Seattle Culture

‘Mean Girls’ Reboot Sparks Surge in Y2K Fashion 

Seattle’s vintage shops put us in the lead 

By Sarah Stackhouse February 5, 2024

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This article originally appeared in the March/April 2024 issue of Seattle magazine.

Flared low-rise jeans are back. With the new Mean Girls movie sparking a wave of nostalgia, the nation is once again embracing the days of flip phones and cargo pants.

According to a survey conducted by NoDeposit.guide, national trends reflect this Y2K comeback, with Google searches for “Mean Girls fashion” soaring by 227%, and U.S. Pinterest searches for “Y2K outfits” spiking by 74%. 

Seattle is a city of bootstrapped innovators and smart, scrappy creatives, leading the way in effortlessly cool West Coast fashion. The city is, and always has been, bursting with vintage shops. Where can Seattleites piece together an early 2000s wardrobe? Look no further than Buffalo Exchange, Goodwill, Indian Summer Vintage, Out of the Closet, Encore Vintage, The Barn Owl, Red Light Vintage, and even the Fremont Sunday Market, where you’re sure to score some OG baggy pants, halter tops, and bucket hats. Even mainstream fashion retailers like Hot Topic, H&M, Old Navy, and Urban Outfitters are jumping on the Y2K bandwagon, with collections featuring chokers and graphic tees.

“Fashion often operates in cycles, with styles from the past coming back into vogue,” according to No Deposit.guide, “Y2K fashion particularly appeals to those seeking a retro look that stands out from more contemporary styles.”

Writing this, I feel like I’m back in a babydoll tee with chunky platform shoes – I just hope my computer doesn’t glitch out while dialing up the internet. 

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