, and knee-high boots. Ah, take me back to 2006!
Jennifer Lopez at the 2000 Grammys
At the time, J.Lo's plunging Versace gown was thought to be peak J.Lo—today, we've come to understand that all J.Lo is peak J.Lo. Still, the tropical-print chiffon dress remains a fond red carpet memory.
Jessica Simpson at the American Music Awards in 2001
Back when she and Nick Lachey were our fave Hollywood couple, Simpson was quite the red carpet presence. Who didn't have those chunky platinum highlights, and hey, both Bey and Brit backed her up on the red latex front. How desperately do you want to wear that three-piece set to your next early 2000s themed party? You're welcome.
Destiny's Child at London "Survivor" lauch Party in 2001
Please, take us back to the days when Bey, Kelly, and Michelle *ALWAYS* wore matching outfits. (Secretly hoping the Carter kids will revive the trend in the next few years.)
Paris Hilton at 2001 AMFAR Dinner in Cannes
The true essence of early-aughts pop culture would be lost without mention of our favorite heiress, Paris Hilton. Girl wore a halter gown embellished with sparkling celebrity signatures, waist cut-outs, *and* a matching crystal-lined beret. Bonus points: Hilton's left arm is decorated with a glittery body decal spelling "amfAR." That is true commitment, Paris.
Kim Kardashian (Pre West) at US Weekly's Hot Hollywood Event in 2006
Before Kimmy adopted couture galore, it was all about sweater dresses and extra-wide waist belts—the guitar detailing on this one is particularly inspired.
Mischa Barton at the 2004 Kids' Choice Awards
How could we forget this amazing trend? The ultra-long ruffled top over flare jeans look... Classic. Note: Misch is wearing dangling earrings that feature heart-shaped peace signs. We've died and gone to early-aughts heaven (much like Marissa Cooper—too soon?).
Sarah Jessica Parker at the 2003 Golden Globe Awards
Part Madonna, the other part pure SJP—this is the photo we have hanging above our bed with "What Would SJP Do?" written in lipstick across the bottom.
Jessica Alba at the 2003 ESPY Awards
Dresses over jeans was SO in!
Ashley Tisdale at the 2004 Premiere of The Incredibles
This outfit features at least five accessories I'm certain I bought at Claire's 10-15 years ago.
Nicole Kidman at the UK Royal Charity Premiere of Cold Mountain
More than anything, the era was marked by women dressing however they damn well pleased. If Nicole Kidman wanted to wear a Victorian collar, no one was going to stand in her way.