OPINION: The 2010s are back in style — and we don’t need to fight it

A closeup drawing of a girl wearing a cardigan, a flower choker and a chunky red necklace. Behind her is a calendar whose “2023” page is falling off, revealing a “2013” page.
(Sasha Matthews • The Student Life)

As a 19-year-old who lived through the early-to-late aughts and developed their fashion sense during the 2010s, I was skeptical to hear about the resurgence of this familiar style. But alas, Y2K — 2000s fashion, for the uninitiated — has reigned supreme for seemingly years now, and it makes sense that the trend cycle will be looking at the next decade for style inspiration. But are you ready for the comeback? Well, you don’t have much of a choice. 

The transition from ’90s style trends to Y2K was virtually seamless, as ’90s slips over white T-shirts became catchy slogan baby tees à la Paris Hilton — I doubt that the return of the 2010s will be much different. Yes, everyone was afraid of the return of low-rise bottoms, but, now, many of the most fashionable people on and off campus — think Ms. Bella Hadid — sport micro mini-skirts and low-rise, flared pants with pride. It’s only a matter of time before 2010s fashion — including the all-too-dreaded skinny jeans — comes back in style. But no need to worry! Though I personally will be tightly holding onto my favorite baggy, wide-leg Levi’s, there are stylish ways you can start incorporating these 2010 trends into your 2023 wardrobe. 

Arguably, the easiest resurfaced trend to weave into your outfit is chunky jewelry in the form of a statement necklace. I understand the hesitation; when statement necklaces are mentioned, an image of monstrously constructed, 7-stone turquoise or coral-colored Kendra Scott necklaces come to mind — glorified collars, if you will. But the idea of the statement necklace as a single larger pendant is well on its way to global indoctrination. 

Recently, on a spring break trip to San Diego, my friends and I passed a gem shop and, in a stroke of inspiration, half of them purchased leather-corded, heart-shaped gemstone pendants. The almost hippie look of the pendants are a fun way to incorporate an interesting detail to your outfit. I recommend looking for glass pendants or metal heart ones on Poshmark or eBay. Brands to search: Heaven Mayhem, Brooke Callahan and Frasier Sterling.

Statement necklaces aren’t the only jewelry to have made a resurgence: Velvet chokers are coming back, and with a floral twist, no less. Overdone iterations of the Vivienne Westwood pearl choker first became popular in 2020, but a surge of fake flower ribbon chokers is making its rounds on Pinterest. The big brands are catching wind: Mirror Palais’ most recent runway show for Spring 2023 showed flowing sheer slips complemented with them as well. 

What makes the velvet choker unique is that it’s an accessory that you can make for yourself. Just stop by The Hive for some ribbon and hot glue. In many ways, this floral velvet twist represents the beauty of the trend cycle; by adopting and adapting old trends, we develop a fashion culture that builds upon itself, growing stronger, bolder, and more inventive with each mutation. Brands to search on Etsy include HouseOfTooFan and EfflorescenceByXm. 

The 2010s saw a wider trend of business casual as daily wear, with tight-fitting blazers, a work-appropriate tank top, skinny black pants and heels serving as an acceptable going-out look. And though I doubt many 5C students plan on opting for business casual clothing on a daily basis, baby doll tops have become an interesting translation of the peplum top from the 2010s to now. Aside from just baby doll slips and tank tops that a lot of people — including myself — enjoy wearing, long-sleeve Hollister babydoll tops reminiscent of Elena Gilbert’s style in early seasons of the Vampire Diaries are also an easy alternative. 

eBay and Depop are treasure troves for lingerie-esque babydolls. And slips over jeans don’t always look so out of place now. I would encourage experimenting!  

Brands to search include Victoria’s Secret, Frederick’s of Hollywood and Hollister.

Of course, there are arguments to be made about the accelerated trend cycle — namely, that we should be consuming less and be more interested in developing our own personal senses of style. Decade resurgences, however, accomplish both of these things. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not arguing that everyone should adopt a new wardrobe immediately or that these are items that you must buy. But, if the idea of 2010s fashion intrigues you at all, I urge you to hop on the trend and discern your own flavor of 2010s. 

Fashion is all about having fun and empowering yourself. You have the opportunity to take a risk — shying away from the trend cycle is shying away from an opportunity to get a better understanding of who you are, who you want to be and how you like to dress.

Try on a dress over your jeans, find a lingerie-esque baby doll on Ebay and Depop or even head over to American Eagle for some skinny jeans — you’ll certainly be ahead of the curve for that! Find some cool second-hand items or see if you can upcycle anything you already have in your closet. Who knows: maybe you’ll start a trend. And maybe — just maybe — we’ll see it again in the next 10. 

Stella Fang PO ’26 is from Bellevue, Washington. She likes fashion and thinks her opinions are correct most of the time.

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