The Return Of The Noughties: Denim’s Fashion Comeback

Denim is getting all nostalgic on us, bringing sexy back in the form of the frayed, lace-up, embellished detailing that we once called tacky. Think Justin and Britney’s doubling up of double-denim, Misha Barton’s butter-wouldn’t-melt minis and the obscenely low-rise flares sported by every noughties pop girl ever.

Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake wear double denim to the 2001 American Music Awards. Image credit: US Weekly

At first glance, noughties fashion was hideous: dresses over trousers, pearlescent lipstick, sequined-butterfly halter-tops and Von Dutch baseball caps (come on, we all had one…). But there is more to the decade of ‘tack’ than, well, just the tack. Cue the denim. You don’t have to look further than It-girls of the moment Bella, Gigi and Kendall to see that head-to-toe denim is having its moment again, only this time, it’s done a little growing up.

Emily Ratajkowski, Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Gigi Hadid rock double denim.

Let’s start with the jeans, this season the waist is higher (rejoice!), the hem has been shortened to that oh-so-popular cropped flare and diamante belts have been swapped for laced-up/button-down waists. Look to Australian label Ellery for a contemporary take on the buttoned waist.

Embroidered denim has graced the legs of every ‘Insta-influencer’ for several seasons running, but this trend takes it a step further, bringing OTT embellishments center-stage, as spied on the catwalks of Dolce & Gabbana, Blumarine and Alexander McQueen. A quick-fix option for those true sympathizers of statement denim can be seen over at Gucci, with playground-inspired patches sewn onto denim legs. If you’re looking to dive head-first into the more-is-more trend, pearl-encrusted denim is swarming the high-street; options abound in both Zara and Storets. But if all that superfluous detailing has your stomach churning, take a cue from German fashion blogger Lisa Hahnbueck and try a more subtle nod to the trend.

Photo credit: Lisa Hahnbuek
Photo credit: Pandora Sykes

Let’s not stop at jeans though, this trend is all about doubling it up. Try a button-down denim mini under an oversized jean jacket (wear it half buttoned and off the shoulder à la Emily Ratajkowski). Alternatively, a cropped denim bustier looks great worn over an oversized white shirt, just add a pair of cropped kick flare jeans and you’re so on trend you could walk straight onto the pages of any fashion glossy. For extra credit, take inspiration from our It-girl Bella and pair your (double) denim with a baker boy hat, tinted sunglasses and a chainlink belt, what could capture the zeitgeist of the 00’s better?

Patchwork denim is also crying out for its revival, and if you’re not feeling brave enough to don a deconstructed mini, you don’t get more flattering than a pair of jeans that cut two tones right down the centre of the leg. If it is the mini you’re after, take note of Versus Versace’s SS17 collection and upgrade frayed for shredded hems.

With that said, if you’re not convinced by the noughties revival, pay homage to Brit girl Alexa Chung and try a classic denim A-line skirt. Whatever your sartorial preference, that style staple is here to stay.

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