The early 2000s was such an exciting time. Not only was I a senior in high school, but I was finally allowed to start buying some of my own clothes, since I had a job. A good portion of my paycheck was spent at the mall on trucker hats, velour sweatsuits, and cargo pants. I never left the house without wearing my butterfly clips and Skechers, and you best believe I felt hot in those outfits while dancing with my friends to “Peaches and Cream," “It Wasn’t Me,” and “Goodies." So when I had the chance to dress my daughter in early 2000s trends for one week, I was 100 percent on board.
Looking back now, it's embarrassing to know that I used to rock those outfits—scarf belts?! What was I thinking?—but it’s also exciting to see some of those trends coming back into play. This spring, we saw celebrities like Kylie Jenner, Rihanna, and Tinashe sporting such early '00s trends as velour tracksuits, bucket hats, and tattoo chokers. I knew my daughter would love the trends just as much as I did.
I've done a few of these types of experiments before, so my daughter is used to me asking her if she'd like to play a “really fun dress-up game” for a few days. She agreed to it on the condition that she could change her clothes if she didn't feel comfortable with the outfit I picked. I explained that these outfits were going to be like the ones that I used to wear as a kid. She looked at me like, "You owe me," but luckily she agreed to play along.
I decided to start this experiment off simply, so I could ease my daughter into it. We went with the once-trendy skirt/dress over pants look, as modeled by such celebrities as Jessica Alba and Anne Hathaway. Since it was a school day, she was happy to wear the outfit so she could show off her “tutu dress” to all her friends. Even her teacher noticed her outfit, complimenting here by saying it was a “tutu type of day.”
Oh, trucker hats, how I once loved thee. I was so excited to introduce my daughter to the once-hot trend, which has recently been spotted on celebs like Donald Glover and Kylie Jenner. Too bad I got rid of my Von Dutch hat a long time ago. (I think I tossed it at the same time that I threw away my scarves and bandanas.)
Luckily, my husband recently purchased a cute trucker hat that I was able to use for this experiment. It was a swim day, which meant hats were acceptable attire at pre-K, so my 4-year-old agreed to the hat if she could wear her hair down. She normally dislikes wearing hats, so this was a huge win for me. She took it off mid-day, but she looked so cute.
By the time Day 3 rolled around, I knew it was time for my daughter to try wearing Avril Lavigne-style trends, such as rubber bracelets, gloves, and the ubiquitous tie around the neck. I suspected it might not go ovr too well with my daughter, since it required several accessories.
At first, I put the tie around my daughter's neck, as Avril did in the "Complicated" video, but I eventually switched the tie to a belt because my daughter kept pulling at it. I asked her if we could just visit one store before she switched her outfit. We made it out the door with the necktie as a belt and she wore it as I shopped, but she kept playing with the belt until it eventually came undone and I put it in my purse. She asked if I could make her another “sock glove” when we got home, which I totally did.
Velour definitely had its time in the spotlight in the 2000s, thanks to celebrities like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton donning Juicy Couture sweatsuits. I had a few that I wore on repeat, because hey — if it was good enough for Britney, then I was all about it.
I didn't have a velour track suit to dress my daughter in, but I had a regular one that she absolutely loved. I paired it with double buns, á la Lizzie McGuire. Since she was just hanging out around the house, she was able to run around in the backyard and do her break-dancing moves in this cute little outfit. Unlike the previous outfits, she said she'd definitely wear this one again.
Snce it was Sunday, we had to go out a few times to run errands. I knew my daughter would love this outfit because not only did she get to wear the cute butterfly clips in her hair (she LOVES butterflies), but she also liked the fringe top, which was very "I'm a Slave 4 U"-era Britney. The colored hipster-flared pants were the closest things we had to the low-rise flared jeans that Paris Hilton and Christina Aguilera wore. We got several “I love your outfit” and “how cute” compliments during those two hours we were out, but my daughter wasn't a fan of the pants: she ripped them off the second she got home. Hey, I totally get it. Low-rise flared jeans are cute, but they make it hard to sit without showing your underwear.
This outfit trend was a complete fail and I do not blame my daughter for asking me to change her outfit. I went for the whole Alicia Keys look, complete with fedora, wrap shirt and flared jeans. My daughter hated the pants and the sweater, but she did like the hat. I told her to take it off and pick out something she wanted to wear.
This was by far my favorite outfit of the week. I went for the bedazzled athletic look that J-Lo made look so easy back in the day. I went with cargo pants, a trucker hat, a jersey, and of course some Tiffany & Co. bling to class it up. My daughter loved this look and showed off the necklace to our next-door neighbor. The hat, however, did not last very long.
Because Day 7’s outfit crashed and burned, I decided to continue the experiment for one more day. I went with accessories that I knew my daughter would love, like a fake brand name purse (remember when everyone in middle school carried a fake Louis Vuitton?) and those butterfly clips. She was not sold on the white sweater shrug, which looked like something I would've bought from Delia's, but honestly, who actually enjoyed wearing a shrug back in the early 2000s, anyway? I had several of them but I never really understood the appeal.
Should These Trends Make a Comeback?
I spent eight days of dressing my daughter in early 2000s trends, and it was definitely fun and nostalgic. But I've also accepted the fact that many of these trends should never, ever make a comeback. The trucker hats, cargo pants, and even the cute butterfly clips are totally worth wearing again. But those low-rise jeans, annoying tie belts, and tight shrugs? They need to stay back in the 2000s along with Shaggy and Sisqo.
After conducting a few of these fashion experiments with my daughter, I've realized how alike we are in terms of our taste in clothes. I agree with my daughter that many of the early-2000s style trends are too tight and uncomfortable. Give me a flowy top, a babydoll dress, a cute hat, and a velvety soft tracksuit any day.