7 style lessons we stole from the 2000s’ biggest icons

That’s hot.

I feel sorry for anyone who wasn’t around for the mid-2000s. 

It was a weird, hilarious, magical and confusing time, filled with belly button rings and rara skirts and layered singlets and sunglasses that didn’t have a frame.

With so many style lessons that were learnt in this amazing era, we were bound to bring some of them with us into the future. Actually… it turns out we brought heaps of them. 

Britney Spears
Double denim is permitted, nay, encouraged 

Everyone knows the most defining moment in fashion’s history has nothing to do with the first ever mini skirt, Woodstock or the royal wedding dresses. 

It was Brits and Justin. 2001. AMAs red carpet. Hands down. 

Distressed, bedazzled denim was the name of the game and we received the memo, loud and clear. 

We’re still rocking the Canadian Tuxedo 15 years later but sadly, we now show a lot more restraint. We’ve swapped low-rise flares for culottes, vests for pinafores and boob tubes for button-ups. And life just doesn’t shine as brightly.

The Simple Life
I do what I want 

I’ve never identified with a celebrity more than Paris and Nicole circa 2003. They did whatever the hell they wanted while wearing whatever they hell they wanted. They tried to return burgers when they realised they were broke and offered lap dances to nice old ladies on the plane. 

But it was their fashion choices that will always be remembered. They really were the original yolo.

These days, we’re a little older, a little wiser and still doing whatever the hell we want. It’s just more refined. Not as bat-shit crazy. Who would’ve thought in 2016 we’d be lining our loafers with fur and wearing our skirts over our pants?

Lil’ Kim
A little hip hop fabulous never hurt 

With her strategic nipple covers and absolutely no-f*cks-given attitude, Lil’ Kim: Queen of Fashion has always and will always be the ultimate red carpet star. I mean, at the 2006 VMAs she was escorted on stage by two fake guards while wearing an orange jumpsuit, literally mocking her jail sentence. I actually love her.

You may not choose to admit it, but we all still carry a Lil’ bit of Kim inside each of us. Sure, we might not wear our belly chain (in public) anymore but there are definite influences. Clawed nails, paisley bandanas, chocolate-coloured lipstick and hoops as big as Lil’ Kim’s fur collection, just to name a few. 


The Hills 
Accessories are key 

No outfit on The Hills was complete without accessories. If you didn’t add a headband, string of pearls, bowler bag and/or silk scarf to your bubble dress, well, you may as well not even bother going to Le Deux.

It’s a style lesson that’s still very important 10 years on. Accessories can make or break an outfit and, in some cases, are more important than the clothes. (A tip we learned from our favourite 2000s stylist, Rachel Zoe.) 

Invest in a pair of statement earrings right now and you won’t be sorry. 

Avril Lavigne 
Why dress like a girl when you can dress like a boy?

The original sk8er gUrL taught us so many crucial life lessons, from the wonders of smudged eyeliner, to the versatility of a Chesty Bonds singlet, to how a stripe tie can be worn with just about anything.

Somewhere in the last decade, most of us joined AvRiL in the men’s department. Whatever happened to dressing girly? In 2016, we’re all opting for man-style tailoring or pieces taken straight from a teenage boys floor-drobe, albeit without the striped tie.

Destiny’s Child
You are your bestie, your bestie is you 

Destiny’s Child gave us the first real-life lesson in BFFLs. They laughed together, cried together and most importantly, dressed together. 

Besties in 2016 are basically the same, just less… camo-y. We bow down to the same trends, wearing the same chokers, topknots and sneakers, and look up to other besties, like Kendall and Gigi, for #squadgoals inspiration. 

In fact, if you and your bestie don’t dress the same, you should probably just re-evaluate your entire friendship. Sorry but, to be honest, you probably aren’t even besties at all.

Paris Hilton
Sparkles, sparkles and more sparkles

Princess Paris gets a double nomination tonight, for her outstanding work across multiple categories. Not only did she show us how to bare a midriff for any occasion on the Simple Life, but she also helped us to unlock our love for all things sparkly. This inspo came primarily via her various red carpet commitments and solo music career.

In 2016, we carry glittery clutches, wear metallic skirts and walk in shiny heels. Post-Kendall Jenner’s 21st, some of us even attempt the Glomesh cami. But let’s be clear, that was Paris first. OK?

Illustration by Twylamae.

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