Gen Z’s 11 most popular Y2K-inspired fashion trends

The kids aren’t playing — they’re slaying.

Leading the charge as tastemakers of the day, teens and twenty-something fashionistas have mastered the art of resurrecting dead ‘90s and early 2000s style trends, giving the oldfangled looks new life — and forcing Millennials to rummage through the backs of their closets for once-sacked Y2K finery.

“Gen Z is moving the needle in fashion because they’re young, fresh and all about looking cool and casual,” NYC-based celebrity stylist Samantha Brown told The Post. “They’re determining what’s in style and watching the ‘IT’ girls, who are making each [resurfaced] trend their own.”

A-list avant-gardists like Sydney Sweeney, 26, Bella Hadid, 26, Sophia Richie, 25, and Kendall Jenner, 27, have set the bar high for fellow fashion enthusiasts, rocking Gen Z-approved looks such as the “exposed bra” trend, the “micro-shades sunglasses” trend and “jorts.”  

And it seems the new millennium mania is here to stay. 

Here’s a look at 11 Gen Z fashion trends we can’t escape. 

“Gen Z is moving the needle in fashion because they’re young, fresh and all about looking cool and casual,” NYC-based celebrity stylist Samantha Brown told The Post.
“Gen Z is moving the needle in fashion because they’re young, fresh and all about looking cool and casual,” NYC-based celebrity stylist Samantha Brown told The Post.
NYPost Photo Illustration

Undone pants

TikTok user, Millie Bobby Brown and Kim Kardashian in undone pants.
Celebs and social media influencers alike are unbuttoning their pants as a chic form of societal rebellion.
NYPost Composite

Don’t button up, buttercup. Intrepid trailblazers are unfastening their jeans, skirts and slacks in the name of fashion. Gen Z’s undone, or unbuttoned, pants trend sees badass belles such as Millie Bobby Brown, 19, Doja Cat, 27 and even Gen Xer Kim Kardashian, 42, let the wind hit the skin between their belly buttons and bikini lines. 

Exposed bra

Sydney Sweeney and TikTok user in the exposed bra trend.
High-profile pinups such as Sydney Sweeney have popularized the eye-popping exposed bra trend amongst Gen Z glamor girls.
NYPost Composite

Showstoppers such as Sydney Sweeney and Scarlett Johansson have recently been celebrated for showing off more than their sublime acting skills. The silver screen sirens sent fashion bells ringing when they each gave fans a sneak peek at their very visible bras during the Cannes Film Festival in June. The look, which was fast-adopted by youthful fashion fiends on social media, is virally being hailed an “international wardrobe malfunction.”

No Bras

Gen Zs are immensely proud of their busts — and they’re saying it with their chests. No longer willing to bind their bountiful bosoms up in uncomfortable contraptions, such as underwire underwear, women in their early twenties are ditching their brassieres to let their breasts hang loose. “Let them be free,” shouted an advocate of the mammary-liberating movement on TikTok, where the #NoBra stamp has amassed a massive 691.2 million views. 

Jeans and a nice top

Paris Hilton, 42, in jeans and a nice top during the early 2000s.
Paris Hilton has been long-revered as the queen of the “jeans and a nice top” look since the early 2000s.

Kendall Jenner, 27, is seen in the West Village on June 30, 2023 in New York City.
Kendall Jenner is well known for cutting a casual look in the trendy Y2K style.
GC Images

Keep it simple sweetie — that’s the style vibe of the late ‘90s and early 2000s “jeans and a nice top” fad that’s now getting a second chance at life. The Paris Hilton-inspired vogue, which the now 42-year-old diva donned religiously in her 20s, has been embraced by today’s young spotlight-stealers such as Kendall Jenner, Sophia Richie and even Taylor Swift. Participating hotties appear to have a penchant for slaying the trend with a pair of baggy jeans and a snuggly cute crop top. 

Micro-shades on the tip of the nose

Jordan Harper being sunglasses shamed by her Gen Z friend.
Millennial TikTok user Jordan Harper was targeted by a Gen Z friend who openly chastised her for wearing her sunglasses in an un-cool fashion.
Jordan Harper/TikTok

Gen Z grandees can be shady, honey — especially if they catch you wearing your shades the wrong way. Something as innocent as popping on a pair of sunglasses can and will be used against anyone over the age of 27 if the frames are either too big or placed too far back onto the fashion perpetrator’s face. Online, a hapless Millennial woman was mercilessly “bullied” for wrongly positioning her sunnies by a much younger gal pal, who scolded her for failing to perch the pair towards the top of her nose. In addition to proper placement, haute hot tickets like Bella and Gigi have basically made micro-shades — small sunglasses made popular in the ‘90s —  mandatory for the modern bombshell. 

Chunky belt

Jennifer Lopez, Bella Hadid and Britney Spears in statement belts.
Bella Hadid and other haute Gen Z girls have revived the statement belt look that was previously made popular by the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears.
NYPost Composite

Y2K lovers waisted no time reviving the funky chunky waist belt trend. The look has seen the glitzy likes Bella Hadid, Dua Lipa and Vanessa Hudgens donning a huge strap atop their hips in a fashion that was previously made popular by style icons Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz in the 2000s. Thanks to the look’s resurgence, Gen Zs on social media are now scrambling to make their own fashion statements with statement belts


Gigi Hadid, 28, wearing jorts in New York City in June 2023.
Style icon Gigi Hadid is one of the many shining stars to bring back the once-dreaded “jorts” look.

What’s better than a pair of jean shorts that cut off just above the knee? Well, if you ask chichi trendsetters like Gigi Hadid, 28, and Emily Ratajkowski, 32 — nothing. The sultry starlets are among the many who’ve recently been spotted sporting the once-spurned cargos, which have recently taken over 736.6 million fashion fans under the TikTok hashtag #Jorts by storm. 

Wife pleasers (née wife beaters) 

Jeremy Allen White in a wife beater/wife pleaser tank top.
“The Bear” hunk Jeremy Allen White often sports the clinging white tank, which Gen Z has notably renamed a “wife pleaser.”
Javiles/Bruce / BACKGRID

Nothing beats throwing on a fitted, lightweight tank top and hitting the town — especially if you’ve revamped the look’s name to sound more like a chic treat and less like a brutish nightmare. Although Gen Z is fond of the sleeveless tee — which earned the controversial moniker “wife beater” in the early 1950s, but has been on modern-day heartthrobs such as “The Bear” star Jeremy Allen White, 32 — they’ve launched a viral push to swap out the word “beater” for “pleaser.” Gen Z fashion influencer Jace Martinez previously told The Post, “In 2023, it doesn’t sit right with a lot of people to casually throw around the term … in a culture that no longer normalizes domestic violence.”

Dress-over-jeans trend 

Kelly Clarkson and Rita Ora in the dress-over-jeans trend.
Gen Zs and Millennials have gladly taken on the dress-over-jeans look, which briefly captivated fashion lovers in the mid-2000s.
NYPost Composite

Tastemakers with a taste for the 2000s are head-over-heels for the freshly revived dress-over-jeans trend. With a name that couldn’t be any clearer, the Y2K style craze sees fashionmongers slip a flouncy frock atop a pair of flare or fitted denim trousers. The outré outfit, which was first popularized by Kelly Clarkson after her 2002 American Idol win as well as the Disney Channel likes of ex-child stars Miley Cyrus and Ashley Tisdale, has regained its chokehold on glamor girls of the day — both online and in Hollywood. 

No pants

Kylie Jenner, 26, not wearing pants on Instagram.
Kylie Jenner wowed in the no-pants fashion trend, scoring over 2.9 million Instagram likes.

Now this one gets ‘em panting. Hot-to-trot hunnies who can’t be bothered with bottoms are boldly baring bare legs for all to see as a part of the fashion-forward “no pants” movement. Supermodels Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid helmed the pants-less panache in late 2022. But it was the ultimate Gen Z icon Kylie Jenner, 26, who sent the leggy look soaring into the social media stratosphere when she stylishly showcased her stems on Instagram in a pair of sheer stockings, captioning her proactive post: “No pants, no problem.” 

Underwear as outerwear 

Phelix Schneider and her friends at a NYC nightclub.
New York City women in their late teens and early twenties proudly rock the naked fashion trend for fun nights out on the town.
Stefano Giovannini for N.Y.Post

Under no circumstance are Gen Z stunners shy about showing some skin — which is why the underwear-as-outerwear trend, also known as naked fashion, is so in. Giving onlookers an eyeful, unabashed brick-houses are letting it all hang out in visible thongs, see-through bras as shirts and Victoria’s Secret lingerie sets. The fashionable nod to public nudity, with NYC-based belles as young as age 19 at the forefront, is all about having outrageous confidence. “For me, naked fashion is about owning the desire to turn heads,” a Lower East Side party girl told The Post. 

It’s sheer fabulousness.