Britney and Bennifer. Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United. Sex and the City is back with a new series. Trucker caps and dresses featuring peekaboo cutouts. Is it 2003 or 2021?
The noughties have returned. You can’t blame me, this isn’t just a fashion trend – it’s also celebrity culture, TV and football. Don’t confuse “the nugties are back” and “the nugties are cool again”, as they are very different. If something is primed for nostalgia in pop culture, it means that it is old history.
Because you are old enough to recall the actual noughties, it does not make your memories any sort of oracle about the revival. This particular revival is reliving childhood memories, such as their moms picking them up at school in Juicy Couture tracksuits or the night that they went downstairs in jimjams to see Christina Aguilera on late night MTV. “I was there” does not make you hip; it only makes you older.
But were the noughties really any good? Are they worthy of a revival? To be fair, the gold-script name necklaces were sturdy. However, Ugg boots and cargo pants are a reminder of a time when life wasn’t controlled by social media and phones. The noughties bridge the gap between the pre-internet era and the modern life.
I remember the day the I got a BlackBerry – Google it, kids! I was walking down the street, clicking emails on my little keypad, and realized that I was Hillary Clinton. Take a look at me! I’m so busy. I’m so important! It’s funny to think that, after all the panic over the millennium bugs, when New Year’s Day elapsed in 2000, the clocks still ticked and the aeroplanes weren’t falling out of the skies, we thought that Y2K was a false alarm. We also believed that embedding technology into our brains hadn’t ended civilisation.
It feels almost as if the Y2K skeptics had a point two decades later. Our culture was kind of destroyed by technology. It just didn’t happen at midnight.
As an adult, Noughties fashion can be difficult to wear. My bedazzled belly button rings are not something I plan around, so I guess you won’t either. Oh, and the colors! It’s all bubblegum pinks with mermaid aquas. It looks like a six year old girl’s bedroom.
There are some good bits that we can pick out. Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s designer, told me that Tom Ford’s era at Gucci, which ended in 2004, was “magical.” These clothes are like the 90s with their slouchy trousers, corset tops and pencil skirts. Don’t believe me? TikTok star Addison Rae wore 2003 Tom Ford Gucci to this year’s Met Gala. Even though camisoles have been out of fashion for over two decades, I am willing to overlook decade’s ugly frameless sunglasses.
The noughties also made a great handbag. In 2000, the Dior Saddle bag was introduced. It was light enough to fit between your armpit and your ribcage. Perhaps we can trade the practical cross-body bag for a more classic shoulder bag in this cash-strapped age of traveling light. Next time, you’ll be able to swap the cross-body for a shoulder bag.