Summer’s easiest outfit formula — the dress — is experiencing a nostalgic twist this year, thanks to the gaudy yet beloved comeback of the early aughts. The optimistic and playful Y2K aesthetic has been dominating Gen-Z style (and sentimental ‘80s and ‘90s babies) more than ever, whether it be the iconic dress-over-jeans look, platform flip-flops, or a bedazzled banana clip. Secondhand shopping and the cyclical nature of fashion have not only revived this formative decade, but this summer’s top dress trends are an ode to the 2000s.
The styles pay homage to the party girls of the past — think Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan, and more. Many “It” girls of today are now channeling their looks, including Dua Lipa, Olivia Rodrigo, Justine Skye, and Bella Hadid (to name a few). Most recently, Hadid even dug into the vintage store Treasures of NYC’s archives for a handkerchief-hemmed Roberto Cavalli dress in pink, printed silk. Other trends include halter dresses, tube dresses, colorful crochet dresses, sheer dresses, and, of course, slip dresses.
Although you can easily shop these trends secondhand on Depop, Poshmark, Nuuly Thrift, and more, we’ve shopped out the best brands doing it now for your online shopping fix. Become a 2000s “It” girl, below.
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Summer 2022 Dress Trend No. 1: Sheer Mesh Dresses
The era of sexy dressing is still having its post-quarantine moment and nostalgic sheer frocks are the archetypal summer staple. Wear a coordinated set underneath and minimalist strappy sandals to seal the look.
Summer 2022 Dress Trend No. 2: Tube Dresses
Akin to the tube top, the tankini, and the bandeau, the tube dress is an authentic early-aughts go-to piece. Whether in a minimal column shape or a playful printed mini, this strapless moment will take you back a few decades.
Summer 2022 Dress Trend No. 3: Halter Dresses
A classic style but still a nostalgic staple, the halter dress is a must-have this summer. In slinky silhouettes and easy materials, these statement dresses are light, effortless, and sexy. Internal Paris Hilton loading.
Summer 2022 Dress Trend No. 4: Handkerchief Hem Dresses
The return of the flirty, uneven hem of the handkerchief dress is upon us. And Bella Hadid’s recent outing in a 2000s Roberto Cavalli dress is here to prove it. Complemented by plunging necklines and drop waists, these dresses are to be paired appropriately with anklets and butterfly clips.
Summer 2022 Dress Trend No. 5: Colorful Crochet Dresses
Bright hues and kitschy crochet are always trending for warm weather, so combine them for a maximal summer look. A statement dress with a neon bag and chunky flatforms will be our Y2K ensemble all summer long. Brands like Daily Paper and Staud are go-tos for these vibrant yet polished pieces.
Summer 2022 Dress Trend No. 6: Slip Dresses
One of the most well-recognized comebacks of the ‘90s and 2000s is the simple slip dress. Known for many iconic moments on the likes of Kate Moss and more, the sleek slip has a few modern updates for 2022. Miaou’s viral slip dress, Sir The Label’s timeless aesthetic, and Y2K brand UNIF’s pieces are a few to keep an eye on.