Office Wardrobe Check: Our interns revisit their childhood style 


Circa 2001.

Prada has revamped its 2005 nylon shoulder bag, jewellery brands are releasing chunky, playful hair clips, and the strappy, baby-heeled sandal trend is truly upon us. To quote Justin Timberlake, a big-time heartthrob of the era, “what goes around comes back around”.

Fashion’s cyclical nature is presenting itself once again as we enter into a period of serious ’00s nostalgia, much to the dismay of everyone who thought they’d seen the last of low-slung jeans and diamante-encrusted accessories. 

But what a time it was. Paris Hilton flaunted trucker caps, Britney Spears wore her mildly offensive slogan tees and Destiny’s Child graced the red carpet in matching tonal outfits – the ’00s were a unique and, let’s face it, fabulous moment for fashion.

And the plethora of striking looks that came out of this era has not been lost on young people today – in 2020 there exist several Instagram accounts that pay homage to this iconic time. Accounts like She’s Vague, 2000s Anxiety and 2000s era are popularising some of the best – or maybe worst? – noughties trends. 

As women in our early twenties, we spent our younger years in baby tees and baggy jeans, our walkmans played Nikki Webster and Kylie Minogue on repeat, and we would turn up to kindergarten with crimped pigtails and clipped in strands of coloured plastic hair.

Fast forward to 2020 and political turmoil and impending climate disaster are never far from our minds, which makes the light-hearted nature of ’00s trends a welcome distraction. With this in mind, each of us interns here at Fashion Journal pulled together an outfit inspired by our style in the late ’90s and early 2000s, serving you up a selection of fun looks with a healthy side dish of nostalgia. 

Maki Morita

Remember when you had electric purple hair swept aside in a dramatic side fringe? Ok, maybe that was just me.

Aside from the fringe, at the height of my teenage rebellion, I also wore an unhealthy amount of black eyeliner and I yelled at my parents whenever they told me to turn down the music blasting from my room – clearly playing ‘Dookie’ by Green Day on repeat was more important than their sanity. All this while continuing to rely on them to feed and clothe me; if that’s not anti-establishment, then I don’t know what is. 

Try bringing back a bit of a ’00s emo and punk-rock vibe in 2020 by pairing your classic black Doc Martens with a vintage leather jacket, and add in a touch of colour for contrast. But most importantly, don’t forget to wear your favourite band tee so you can show the world how much of an alternative rocker you are. I’ve chosen my Rolling Stones crop top that I’ve had since who knows when. 

Lydia Crist

Check this out – a baby yellow checked shift dress to let Santa (whose glasses are so on-trend) know that I’d been a good girl this year. Seems like the obvious dress choice for such an occasion. Cute and clean-cut, it says I’m well behaved, sweet and would like everything on this list, please. 

I’m 90% sure this dress was sewn by my mum who would make my dresses because of her hatred for all tacky cartoon kidswear. Even though I longed for a Rugrats shirt back then, she taught me a simple elegance that I carry with me today. 

Five-year-old me paired this look with my Birkenstock school shoes, which I thought were the most humiliating thing ever. All I wanted was the Clarks school shoes all my friends had, but my embarrassing mum had to get me closed-toe velcro Birkenstocks. Upon reflection, it’s a bit of a fashion moment – thanks, Mum. 

For my 2020 outfit, I couldn’t help but be inspired by the fantastic colour of my dress to create a monochrome yellow look. Pairing a shirt with a midi skirt in the same hue gave me that cute yet practical look I so effortlessly achieved all those years ago.

Throw on a pair of black sandals and the look becomes slightly more toddler, but in a summer-casual kind of way. What was once an outfit perfect for impressing Santa now becomes an outfit perfect for everything from work to a picnic. You really can’t go wrong with a monochrome look. 

Indah Dwyer

I don’t think I’ve touched full animal print since this look back in ’99, clearly for a good reason. Today animal print comes through in my wardrobe in more subtle ways. I prefer it on tights, under an oversized tee, on bikinis, or in this case on a fluffy hat. Yes, I’m a vegetarian, but it’s all faux of course. I’m not pro wearing animals, but I am pro major 2000s throwbacks.

There is quite a lot going on in this outfit, but somewhere deep down I knew even then that a good black leather jacket is a wardrobe staple. Think of your leather coat as your canvas. Underneath the slick-matrix style piece, don’t be afraid to go full-electric blue, and why not tie a neck scarf around the top of your handbag for a nod to the noughties. 

Truthfully, recreating this look did make me feel slightly like an eccentric wine mum. But maybe that’s a mood? If not wine mum, think French chic. Put on a red lip and know in your heart of hearts that animal print can be pulled off with the right attitude (just maybe not head to toe).

Jasmine Wallis

This picture was taken in 1999, the end of the century and the end of my time at a place I’d called home since birth; a small village in the UK. This simple look complete with a pop of pink is still how I dress today, especially as I enter the world of office work. 

Working in the creative industries, it’s fun to be able to express myself with small sartorial details like bright shoes or cute hair accessories. To recreate this childlike look of navy tracksuit pants and a long-sleeved shirt in the Australian summer, I paired some loose navy linen pants with a nostalgic 00s white tank top. 

The main event, of course, is my favourite hot pink Gorman shoes. I hadn’t been brave enough to wear them with socks before but styling this outfit made me want to experiment with the current socks and sandals look a bit more. By having basics in a capsule wardrobe, it’s easy to style them up or down with your own unique shoe, accessory and makeup choices.

Office Wardrobe Check is our new series where we’ll be showcasing the best of the Fashion Journal office’s outfits, because dressing for work can be hard but looking at other people’s outfits is fun.

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