22 Items Every Girl Had In Her Closet In The Early 2000’s

There are two types of clothing in this world: timeless and classic pieces, and trends. Trends are clothing items or accessories that are super stylish for a few years, and then just seem to die out and disappear. Trends are the fashion items we look back on in five to ten years, smack our head, and wonder what the heck we were thinking when we spent money on them.

Some trendy items at the moment include sneaker wedges, peplum skirts, and crop tops (which seem to go in and out of style). A lot of our trends right now are actually pretty great, but not every year has been so lucky. The early 2000’s had some particularly, um… interesting fashion trends. When I see interesting, what I really mean is awful. I can’t think about my high school clothes without feeling extremely embarrassed for my former self. I’m sure I’m not alone.

But what else is there to do but relive these truly terrible fashion moments (okay, fine, some of them aren’t that bad)? Here are 20 items every girl had in her closet in the early 2000’s. You’re welcome!


1. Lace-up Jeans

Whyyyyyyyyyy??? As if the lace-up in the front instead of a zipper wasn’t bad enough, it was also popular to have them on the sides, or even all the way down your leg if you were adventurous enough. I had jeans like these that laced up on the sides, and they were my favorite, which is so embarrasssing.


2. Juicy Couture velour sweatsuits 

Despite the fact that the sweatpants alone cost over $100, Juicy Couture velour sweatsuits were HUGE. Everyone had them. I had one full set and about 10 hoodies on their own. To be fair, they were very comfy.


3. Uggs (with everything) 

Everyone talked about how ugly and unflattering Uggs were, but that stopped almost no one from wearing them. And for some reason unknown to anyone, we all liked to wear them with denim mini skirts, a la Britney Spears above. Tres chic (except not).


4. Hollister everything (also, logo tees in general) 

Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch (more on that in a second) really enjoyed a moment in the early 2000’s. By that I mean, if you didn’t shop at Hollister, you couldn’t be taken seriously. We were also really into logo tees, which now just make me cringe.


5. Denim mini-skirts 

Denim mini-skirts were EVERYTHING in the early 2000’s. Everything. The most popular ones were from Abercrombie and Hollister, because as I said, they were enjoying a moment. Hopefully you didn’t throw these out, though, because I can definitely see them coming back.


6. Lacoste polo shirts

That little alligator was freakin’ everywhere. Polos in general were everywhere, but Lacoste was the most popular brand by far.


7. Long sweater-jacket thing

I don’t really know what you would call this, but this style was super popular. And cozy!


8. Jeans with no waistband 

I am pretty sure I had these exact jeans. Anyway, the no-waistband look was almost as popular as the lace-up look. All courtesy of Mudd, of course.


9. Dooney and Burke bags

In the early 2000’s, it was really popular to make the logo of your accessories or clothes as in-your-face as possible. Thus, logo designer bags were on every girl’s arm. For those of us who couldn’t afford big name designers, Dooney and Burke and Coach were the way to go. I’m not sure what happened to Dooney and Burke, but back in the early 2000’s, this particular style could be seen everywhere.


10. Denim ruffle skirts

Oof. Who thought that denim ruffles were a cute look? Oh, right, I did. I am almost positive I had this exact Abercrombie skirt – I also had one in white. These were obviously worn with Uggs, to look as much like Paris and Nicole as possible.


11. Trucker hats 

I’m pretty sure we can thank Ashton Kutcher for the absolutely awful trucker hat trend. Von Dutch was the most popular, and for some reason, a lot of people paid almost $100 for one of these ugly little babies. I’m cringing just thinking about my own.


12. Short-shorts or skirts with the pockets hanging out 

For some reason that I will never understand, the above look was incredibly popular. Brands actually made shorts with pockets so long that they had to be hanging out. I’m embarrassed for myself, and my generation.


13. Paul Frank shirts

My friends and I had a ton of Paul Frank shirts between us all. Obviously the brand still exists, but it is definitely not as popular as it was back then.


14. Jeans with no pockets

Who needs back pockets anyway? At least, that’s how we all felt in the early 2000’s. I had a few pairs of these babies. I thought they were flattering. Leave me alone.


15. Fake designer bags, especially Louis Vuitton 

Remember how I said designer logos were huge back in the early 2000’s? Well, most of us could not afford real designer bags, so we compensated by buying bags that were so obviously fake it was actually laughable. This rainbow and white Louis Vuitton style was particularly popular.


16. Baseball shirts

These are most definitely still around (I actually just bought one from American Eagle a few weeks ago, and it’s really cute, and I’m not ashamed), but they were super popular when I was in high school.


17. Abercrombie or Hollister hoodie 

These were SO POPULAR (caps necessary). Never mind the fact that they were, usually, about $80, which is just insane. I’m not going to lie, though, they were incredibly soft and comfortable.


18. Henley shirts

Henley shirts were cool, but they were especially cool if they came from either Hollister or Abercrombie. They’re obviously still a thing, but they were more special in the ’00s.


19. Studded belts 

If you were into the pop-punk music scene of the early 2000’s, you owned at least one studded belt from Hot Topic. At least one.


20. Destroyed denim 

The most popular destroyed jeans were from, you guessed it… Abercrombie. At least on Long Island.


21. Flared jeans

I’ve actually heard that flared jeans are making a comeback, and I’m not that mad about it.


22. Ruffle mini-skirts 

Take a guess as to where this is from. If you guessed Abercrombie or Hollister, you are correct. I think I had this exact skirt back in high school.


Which of these items was your favorite in the early 2000’s? Do you still wear any of this stuff? Which trend did you always dislike? Tell me in the comments!


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  • NaviTheFairy

    ive still got a few studded belt lying around, that i wear along with my favorite seatbelt belt, also my boyfriend still rocks a studded belt almost on a daily basis.

  • Beatlemaniac

    Flared jeans remind me of the late 1960’s/1970’s for some reason…

  • Nas

    Some of these things are still in style: Hollister, graphic tshirts, Ugg boots.

  • Michelle

    Lol destroyed denim and short shorts with pockets hanging out are still a thing

  • ellie

    oh, nostalgia. can we add flip flops with heels? i definitely had several pairs of flip flops with heels (not wedges. like kitten heels.) that i rocked all the time in high school. but yeah, paris and nicole were totally my fashion icons in 2003.

  • The only awesome Dooney and Burke purses are the vintage ones or the new ones that look like the vintage ones. The rainbow text designer purse trend was so tragic. As are most of the things on this list that I definitely rocked. Yikes.