The Five Y2K Trends to Embrace This Summer, From Miniskirts to Butterfly Prints

There’s no need to worry about looking dated. A head-to-toe look inspired by the 2000’s can still feel modern.

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“What goes around comes back around.” When Justin Timberlake sang those words into the microphone in 2006, he was talking about love. But the third single off of his FutureSex/LoveSounds album was prescient when it comes to pop culture, too. The aughts are back, and the fashion world is once again embracing the flashy, skin-baring styles of the era. 

Look to the runways of Miu Miu (with its runaway hit—the ultra-miniskirt) or Blumarine (whose return is defined by fluttery, sequined and butterfly-adorned pieces) as proof. “There’s a huge sense of nostalgia that comes with the Y2K-era, and its return is somewhat comforting,” explains Heather Gramston, the head of womenswear at Browns. “Looking back, it appears a much simpler time, both politically and economically. Post-pandemic, we could all use an injection of fun, and this aesthetic chimes well with us all embracing going out-out and dressing up again.”   

Social media has served as a driving force for many of the returning trends. Vintage imagery of Victoria Beckham and Jennifer Lopez have popped up on Instagram’s discover page, and the aughts’ biggest brands are on board—who can forget J.Lo’s runway recreation of her green Versace dress from the 2000 Grammys? But the renewed nostalgia isn’t just for celebrities. On TikTok, users have drummed up interest by sharing their vintage hauls and styling ideas. 

To embrace the playful fashion of the decade today, Gramston explains that there’s no need to worry about looking dated. A head-to-toe look inspired by the 2000’s can still feel modern. The reality is that it’s all about having fun—playing with shorter hemlines, Barbie colors and flashes of crystal. 

“We’ve seen brands using Y2K references very literally—butterfly prints, low-slung combats and rhinestones have all resurfaced,” says Gramston. “Many of these trends seem to have been lifted directly from the backs of 00’s celebrities and into the modern era. I personally love that this is so undeviating from the original trend, and think that this in itself feels somehow modern.”

Ahead, find five aughts trends to embrace this summer for a little dose of nostalgia. Now, cue up SexyBack and do a little shopping. 

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Butterfly Prints

A sweet butterfly print doesn’t have to feel juvenile. In fact, the trend can translate to an unfussy take on evening wear . Try a colorful dress styled back to heels and a baguette bag for a head-to-toe early aughts look. Finish with butterfly clips for a final flourish.

Kim Shui Butterfly Print Mini Dress

$299, Shop Now

Kim Shui via Revolve. samanthalondon1

Ungaro Butterfly Print Ruched Minidress

$795, Shop Now

Ungaro via Saks Fifth Avenue. samanthalondon1

Blumarine Embroidered Dress

$1,990, Shop Now

Blumarine via FWRD. samanthalondon1

Crystalized Accessories

TikTok has espoused the rise of Night Luxe, a trend that’s all about shimmer and sparkle. Embrace rhinestones, paillettes, and crystal details, especially when it comes to accessories. For this trend, there’s no such thing as too much.

Benedetta Bruzziches Vitty Crystal-Embellished Shoulder Bag

$1,285, Shop Now

Benedetta Bruzziches via Net-a-Porter. samanthalondon1

Kara Black Crystal Cobra Bean Bag

$595, Shop Now

Kara. samanthalondon1

Shashi Vroom Earrings

$72, Shop Now

Shashi via Shopbop. samanthalondon1

Low Rise Jeans

Though they’re a thoroughly polarizing style, there’s no denying the fact that low-rise jeans are back on trendsetters’ radars. If you’re feeling unsure of the best way to approach the style, lean into it. "A low-slung vintage wash jean with a POSTER GIRL chainmail halter top would be my go-to,” says Gramston.

Reformation Addison Low Rise Relaxed Jeans

$148, Shop Now

Reformation. samanthalondon1

Levi's 501® '90s Original Jeans in Mad Love

$98, Shop Now

Levi's. samanthalondon1

Frame The Low Boot in Indigo Summit

$98, Shop Now

Frame. samanthalondon1

Miniskirts

While Miu Miu’s miniskirts have garnered the most sartorial buzz, there are plenty of cool brands offering shortened hemlines. Look for iterations in fun colors or a classic denim to fully embrace the sense of nostalgia.

Jacquemus Cutout Draped Linen Miniskirt

$475, Shop Now

Jacquemus via Net-a-Porter. samanthalondon1

$1,170, Shop Now

Miu Miu. samanthalondon1

YanYan Cloud Colorblock Knit Wool Blend Miniskirt

$295, Shop Now

YanYan via Nordstrom. samanthalondon1

Thong Sandals

You may equate the thong sandal with a trip to the beach, but these days you can find platform and heeled iterations that work just as well for dressier occasions. Wear them with a ribbed tank dress for a casual-cool daytime look.

Gucci Blue Rubber Sandals

$650, Shop Now

Gucci via SSENSE. samanthalondon1

Gia Borghini X Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Embellished Suede Sandals

$670, Shop Now

Gia Borghini via Browns. samanthalondon1

St. Agni Brown Oliver Leather Sandals

$185, Shop Now

St. Agni via Browns. samanthalondon1

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