Y2K fashion is back: How to wear it in 2022

9:50 pm | Tuesday, January 11th, 2022

That fashion is cyclical has been proven many times with hemlines that rise and fall, and colors that come in and out of fashion. What was in will soon be out, but is bound to come back eventually. Those low-rise jeans popular in the 1990s? Slowly creeping in.

If the Fashion Week shows last September were indicators of trends for 2022, we can expect to see a return to “naked,” barely there dresses made of sheer fabrics, a lot of skin-baring cutouts, vivid colors and mix-matched prints. Chunky platforms were in abundance, as were brightly colored bags, and layers upon layers of piled-on jewelry like pearls, beads and rhinestones. Don’t worry if your baubles are real or not; designer Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel famously mixed ropes of imitation pearls with her real ones. It’s really all in the attitude.

One trend at a time

“Fashion is fun because you can be frivolous one night and go back to basics the next day. This is also how I approach dressing up,” says Bench stylist Noel Manapat. “Never be afraid to experiment or try new trends for the fun of it because you can always return to your comfort looks.”

Carry a bright-colored handbag. Bag from Hermès Spring/Summer 2022

To get your feet wet, he suggests taking one trend at a time, like pairing a bright colored handbag with a classic black dress or a white shirt-and-trousers combo. You can also wear a blazer with your pair of low-rise jeans, he says.

When it comes to accessories, Manapat suggests borrowing your mom’s jewelry and piling on a mix of her boldest pieces for a Zoom-worthy look. A good pair of platform shoes is always welcome, as it adds inches to one’s overall look.

“A woman of any size can work any of these trends these days—platform shoes whether she’s petite or tall will always be a bonus. Big statements in silhouettes can work whether you’re thin or curvy; just choose which parts you want to highlight,” he says.

Power of accessories

Designer and Look of Style winner Pablo Cabahug is a firm believer in the power of the right shoe, bag or bangle.

“Accessorizing is an inexpensive way to spruce up your wardrobe,” Cabahug says. “Buying a few key pieces like bright bags or chunky textured necklaces and integrating them into your usual ensemble will add a sense of fun and quirkiness, which is the very spirit of this season’s trends.”

Since meetings are still mostly virtual, he suggests experimenting with earrings and necklaces. Make a statement with a “Zoom-friendly” top paired with bright, funky earrings or layer on different kinds of necklaces.

Wear your “naked” dress with sneakers. Look from Dior Cruise 2022

Like Manapat, Cabahug suggests raiding your mom’s closet for accessories. “Retro-looking, square-shaped sunglasses in bright or nude colors will definitely make you look chic and trendy,” he says.

Artist and designer Ehrran Montoya says everyone has their own sense of style, but that millennials seem more willing to experiment.

“They follow trends posted online by influencers and the icons they follow, so we’re seeing a return of Y2K fashion,” Montoya says. Y2K’s distinctive style resulted from the blending of the millennium’s pop culture with the latest tech advancements at the time, he adds.

Bralette and blazer look on Bella Hadid

Millennials can easily pull off Y2K-inspired fashion because it captures the energy and shopping habits of their childhood and early teen years.

Those of us who lived through these looks when they first came out might not be as willing to revisit things like butterfly clips, bandanas worn as head scarves or tops, velour tracksuits and see-through dresses that leave little to the imagination. Montoya begs to disagree.

Patterns and colors

“Sheer dresses can be worn in so many ways: rock a mesh or lace baby tee with a cute bralette underneath, or a transparent slip dress. Both are great options for a date or a night out with friends,” Montoya suggests. “You can wear a transparent button-down shirt for a more casual setting, with a crop top and trousers. Overall, wear patterns and colors that you enjoy wearing, and let your imagination run wild.”

Miniskirts might be the domain of the young, but Montoya says they’re great paired with oversize sweaters, crop tops or baby tees and worn with chunky sneakers or boots “for that extra casual effect.”

Micromini skirt at Fendi Spring/Summer 2022

Incorporating a bit of shine into your wardrobe might be an easier sell for most people. The designer says shiny materials in silver or pearlescent shades can lend a touch of nostalgia and create that Y2K fashion look.

For women with curvier figures, Montoya suggests the double denim aesthetic where they can match shorts with cutoff vests, flared jeans with crop tops, or low-rise jeans with oversize jackets, ideally maintaining a consistent color palette to elevate the overall look.

“Know your body type and what works well with you in terms of silhouettes, then experiment with trends that will work for you. Just have fun and be confident in wearing them. Trends are reflections of one’s personality; thus, find the balance between being trendy but still you,” Cabahug says.

Low-slung denim jeans at Molly Goddard Spring/ Summer 2022

Manapat agrees. “We’ve all been through too much stress the past two years that we all deserve to wear what we want, where we want—even a bright, voluminous evening dress at home!” INQ

Tags: fashion , Lifestyle

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