In the new millennium, fashion took a turn toward the maximalist. The early to mid-1990s had down-to-earth grunge looks and severely chic minimalism, but by later in the decade and into the early aughts the sparkly, candy-colored fashions of pop stars like The Spice Girls and Britney Spears started to filter into contemporary teen style. In these innocent years before social media influencers became style guides, the fashion-obsessed masses took cues from magazines and celebrities. As is so often the case in fashion, a lot of these trends (many of which—let’s be real—weren’t that cute to begin with) are now coming back in style, especially among Gen Z-ers who weren’t even born when the looks first trended.
While we may not want to squirm back into a pair of low-rise jeans anytime soon, it’s still fun to reflect on some of the chaotic but occasionally cute trends that defined