The Noughties was a time of self-discovery, especially when it came to dressing. From the Juicy T-shirts and mini-skirts of Mean Girls, to crop-tops and low-rise jeans in Bend It Like Beckham – films from the era encouraged a new wave of liberated aesthetics. Now, thanks to resale apps like Vestiaire Collective and Depop, as well as It-girls like Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber, Y2K style is officially back, and where better to look for fashion inspiration than the original films that shaped our wardrobes to begin with?
Below, the best Noughties films to take Y2K style notes from now.
An underrated staple of pared-back Y2K fashion, this Britney Spears film is riddled with looks that still resonate to this day. From tube tops and bucket hats, to graphic tees and really good jeans – there’s every wardrobe essential imaginable to be inspired by in Crossroads. “I’m not a girl, not yet a woman,” sings Britney on the film’s hit soundtrack. Be that as it may, she sure was low-key stylish.
Legally Blonde, 2001
Pink lovers, rejoice! Legally Blonde’s protagonist Elle Woods, played by Reese Witherspoon, is as tasteful as they come. Not only does she have a penchant for coordinated head-to-toe looks that mix tones and textures, she dresses to the nines for any occasion. Don’t let the stereotypically effeminate palette fool you, though: Woods is a character that unapologetically waves the flag for female empowerment, and we’re so here for it.
Bend It Like Beckham, 2002
Believe it or not, Bend It Like Beckham is full of fashion moments. The film’s protagonists, played by Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley, aren’t your typical girly girls, which is what actually makes the clothes so great. From football kits (Martine Rose vibes), to slinky going-out tops with low-rise blue jeans, there’s something for everyone.
Mean Girls, 2004
A rite of passage, Tina Fey’s original Mean Girls taught us the value of meaningful friendships amidst teenage angst. Moral of the story aside, the looks that the It-girls (The Plastics, for those in the know) serve are legendary. At the height of Juicy Couture’s influence, there’s hardly a moment when the brand’s graphic T-shirts aren’t featured (Vestiaire Collective is packed with pieces from the era, FYI). Throw on a frou-frou skirt and some micro-shades while you’re at it, and you can officially sit with us.
The Devil Wears Prada, 2006
Any fashion lover would be lying if they said this wasn’t one of their favourite films. The Devil Wears Prada is pretty spot-on when it comes to industry clichés (most of which are waning, we hope). But Andy’s (Anne Hathaway) transformation from frumpy-skirt girl to bona fide style star is as iconic today as it was back then. “Are those the… Chanel boots?” Yes, they are. (We’re suggesting a lower-heel take from Khaite, though.)
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