The Unironic Return of Millennial Teen Style

Oh yes, trucker hats, matching belts, and charm bracelets are back.

Millenial Trends
Photo: Bellocqimages/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

It can be argued that being a teenager is supposed to be pretty awkward — you're making mistakes, you're learning, you're growing. But being a teenager in the aughts and early 2010s? Well, that one definitely hit different, and partly because of fashion. Most millennial teens had a wardrobe full of questionable clothing we loved extra-hard, such as colorful leggings, quirky tees, and mid-section belts. And while we definitely wanted to look cool at all times, we often approached trends with a raised eyebrow or a smirk to achieve that desired effect.

But now, as the memories of what we wore begin to fade, and the photographic evidence gets buried further into our Facebook archives, a whole new generation is bringing these styles back, with the earnest enthusiasm of a Teletubby (something else Gen Z is bringing back, and OK!). Lest you think this is some kind of coincidence, the Y2K trend resurgence goes way beyond the jeans debate and comfy pairs of UGG boots. Suddenly, we're seeing a huge resurrection of graphic tees, shrugs, sexy cutouts, trucker hats, logomania, ruching — all of it.

It's possible you're actually feeling nostalgic for those simpler times (we weren't as addicted to our phones back then!) or maybe missed out on a few looks you didn't feel cool enough to wear (and later realized you definitely were). So, in case you're curious about which trends from the early 2000s are making a super strong comeback among models and celebrities today, we've rounded up a few easy ones to try, whether it's your first go-round or you have the goods hiding in your closet already.

Lace Trims and Details

Bella Hadid
Marc Piasecki/GC Images

Initially, our eyes may have been drawn to Bella Hadid's ovary cutouts, but the real focus here should be her ribbed tank, which includes a lace trim. We've also seen this detail pop up on dresses and skirts, proving this '00s trend is totally back.

Baguette Bags

Emily Ratajkowski
Robert Kamau/GC Images

This rectangle shaped purse was the perfect pick for holding clear lipgloss and flip phones, and today's options still manage to fit the essentials. You can, of course, score your own version at almost any major designer brand or fast fashion store, but secondhand styles will feel more authentic.


Jerritt Clark/Getty Images

Speaking of bags, logomania is back, and many celebrities, including Saweetie, have been seen pairing their outfits with old school Louis Vuitton styles. We're getting full-on flashbacks!

Ugg Boots and Leggings

Kaia Gaia
MEGA/GC Images

Once upon a time, UGG boots were the coolest shoe. Then, they...weren't. But now, we've given in to comfort and wear them everywhere again, sometimes with pairs of leggings, which a throwback choice that has a stamp of approval from models like Kaia Gerber.

Coordinating Accessories

Gotham/GC Images

Around 2005, matching every single accessory — necklaces, belts, shoes, etc. — to the rest of your look was considered a top notch styling trick, and while it doesn't have to be as precise as it once was (you can go with the color scheme, rather than the exact shade), if Rihanna is doing it, it must be worth a try.

Ruched Top Cami Dresses

Olivia Rodrigo
Robert Kamau/GC Images

Olivia Rodrigo loves wearing vintage or vintage-inspired pieces, and we often see her decked out in Y2K clothing, especially when it comes to dresses. A sweet, ruched cami option, which was pretty popular throughout the '00s, is the perfect throw-on-and-go summer staple, but come fall, will still work when layered over a long-sleeved tee.

Graphic T-Shirts

Addison Rae
Bellocqimages/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

It's not quite Abercrombie's shocking slogans, but suddenly, T-shirts with quirky, funny sayings are popping up once again. And yes, it's true: both Addison Rae and Bella Hadid are trying to bring back Ed Hardy, so prepare yourself for that return, too.

Trucker Hats

Addison Rae
Bellocqimages/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

And, while we're on the topic of Addison Rae, she's really going all out with millennial teen trends. Trucker hats have been slowly bubbling up for a bit at this point, and it seems like the TikTok star is here for it.

Personalized Jewelry

Millie Bobby Brown
Neil Mockford/Getty Images

From nameplates to beads that spell cute things, the jewelry trends of today are both cute and meaningful. Plus, as arm parties, aka stacking on your bracelets, continue to trend, we've definitely become partial to the personalization movement. Even when you're following along with a trend, you can make the pieces uniquely your own. And if they keep coming back in style every couple of decades, they'll be as yours as ever.

Cropped Sweatshirts and Shrugs

Bella Hadid
Pierre Suu/GC Images

When cardigans made a comeback a few years ago, we should have realized we were headed down this path. Cropped sweaters used to be the preferred layer to wear over dresses and extra-long tank tops, but in 2021, they're either part of a matching set or styled as a shirt.

Cutouts and Holes

Doja Cat
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for E11EVEN MIAMI

To many, Doja Cat's cutout top will bring back memories of heading to a club or basement party full of sweaty teens. Go ahead and lean in, rocking this revamped look with another resurfaced trend, peek-a-boo thongs, or balance it out in a Prada-approved way, pairing a hole punched top with an elegant A-line skirt.

Structured Vests

Kendall Jenner
MEGA/GC Images

It's possible we'll never stop thinking about boy bands each time we spot a structured vest, but Kendall Jenner proved this item can look super cute when styled as a shirt, as opposed to layered over a T-shirt the Fall Out Boy way.

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