Why Katie Holmes’ Y2K dress over jeans fashion trend triggers Millennials

The early 2000s trends are back, and I’m furious. Katie Holmes went viral this week for being spotted in a strapless navy dress shirt that she paired with straight-leg denim jeans and black running shoes, and all I could think was oh no! Followed by, please make this stop.

No, Holmes wasn’t going to a Lizzie McGuire-themed birthday party or cos-playing as an unfashionable Carrie Bradshaw. She was attending iHeartRadio’s annual Jingle Ball. You know, an event people attend to look glamorous.

Yes, it’s 2022 and Holmes, a respectable woman in her 40s who has romanced the likes of Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx, is now pairing a dress over jeans, and we are all meant to see it as fashion inspiration rather than a disaster.

I’ve known the 2000s were back for a while, but I’ve been in slight denial. Still, the fact that I’ve recently seen trucker hats available to purchase at fashion chains instead of just petrol stations in the middle of nowhere should have been a big hint.

I honestly thought we were at the point where the only people wearing trucker hats were people that stormed the Capital in 2021, but hey, I was wrong. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ed Hardy made a resurgence. (For the uninitiated, the brand’s designs look exactly like the tattoos people get while on holidays in Bali).

If you need clarification about what I’m banging on about and you have no idea what early 2000s trends are, let me educate you. Think bandage dresses, low-rise jeans, baguette bags, chunky belts, cargo pants and mini pleated skirts.

If you are still confused, rewatch Mean Girls, anything Regina George wore in that movie is now in fashion. If that isn’t enough fashion inspiration, rewatch the reality series The Simple Life, which starred Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton.

Or if you really want to feel old just google what the Gen Z pop stars are wearing currently. Olivia Rodrigo and Sabrina Carpenter are the current queens of these Y2K trends.

If you don’t know who either of these women are that probably means you own far too many pairs of skinny jeans and were very invested in Nicole Richie’s Boohoo style makeover.

Well, keep up! Jeans aren’t just baggy anymore; they are now meant to sit on your hip bones. Slogan tees are back, and yes Supre is selling them again, but you’re old enough now that your mum can’t stop you from buying a T-shirt that says, ‘bite me’.

I have many feelings about the return of these trends. The early 2000s was the height of diet culture, so the styles were all geared around famous women showing off their flat stomachs and hip bones; that’s why there were plenty of belly shirts paired with low-rise jeans.

Thankfully, curvy became trendier, and suddenly high-rise jeans and tops that covered your belly button became chic. But clearly, that is changing all over again, and I’m just not ready! Is anyone who eats carbs ready?

The Y2K era was positioned around fashion that only suited one type of body: the body of a Hadid sister, aka a supermodel. So, bringing it back just brings up all my body insecurities.

Low-rise jeans are not good for my body image, and I’m brave enough to admit that and I don’t think any amount of body positivity can save me from my fear of the low-rise looks.

I know fashion trends come and go, so it was naive of me not to think the early 2000s wouldn’t come back to haunt me, but they have returned, and I just feel exhausted by it.

Fashion should feel fun and make you feel fabulous, but the Y2K trends were all about catering to a body type that I don’t have, and I’m sorry, I can’t embrace them. I’d like to formally ask Katie Holmes to stop trying to make them cool again, it is simply rude and the sisterhood deserves better.

Mary Madigan is a freelance writer.