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What The Tweens Were Into: 2000s Edition

by Francesca Volpe

The 2000s—what a time to be alive. Before the millennial pink of Glossier came the hot pink of Juicy Couture. Between tracksuits and butterfly hair clips, fashion mistakes were looming around every corner. Popular culture was a candy-coated distraction from the Iraq War. MTV and VH1 still played music as reality shows slowly seeped into their regular programming. Cake frosting could have easily been mistaken for lip gloss. And, when in doubt, put a rhinestone on it. So let’s travel to pop culture’s not-so-distant past for some aesthetic nostalgia. A time when…

Beyoncé was “Crazy in Love”

…and Paul Giamatti turned blue in Big Fat Liar…

Paul Blue 7bb6eBig Fat Liar, Universal Studios

People drank Red Bull like it was water.

Pyramid of Red Bull cans 990dbCourtesy of Rodrigo.Argenton via Wikimedia Commons

A movie where Amanda Bynes wore this iconic sweater coat:

Amanda Coat 06940Big Fat Liar, Universal Studios

(A sleek coat with faux furry acoutrements on the neck and sleeves was the epitome of chic for me, at the time. Business in the cut and party in the trimmings, this was a look favored by powerful women.)

Like Raven on That’s So Raven…

Raven 1 921e8That’s So Raven, Disney Channel

Raven 2 ce144That’s So Raven, Disney Channel

Raven Pink Jacket 0ee54That’s So Raven, Disney Channel

Raven Red Jacket aa274That’s So Raven, Disney Channel

…and Lizzie McGuire…

Lizzie Feathers fba0fLizzie McGuire, Disney Channel

…and Valerie Brown in Josie and the Pussycats.

Valerie Brown a79faJosie and the Pussycats, MGM 

Remember when everyone wanted this phone?

Pink Rzr deb73Courtesy of edusand via Flickr

And this phone?

Sidekick ccb8bVia Mediaguru at English Wikipedia

And of course, every phone needed accessories. Like swarovski crystals:

Rhinestones 791c5Courtesy of fashion my phone via Flickr

And charms…

Cell Charm 84e7eCourtesy of Janine via Flickr

And Jamster ringtones.

All the celebrities shopped here:

Kitson Main Store 77fa2Via Wikimedia Commons

And bought Von Dutch trucker hats:

Von Dutch 81f55Courtesy of Geronimo De Francesco via Flickr 

At 50 bucks a hat, it was expensive to look casual.

Anyone who’s anyone was getting Punk’d.

(Even the host’s future wife.)

Rachel Zoe was Hollywood’s stylist…

Rachel Zoe 71578Courtesy of Christopher Peterson via Wikimedia Commons

…and popularized the oversized sunglasses trend, when bigger was better and everyone looked like an insect:

The oc 27cdaThe OC, FOX

At the turn of the new millenium, futuristic styles were dominating the runways, many of which were inspired by The Matrix films…

3441460 1253959 moss matrix 1 5a7faTrinity in The Matrix, Warner Brothers

where Trinity showed us the most iconic ass-kicking of the decade:


Meanwhile, I was shopping here…

Delias 17307Courtesy of Mike Mozart via Flickr 

Where I was very excited to purchase a beaded mesh tote…

1bf032c7d791475e8e879bcd8a53f898 0fb32Georgia Rule, Universal Pictures

 Handbags were a pretty big deal in the 2000s. It was the era of the ‘it bag’ and logomania.

93b5e724fd83cb7f274db25daac8a173 ea4e0Mean Girls, Paramount

83d2131e25ee5c1cb62e9206845eafcc 0032dCourtesy of AdrianaGórak via Wikimedia Commons 

 9474ae835e9afa973005468a281d6315 9af71Courtesy of Ashley Cooper via Flickr 

72056b4a550b12f86337a7fb002635d7 7a92eCourtesy of Queen Bee via Flickr

Mini Chanel cf629Courtesy of Ashley Cooper via Flickr

For Halloween, just add sweatpants, sunglasses bigger than your face, a $3500 purse, plus a latte and/or Red Bull and voila, you’ll look like a celeb from 2005.

Speaking of branding, remember when everyone was wearing these?

Yellow strong a6186Courtesy of Suuz80 via Wikimedia Commons

These, too.

Uggs 37539Courtesy of TexasDex via Wikimedia Commons  

Which you’d tuck into low-rise, flared jeans.

Thirteen 44adfThirteen, Twentieth Century Fox

The 2000s did bring forth some incredible footwear. Like platform flip flops…

Giant 7 Inch Tall Platform Flip Flop Thongs d7e95Courtesy of Ceddie2000 via Wikimedia Commons

A staircase and these shoes made for an interesting 25 minutes.

And sneaker heels…

ConverseFashion 01a82Courtesy of RanchoRosco via Wikimedia Commons

For me, back in the day, the Converse heel was the epitome of intelligent design.

And an abundance of extravagant hair accessories:

Miranda Pom Poms 0fbccLizzie McGuire, Disney Channel 

Thirteen Hair 6cdefThirteen, Twentieth Century Fox

I thought hoop earrings and clip-on extensions made me look wise beyond my years.

Lizzie Hair 0146cLizzie McGuire, Disney Channel 

Miranda Beads f33dbLizzie McGuire, Disney Channel 

Lizzie Crimped 8350bLizzie McGuire, Disney Channel 

Holy hair crimping!

The OC Olivia Wilde 88e74The OC, FOX 

That’s some volume that belongs in an art gallery. 

Makeup looked like dessert: 

Jessica Simpson Dessert d1b87Newlyweds, MTV

Jessica Simpson even had a line of cosmetics called Dessert.

Frosted lip gloss made everyone look like they just made out with a cake:

Screen Shot 2017 09 27 at 2.34.49 PM 6c660Mean Girls, Paramount

39003193089be6e87e211900482bceca 14e6dMean Girls, Paramount

5d02d04cd10b7d4fc9299667a659bf35 01e01Josie and the Pussycats, MGM

Much shiny. Very fancy. 

Skirts got shorter:

534e3427aa1fc2471f88288c9b39f6eb 2580aMean Girls, Paramount

9516b0c3b8a24ee1d52a1c20ab837fa7 4b9aeThe OC, FOX

Behodl! The casual date-night look of the 2000s!

Dreamgirls was the smash hit of 2007, winning awards all over the place, including 2 Oscars.

c2a2262406f7e339fc0a7d67ef6aea37 7012dDreamgirls, Dreamworks

Jennifer Hudson took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, cementing her status as a movie star in addition to being a standout vocalist.

Jennifer Hudson Chicago Theatre 07 2 1 73597Courtesy of Scott Aza Jordan via Wikimedia Commons

Social media was on the verge of permeating every area of our lives…

Myspacelogo c150fMyspace LLC, Wikimedia Commons

You could easily lose hours on AIM…

AIM 2 0b69dCourtesy of Everaldo Coelho via Wikimedia Commons

My screenname was doglover93.

Then this came along…

Facebook 09799Facebook.svg via Wikimedia Commons

All the while, a young Senator from Illinois was getting ready to campaign for presidency.

800px BarackObamaportrait 6a18dUnited States Congress official portrait of Barack Obama as a member of the U.S. Senate via Wikimedia Commons  

And on Tuesday, January 20, 2009, Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States Of America…

US President Barack Obama taking his Oath of Office 2009Jan20 386b7Courtesy of Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo, U.S. Air Force via Wikimedia Commons

…and the United States had its first black president and his family living in the White House.

Barack Obama family portrait 2011 d6408Courtesy of Pete Souza via Wikimedia Commons

Header photo: “High School Musical,” Disney Channel

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