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30 Things We All (Regrettably) Wore in the Early 2000s

Popcorn Shirts

We’re not sure why these shirts were ever-popular, but they were. The strange texture definitely added to their appeal, especially when they were paired with low-rise jeans or a mini denim skirt.

Nowadays, if you want texture, it’s better to go for some faux suede. Most people don’t seek out the popcorn ceiling look unless they’re going to an early 2000s party. Nothing like tugging your shirt down for hours on end.

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Pants With a Message on the Butt

There was a time when you couldn’t walk down the street without seeing lots of girls’ (and some grown women’s) butts that were emblazoned with messages, like “PINK” or “Sexy.”

Unfortunately, we did not realize at the time that writing the word “sexy” on something actually makes it infinitely less sexy. Even worse, thanks to Victoria’s Secret, this trend is coming back. Hold on while we vomit.

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Sequin Purses

If you didn’t have an ostentatious sequined purse over your shoulder, you were the odd person out. Everything you ever needed was in this purse, like your Razr and too-dark and too-orange foundation.

Thankfully, the only sequin accessories that are popular today are clutches. Even then, sequins have largely fallen out of fashion for adults. Children still wear them, but that’s the exact age to wear this style.

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Pocketless Jeans

We like to joke about how women’s jeans don’t have pockets, and they really don’t. That being said, the two inches of pocket we currently have is better than the pocketless trash we wore during the early 2000s.

Where are we going to put our loose change? A purse became a necessary accessory just because we had to have something to carry our stuff in. When will we ever get actual pockets in our jeans? A girl can dream.

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Airbrushed T-Shirts

Vacations and road trips were never complete without a signature airbrushed t-shirt to remember the trip by. You likely chose some crazy colors, a wild animal, and a generic quote to create your special, hundred-of-a-kind t-shirt.

Talk about awful. This is one trend that died a fiery death, and we’re happy about it. A better souvenir option for your next vacay? Photos. Just don’t wear these shirts in the photos.

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Juicy Couture Tracksuits

Everyone from movie stars ("Happy hour is from 4 to 6!") to teenage girls could not get enough of the Juicy Couture velour tracksuits. They were comfortable and chic (or so we thought).

They could also be worn even when nothing else in your closet fits! Thankfully, we now have yoga leggings for that very purpose. 

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Skirts Over Jeans

Skirts over jeans should never have happened. It usually looked incredibly ridiculous. Some people could pull off mini dresses over jeans since they were basically tunics in the early 2000s, but other than that? No.

Tunics have come back in full force, but that’s nothing like skirts over jeans. This is one trend that we never want to see again. Even if every influencer in the world endorses it, let's all reject it.

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LIVESTRONG Bracelets

Remember when everyone tried to see how many of those Livestrong (or any other cause) bracelets they could fit on their arm? No one really knew or cared about the causes they represented.

Those bracelets were the epitome of chic, but now, we’ll take some Lily & Laura bracelets instead. Actually, any other bracelet is ten times better than these ugly rubber things.

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Skin-Tight Tube Tops

As soon as the weather started warming up around May or June, nearly every girl and woman pulled out her collection of skin-tight tube tops to rock at the mall, lake, or wherever to show off those shoulders.

Strapless bras were of course optional. Today, this look would never fly. Tube tops are out, and crop tops are in! It doesn’t matter if it’s a jacket, sweater, or a t-shirt. It’s all about the crop top. 

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Tattoo Choker Necklaces

Choker necklaces are making a comeback, so it's better to embrace them. Mostly girls wore them because they looked “edgy” and cool, but the ones from the early 2000s were kind of a pain because they would pinch your skin.

Since the ‘90s and 2000s are coming back with a vengeance, tattoo chokers are, too. That doesn’t mean that anyone should pick them back up again.

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Trucker Hats (Especially Von Dutch)

Von Dutch trucker hats were highly coveted by everyone in the early 2000s, but none of us would be caught dead wearing one now. Most women don’t wear caps at all unless they’re blocking the sun (imagine that).  

These hats were perfect for covering up roots and bad hair days (hello, dry shampoo). Today, beanies are the cover-up hat of choice. Particularly since going to the hair salon isn’t as easy as it used to be.  

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Ultra Low-Rise Jeans

High-rise and mid-rise jeans are the most popular styles now, but back in the day, you would get made fun of if you didn’t succumb to the low-rise jean trend.

These jeans allowed you to show off a little skin (and possibly your underwear) without getting in trouble, so naturally, you wore them nearly every day. Definitely classy.

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Jelly Bracelets

Jelly bracelets weren’t even comfortable, but apparently, nothing was cooler. Kids and adults alike wore them for a couple of reasons. The first was because they were pretty.

The second was a possible rumor – each color corresponded to a sexual act. How scandalous! Of course, adults didn’t wear it for the latter, but it was a great way to accessorize…if you’re 22.  

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Layered Tanks

Most girls’ clothing is super thin, so a tank top under a shirt is totally fine. What wasn’t fine was when girls would wear three or four tank tops at once.

That’s too many tank tops for comfort. Let’s make a deal to stop buying shirts that you have to wear something under it. If we keep buying thinning shirts, we’ll have to have six tank tops to just hide our bra.  

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Uggs

Everyone in the 2000s wore Uggs. Were they comfortable? Yes. Were they stylish? No. They were never stylish, and it’s time we stop fooling ourselves into thinking they were.  

Unfortunately, this trend is still around. Women still wear them despite the fact that there are approximately six million other choices out there (estimating, of course).

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Gauchos

Have you ever put on a pair of jeans and thought, “Boy, I wish these were a lot more flow-y!” Us neither. Gauchos were born anyway. At least they were breezy on a hot day.

Then again, there was the whole thing about them stopping just below the knee. I’m sorry, what? If it’s hot, we’ll stick with shorts. Pants are supposed to be pants.

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Happy Bunny Merch

There were a ton of trends during the early 2000s like Bobby Jack, but the worst of them was Happy Bunny. It wasn’t sassy. It was just highlighting a crappy personality with childish catchphrases.

Happy Bunny tried to stick around for a while, but everyone realized that having a horrible personality wasn’t a great trait. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar after all.

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Visible Undies

Even in school in the 2000s, girls wore low-rise jeans with their underwear sticking out. Sometimes it was a thong, but most moms were against thongs—for a good reason.

Women also tried this trend, but it came off as dirty – or as Christina Aguilera would say, “too dirty to clean my act up.” That doesn’t make it any more appealing or healthy.

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Denim on Denim

Denim is amazing, so no hate on the material. Denim on denim, however, was one of the biggest mistakes of the late ‘90s and early 2000s. It’s just as bad as wearing the same pattern head to toe.

While we loved Britney and Justin (a pairing made from fairy dreams), they had a pretty bad fashion sense in the 2000s. While we’re at it, couples matching outfits were pretty big and gross in the early 2000s, too.  

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Birkenstock Clogs

When you tell someone you’re wearing a clog, no one pictures Birkenstocks, but that’s exactly what they are. They weren’t attractive, but they were convenient, so why not? As ugly as they were, they were comfy.

Apparently, you can’t beat comfy. Birkenstocks never really went away. They became something to wear when you barely want to change out of your PJs. That? That we can get on board with.

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Butterfly Clips

Yes, butterfly clips started in the ‘90s, but they stuck around until the early 2000s. They helped keep hair out of our face, but they’re now widely regarded as one of the worst hair accessories out there.

Anyone else get their hair caught in it and eventually ripping it out? If looking at this picture doesn’t make you wince, count yourself lucky.

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Return to Tiffany Bracelets

You know what’s a bad trend? A $300 plain, chain bracelet with big links. Return to Tiffany bracelets was huge, but you could have gotten the same thing from a local jeweler for a lot cheaper.

It just wouldn’t have the Tiffany logo. Tiffany isn’t the trend it used to be. It’s all about Gucci at this point, although they’re not the only status symbol on everyone’s clothing.  

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Bucket Hats

Almost everyone had to wear their bucket hat on the daily. That’s mostly thanks to Nickelodeon shows where pretty much all the girls wore bucket hats.

Lizzy McGuire was also a big proponent of them. Even she couldn’t make them look good, and that says a lot. They look just plain silly on anyone, even if they’re famous.

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Silly Bands

Silly bands were a ridiculous waste of plastic. They came in little shapes, but that didn’t matter because they were always stretched around the wrist. Then, they were just a squiggly bracelet.

It’s obvious how much of a waste it was when it was picked up momentarily in the last decade, but only kids wore them. Adults never should’ve worn this awful trend.

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Ed Hardy

Ed Hardy merch began to pop up in the early 2000s, and it stuck around for far, far too long. We get the original draw, but it lost its appeal after everyone and their uncle wore it.

Since the 2000s are coming back, Ed Hardy is coming back too, albeit a little ironically. We genuinely hope that this terrible trend doesn’t come back for good. 

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Frosted Lip Gloss

Every single girl owned two lip products: Lip Smackers and Frosted Lip Gloss. We’re not going to hate on it. Frosted lip gloss was pretty great, and it’s even coming back as a trend.  

However, it’s slightly more muted now. It looks more like a juicy lip rather than a glossy, frosted one. The glittery, sticky mess is left for those under the age of 14.

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Fake Hair Scrunchies

Have you ever seen one of these things in the wild? Seeing a fake hair scrunchy sitting on a sidewalk will make you wonder if it’s a dead animal. Nope! Just a hair scrunchie—literally plastic hair.  

They’re popping up again as Gen Z embraces the worst trends from this decade. At least the hair looks a little more realistic nowadays. That’s all the good we have to say.

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Seashell Necklaces

Puka shell and seashell necklaces were the height of fashion in the 2000s for both boys and girls. Girls would usually wear a choker, which naturally went with the plastic tattoo choker.  

Apparently, the trend was ~”cool”~ enough for adults to wear. Yes, we mean that with all the sarcasm in the world. This “just back from Fiji” look never looked legit.

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Hair Chopsticks

Chopsticks are an eating utensil. They aren’t for putting in your hair. The difference between hair sticks and chopsticks is that hair sticks are way shorter—about two or three inches.

Plus, chopsticks are usually super splintery. If you want to roll with hair sticks, do yourself a favor and get the real ones. They’re much easier to use and don’t look stupid.

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Flashy Belts

Belts with spikes were bad enough, but the ones with words that were encrusted with jewels were far worse. A detailed belt buckle works for a cowboy, but the average woman? Nah, son.

Skip the giant belt rings and the chains that hang down. Go with something plain that accents the outfit rather than steals the stage. What are we saying? The 2000s can’t hear us.

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