The Princess of Wales—or, in the 2000s, simply Kate Middleton—has long been a fashion icon. Known now for her safe, prim and proper, elegant looks, in the Noughties—before she was a member of the royal family, and before she had a stylist—Kate took more risks with her choices and was simply a college-aged girl of the era who just so happened to be dating the future King of England.
Now, The Daily Mail reports, TikTok has caught on to Kate’s pretty iconic 2000s style, reminding us just how long the future Queen has been in the public eye (over 20 years!). Teenagers and Gen Z—many if not most of whom missed this version of Kate the first time around—have discovered her eclectic style of the decade, with The Daily Mail labeling it a “social media craze.” Photos of Kate before she became a member of the royal family on April 29, 2011 (her wedding day to Prince William) are trending on TikTok, and, in a further example that everything old is new again, young girls are copying her Noughties looks with aplomb, calling her the “real it-girl.”
“Kate’s Noughties outfits have become a hit among a generation of teenagers who have embraced retro fashion trends,” the outlet reports, the “retro fashion trends” bit absolutely devastating this writer who was also in college in the 2000s. “Vintage fashion sellers, who sell secondhand clothing on apps such as Depop and Vinted, have even created ‘Kate Middleton drops’—collections of clothing for sale inspired by the royal’s previous looks.”
Gen Z has taken to TikTok to make photo montages and dress up in her old styles. One user captioned their video “Why is no one talking about how elite Kate’s style was in the 2000s?” while another wrote “Once a fashion icon, always a fashion icon.”
Noughties fashion is enjoying a resurgence, The Daily Mail reports, “with eco-conscious Gen Z teenagers increasingly favoring secondhand or vintage clothing.” (Again, can we not with the term “vintage”?)
“Today, we’re going to dress like Kate Middleton, so let’s go,” one teenager said, speaking to the camera. “I am not a big fan of Kate’s looks now, but I like her older ones before she became [a] Princess.” This user pointed to Kate’s affinity for low-waisted jeans, a wide black belt, and a camisole top and said, “She wore a lot of looks like this.” Another user captioned her video “Who wouldn’t want to be Kate back then?”
Outfits that seem to be big hits from the Noughties include a black, belted knitted dress look with knee-high boots for “a date with a boy named William”; beige trousers, a knitted hat, and patterned jumper for “going to a polo match”; and a black skirt and sequined top for “clubbing with the girls.”
“Wishing we were Kate in the ‘00s,” another user wrote. Maybe so—but only with the “vintage” wisdom we have now, your friendly geriatric writer thinks.