The ‘00s Trends Stars Like Meghan Markle, Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna Are Embracing

The ‘00s Trends Stars Like Meghan Markle, Kourtney Kardashian and Rihanna Are Embracing
Destiny's Child in 2001 FrankMicelotta/ImageDirect

The first few years of the 21st century were a confusing time for celebrity style, with trends like boho, athleisure and indie sleaze all battling it out on the red carpet. When you cast your mind back to the early ‘00s, do you picture Sienna Miller floating around in a low-slung studded belt and gladiator sandals or Paris Hilton strutting her stuff in hot pink velour?

A few key looks united every fashion tribe, though: namely, perma-tans, size zero bodies and wildly impractical footwear choices. The bad news is, some of these questionable trends are back, whether you like it or not. The good news is, most of them have been toned down a little for 2024 …

Ballet flats

The ‘00s Trends Stars Like Meghan Markle, Kourtney Kardashian and Rihanna Are Embracing
Kate Moss in 2005 Getty Images

Then: Synonymous with what’s since become known as the “indie sleaze” aesthetic of the mid to late aughts, ballet flats that you could scrunch up in your bag when changing into heels outside the club or just allow to get completely filthy and rain-soaked, were everywhere. Kate Moss would team hers with skinny jeans, and therefore everyone else followed, while the late Amy Winehouse made them her signature look. If you wore them for a big night, you would wake up the next day fuzzily wondering why your feet hurt so much (“I was wearing flats?!”). Every podiatrist’s nightmare.

The ‘00s Trends Stars Like Meghan Markle, Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna Are Embracing
Jennifer Lopez Bellocqimages/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Now: They’re back, but this time it’s the “clean girls” rocking them, with stars like Anne Hathaway, Meghan Markle and Jennifer Lopez all stepping out in ballet-style flats this season, including a divisive, but definitely less stinky, mesh design. Still every podiatrist’s nightmare, though. Won’t somebody think of our aging arches?

Low-rise jeans

The ‘00s Trends Stars Like Meghan Markle, Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna Are Embracing
Christina Aguilera in 2001 Getty Images

Then: Perfect for showing off “tramp stamps” (which are also coming back; be afraid, be very afraid!) and bejeweled belly buttons, low-rise, figure-hugging jeans were beloved by stars who were proud of their toned, gleaming abs and snakelike hips, like Destiny’s Child, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. They were often embellished with a ton of glitz and were an absolute unthinkable hellscape for anyone not so into showing off their midriff.

The ‘00s Trends Stars Like Meghan Markle, Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna Are Embracing
Rihanna thecelebrityfinder/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Now: Waistlines are getting lower, but newer styles tend to be more forgiving than the classic ‘00s cut, often accompanied with a looser leg, as demonstrated by Rihanna and Bella Hadid. But don’t panic if you’re attached to your high-waisted mom jeans, they’re still acceptable too … for now.

Ugg boots

The ‘00s Trends Stars Like Meghan Markle, Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna Are Embracing
Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie in 2004 Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

Then: Whether styled up with a teeny mini skirt for a night out or teamed with velour athleisure wear for a trip to the mall, Uggs were ubiquitous in the noughties, especially on L.A. party girls like Paris and Nicole. Much like ballet flats, they were not the most weather-proof, but this wasn’t an era for practicality (remember, everyone wore skyscraper heels all the time too, thanks to SJP!). Comfy? Oh yes. Chic? It depends who you ask …  and whether you’re wearing some to walk your dog right now.

The ‘00s Trends Stars Like Meghan Markle, Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna Are Embracing
Emily Ratajkowski Ignat/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Now: Despite many people still being passionately opposed to Uggs as a concept, the brand has stayed popular throughout the 21st century so far. These days ankle-high designs rule the sheep-skinned boot roost, rather than the mid-calf ‘00s classic. You can even get platform versions, as seen on Emily Ratajkowski, which are perhaps a little more puddle-proof too.

Dresses over jeans

Then: If you didn’t feel good about bearing your torso in low-rise jeans, there was an inexplicable ‘00s solution: just shove a dress on over them. When done badly, the style reeked of “confused pre-schooler who’s put on everything in her closet.” When done well … same thing, actually, it just never really worked. But that didn’t stop Jessica Alba, Miley Cyrus and Ashley Tisdale, who all proudly showed off their jeans-and-dress combos on the red carpet back in the day. Bonus points if the dress is asymmetric and frilly — you might be in jeans, but you’ve got to show that you’ve made an effort!

The ‘00s Trends Stars Like Meghan Markle, Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna Are Embracing
Katie Holmes Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

Now: Are we really doing this again? Katie Holmes seems to think so. Admittedly, Holmes’s take on the “trend” looks slightly more chic than back in the day, since her dress of choice is more of a long, fitted top and less of a bright, billowing beach dress, but still. Jeans OR dress. Pick one! PICK ONE!

Butterflies on everything

The ‘00s Trends Stars Like Meghan Markle, Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna Are Embracing
Mariah Carey in 2000 Getty Images

Then: Belts with rainbow butterfly clasps, floaty dresses with butterfly prints, Mariah Carey basically being an actual butterfly such was her devotion to the prettiest, girliest insect of all. But, as with many ‘00s trends, it quickly started looking tacky, and has become a particular bugbear of the plus-size fashion community where butterflies have remained ever-present, despite nobody asking for them.

The ‘00s Trends Stars Like Meghan Markle, Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna Are Embracing
Fashion designer Aleali May Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Now: It’s good news for Mariah but unsettling news for everyone else, as butterflies have been gently fluttering back to the catwalk. As with many of these revivals, the 2024 take is a little more subtle: we’re seeing them on hair clips and necklaces and as tiny tattoos, rather than all-over prints. But watch out for the swarm …

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