Throughout the 2000s, I hit pre-teendom, my teen years, and super early adulthood, and let me tell you: That was a wild decade to experience firsthand. Not just because of the rapidly changing technology or because of the bonkers state of world politics. Nah, I’m here to talk about something else entirely: The fashion.
Yes, the clothes of the 2000s were just as memorable as many other facets of the decade. In retrospect, a lot of the hottest trends of that era were, well, borderline horrific. And it probably comes as no surprise that some of the most cringe worthy styles were also some of the edgiest things you could wear at the time. Some of them even seem either incredibly tame to us now or are so out of fashion that we can’t be bothered to clutch our pearls over it. Seriously, I don’t think I can emphasize enough how controversial it was to get a bellybutton piercing as a teen in the early ’00s when we’ve all collectively moved on and are fawning over nipple piercings these days.
Anyway, whether you thought of yourself as a prep, a punk princess, or just an average guy or gal who was rocking whatever what in at the time, everyone can agree that these were the 18 most rebellious and scandalous things you could wear in the 2000s.
1. The iconic visible thong look.
Popularized by all the coolest girls in your grade and every celebrity at the time. In retrospect…why the hell was this such A Look™?
2. Guyliner. Period.
Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy fame even did a tutorial for it way back when.
3. A bellybutton ring.
The COOLEST piercing you could get, but it meant showing off your tummy, so your parents definitely didn’t want you to get one.
4. Converse or other sneakers with dresses or skirts.
Wow, so rebellious, amirite, Demi?
5. Happy Bunny accessories.
I’m pretty sure I had a zillion of these little guys in button form. I’d put them on my favorite purse and think I was the most badass 14-year-old on the planet.
6. Juicy Couture Butt.
It’s making a comeback (thanks, Kylie), but nothing can beat the original popularity of the Juicy sweatsuit, especially the pants that actually said Juicy on the butt.
7. Ultra low rise jeans.
Thanks to this trend, the word “muffin top” made its way into our vernacular. You know, somebody who wasn’t slim and trim enough to wear low rise pants without a lil fat hanging off the edges. You know, like the average person on the planet.
8. Anything labeled “metrosexual.”
Our culture was obsessed with the notion that some guys actually took the time to groom themselves. I mean, look at this page out of the now defunct Elle Girl. Yeah, times were strange.
9. Lace up jeans, skirts, and tops.
Usually you rocked one or the other, unless you’re Christina Aguilera on the red carpet that one time when she rocked a lace up top and skirt at the same time. Iconique.
10. “Jesus is my homeboy” shirts.
These were impossible to escape, and the ultra conservatives didn’t know if they should embrace it or cringe at the slang “homeboy” potentially disrespecting their savior.
11. Colorful rubber bracelets.
Honestly, these just looked cool, but then someone had to troll and turned each color into a sexual meaning. Chances are, if you wore these in the ’00s, you weren’t trying to seem rebellious, you just did on accident.
12. Tie with a t-shirt.
Thanks, Avril. Nobody challenged the status quo quite like…you.
13. Ultra mini denim skirts.
I’m no prude, but in retrospect I’m shocked by how popular these were. How…did we even sit comfortably wearing skirts this short?
14. Sassy graphic tees.
This trend had 13-year-old girls wearing some of the most suggestive shirts on the planet, and 99 percent of the time we didn’t even understand what they were even trying to suggest. Oh, innocence.
15. Tongue piercings, especially if you were underage.
Unfortunately, tongue piercings had negative connotations riddled in slut shaming. But anyone with one was an automatic badass regardless of their sexual history.
16. High heeled versions of classic shoes and boots.
17. “Boys are stupid” apparel.
This seemed harmless enough at first, but then controversy struck when the company making the “boys are stupid” clothes, accessories, and home decor were accused of peddling sexism.
18. Burberry knock-offs rocked by working class people.
In today’s edition of “wow classism is horrible,” Burberry actually made a point to separate its brand from its iconic plaid print all because working class people in the UK–often referred to as Chavs–started rocking them in droves.
Which of these looks would you bring back in a hot second? Tell us in the comments!