Time flies when you’re aging at a normal human pace. One minute Paris Hilton is dictating your wardrobe, and the next, it’s ten years later, and you still don’t know what Von Dutch is. Point blank: 2004 was a tragic time for fashion – but at the same time, it ushered in a few 2014 fashion trends that have been going strong for a while.
Here, we’re going to explore those trends. Or more specifically, ten trends that defined 2004, and whether or not we should burn our photos or our clothes or our memories, if at all possible.
In the words of Paris herself, “That’s hot.” (Like, this article.)
1. What: Von Dutch
The story: Thanks to the likes of Paris, Nicole Richie, and Ashton Kutcher, trucker hats – specifically of the Von Dutch variety – were ushered into the mid-2000s for reasons no one can really understand. However, we must try. Was it the overt logos? (Let us remember it was around the same time Louis Vuitton bags became a status symbol.) Was it the bright colours? (Maybe? We were teens, and still associated “fun” with “a bright pink trucker hat.”) Was it because famous people were doing it? (Absolutely.) So we must learn from our mistakes.
Do they still hold up: No. No they don’t. But in 15 years they will when they’re old enough to be hot commodities at thrift sores.
2. What: Ruffled Mini-Skirts
The story: Part of the uneven, cotton, flow-y skirt movement, the mini versions presented themselves in time for spring – when you could pair them with polo shirts, skate shoes, or yes: Ugg boots (or knee-high if you are Paris Hilton, of course); a good look for Easter dinner (we told ourselves in one, en route to Easter dinner 2004).
Do they still hold up: Technically? There are still ruffled mini skirts that exist. In the case of them existing, absolutely they hold up. Can you find one now? Yes, you can. Should you buy and wear it? With an oversize sweater from a thrift store, only.
3. What: Polo Shirts
The story: And as if it were 1991, polo shirts returned with a vengeance. But not just any polo shirts: fitted, “preppy” styles that would pass the "Laguna Beach" dress code. Soon, the likes of Abercrombie, American Eagle, Hollister, and Aeropostale were stocking up on striped, patterned, and logo versions – only to slowly establish the uniform for frats indefinitely.
Do they still hold up: First, everything will always hold up if you can make it your own. That’s what style is. But are you going to find under-sized styles piled in the above-mentioned stores? Only Abercrombie – but be careful, because you have to be very cool to shop there.
4. What: Uggs
The story: Once upon a time, a unisex boot made from sheepskin and used in Australian surf culture descended on our fair continent and was used in the opposite way: against snow and ice, when they offered no actual protection from those things. And then they were used as an everyday shoe. And then they were used in conjunction with mini skirts, and the rest is our species’ legacy.
Do they still hold up: They are still everywhere, absolutely. And that’s what we get for wearing them, and defending them, so this is our karma. Forever. (Please stop wearing them for your own safety – at least in the winter to prevent falling on ice.)
5. What: Graphic T-Shirts
The story: Graphic t-shirts have always existed, but there was a boom in the mid-2000s thanks to (yes, again!) Ms. Paris Hilton who, now that we’re talking about it, really did set a fashion precedent. And was that really so wrong? (Not really. And before you answer or argue, think about how Kim Kardashian’s setting the precedent in 2014.)
Do they still hold up: Absolutely. Are you kidding? Only now they’re cropped, made of sweatshirt, and have pizza on them. What a wonderful time to be alive.
6. What: Velour/Track Suits
The story: Today, workout and leisure gear look almost futuristic or at least fit kind of reasonably. But then? Enter: the velour zip-ups, pants, and matching suits that returned from the ‘70s for no reason other than to confuse our parents. Especially since these leisure suits were absolutely not being worn for workout purposes.
Do they still hold up: Every spring, we usher in a new era of sports or sports-influenced styles, so yes, this trend is immortal. But as for the velour? Your best bet is to head to L.A. – or at least the costume department from "The Bling Ring." (Though bonus marks if it’s really velour from the ‘70s, and in that case, please let us borrow it.)
7. What: Layering
The story: No, no – not layering like “a shirt with a sweater worn over top.” We mean layering for purposes only to not wear a see-through shirt. “Over top” like wearing a long tank top with lace at the bottom you then wear underneath a v-neck Henley that’s also long, but not so long as to cover the lace. And if you ever were to wear these separately, everybody would see your bra. And you know exactly what we're talking about because we all lived it.
Does it still hold up: No. [Cue: choirs of angels singing.] We mean, layering does, but not like this. Not like this.
8. What: Dressy Capri Pants
The story: Is there any way we can describe this better? Probably not, but we'll try: think dress pants, but worn at capri length, then worn with tall boots or heels, depending on the season. Basically, pretend they are pants. But short. Short pants. But dressy. Dressy short pants.
Do they still hold up: There’s a difference between cigarette pants (ankle length) and dressy capri pants, and one of the biggest is that we don’t see dressy capri pants around much anymore. And for good reason -- we were all better than this.
9. What: Pointed Toe Heels
The story: 99% of the shoes on "Sex and the City" (which ended in 2004) are a perfect example of the shoe movement of the early-to-mid 2000s. However, high heels and overly pointed toes eventually evolved into a rounded style, then more retro – like the dress shoes of the ‘50s and ‘60s. But this isn’t about those decades – this is about Kirsten Dunst’s shoes from ten years ago.
Do they still hold up: Not so much. Pointed toe pumps will obviously never fade away, but the points so long they could’ve reached from your workplace to your home have somehow disappeared. (Or have they? Points that big don’t really go anywhere.)
10. What: “Boho” Chic
The story: “Boho” is strange because it’s arguably a movement, but in 2004 (and thanks to the likes of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen), flowy, loose fitting, drop-waists, oversize belts, and slouchy boots became more than a feeling. Think oversize tank top and short denim skirt. (Or: think your favourite outfit in the mid-2000s.)
Does it still hold up: Like “preppy” or “rockabilly,” “boho” can’t ever be “out” – but the industry’s capitalization on it can be. Ultimately, anyone who wants to be “boho” can be “boho” – you might just not be able to find pieces easily at the mall. (At least 2004 styles: there’s always room for “boho” in the lexicon.)