Why Katie Holmes’ Y2K Dress on Jeans Fashion Trend Triggers Millennials

The early 2000s trends are back, and I’m furious. Katie Holmes went viral this week for being spotted in a strapless navy shirt which she paired with straight jeans and black running shoes, and all I could think of was oh no! Followed by, please make this stop.

No, Holmes wasn’t going to a Lizzie McGuire-themed birthday party or playing the part of an old-fashioned Carrie Bradshaw. She was attending iHeartRadio’s annual Jingle Ball. You know, an event that people attend to look glamorous.

Yes, it’s 2022 and Holmes, a respectable woman in her 40s who once dated Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx, is now pairing a dress with jeans, and we’re all supposed to see her as fashion inspiration rather than ‘a desaster.

I knew the 2000s had been back for a while, but I was slightly in denial. Still, the fact that I recently saw trucker hats available for purchase at fashion chains instead of just gas stations in the middle of nowhere should have been a big clue.

Honestly, I thought we were at the point where the only people wearing trucker hats were people who stormed the capital in 2021, but hey, I was wrong. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ed Hardy made a resurgence. (For the uninitiated, the brand’s designs look exactly like the tattoos people get while vacationing in Bali).

If you need clarification on what I’m talking about and have no idea what trends were in the early 2000s, let me fill you in. Think bandage dresses, low rise jeans, baguette bags, chunky belts, cargo pants and pleated mini skirts.

If you are still confused, review mean girls, everything Regina George wore in that movie is now in style. If that’s not enough to inspire you with fashion, rewatch the reality series simple lifewhich starred Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton.

Or if you really want to feel old, Google what Gen Z pop stars are currently wearing. Olivia Rodrigo and Sabrina Carpenter are the current queens of these Y2K trends.

If you don’t know who these women are, it probably means you own way too many pairs of skinny jeans and have been heavily invested in Nicole Richie’s Boohoo style makeover.

Well, keep going! Jeans aren’t just baggy anymore; they are now meant to sit on your hip bones. Slogan t-shirts are back, and yes, Supre is selling them again, but you’re old enough now that your mom can’t stop you from buying a t-shirt that says “bite me.”

I have a lot of feelings about the return of these trends. The early 2000s was the height of diet culture, so the styles were all about famous women showing off their flat stomachs and hips; that’s why there were a lot of midriff shirts paired with low-rise jeans.

Luckily, curves became trendier, and suddenly jeans and high-waisted tops that covered your navel became chic. But clearly, that’s changing again, and I’m just not ready! Is Someone Who Eats Carbs Ready?

The Y2K era was positioned around a fashion that suited only one body type: the body of a Hadid sister, aka supermodel. So bringing him back just brings up all my bodily insecurities.

Low rise jeans aren’t good for my body image, and I’m brave enough to admit it and I don’t think any body positivity can save me from my fear of low rise looks.

I know fashion trends come and go, so it was naive of me not to think that the early 2000s wouldn’t come back to haunt me, but they did, and I just feel exhausted by it.

Fashion should be fun and make you feel fabulous, but the 2000 trends were all about catering to a body type I don’t have, and I’m sorry I can’t embrace them. I’d like to formally ask Katie Holmes to stop trying to make them cool again, that’s just plain rude and the sisterhood deserves better.

Mary Madigan is a freelance writer.

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