The Looks That Defined the Noughties

As we head into our pre-teen years, it’s time to reflect on the most defining looks of the past decade. So what did we find when looking at the noughties? We tended to keep things simple on the face, and instead chose to express ourselves through hair, jeans, and shoes. What we learned – yesterday’s “normal” must-buy item will always become tomorrow’s theme party “retro” costume.

Beach Waves
Everyone from Blake Lively to Lauren Conrad gave us beach wave envy over the past decade, but no one more than Kate Hudson. She’s pretty much the perfect poster-girl for this laid-back look, which combined long, natural-looking waves with generous (but expertly applied) highlights.

Kate Hudson with wavy hair

[Kate Hudson:]

Super-Shiny Lips
While the stars dabbled in unfortunate experiments with collagen implants and fillers, us regular people sought to mimic them with a host of eye-watering plumping products. When we weren’t trying to plump up our pout, we smothered it in sparkly gloss (which required reapplication at least every two minutes).

Paris Hilton with shiny lips


Straight Strands
If you didn’t already have a straightener, chances are you bought one sometime in the late noughties. And it probably cost a pretty penny, with high quality brands like GHD, T3, and CHI becoming increasingly common purchases. If we weren’t trying to emulate WASP-princess Gwyneth, we were attempting to tame our bobs and bangs, or maybe even our pobs.

Gwyneth Paltrow with straight hair

The Poof
Long before Snooki entered our lives, many of us spent the mid-00s with the crown of our hair perpetually twisted and bobby-pinned into a little faux-hawk-like poof. It got our hair off our faces, made ponytails look sort of rocker-chic, and most importantly of all, was super-easy to pull off.

Mischa Barton with a poof

Golden Girls
What started with a celebrity obsession with “real” tanning (remember Britney and her personal tour bus tanning bed?), soon turned into bottle tanning. And although a faux glow is a much healthier option, it wasn’t without its own orange-hued risks. To top it all off, bronzers also became a staple in our makeup bags, and like any product, some people took it too far.

Lindsay Lohan with orange skin

Designer Denim
From the dangerously low-waisted styles of the early noughties to the skinny jeans that have ruled the last few years, one thing was for certain: we spent a lot of money to be able to squeeze into the jeans of the month, whether they were Sevens, Republics, or J Brands. As for the current favourite, skinnies, they certainly don’t look good on everyone, but that didn’t stop us all from throwing out our boot-cuts.

Kate Moss in skinny designer jeans

Everyday Stilettos
Sex and the City didn’t just celebrate female friendship and getting frisky – it also made Manolos and Choos household names. For most of us, of course, that meant scooping up some kind of copy-cat high (high) heels and pairing them with our favourite jeans.

Carrie Bradshaw with Manolo Blahnik Mary Janes

These comfy boots were critically reviled but loved by the public and celebs alike – just check out any pap shots of a film set for a look at what the starlet wore on her feet during her off time. Mukluks came and went, but the original Aussie brand is still a staple for many.

Jennifer Aniston wearing Uggs

It Bags
Were big ticket bags the major status symbol of the noughties? Year after year, we lusted after the Hermes Birkin, Marc Jacobs Stam, or Fendi Spy. And let’s not even get into Chanel quilted bags. As the price tags got bigger, usually the bags followed suit, with purse-related shoulder injuries becoming an actual problem.

Victoria Beckham with a Birkin bag

Boho Chic
Ubiquitous noughties stylist Rachel Zoe brought printed tent dresses and big beads to stars like Nicole Richie, and the masses soon followed suit. One piece of this look has enjoyed particular staying power: humungous sunglasses. Tent dresses may have had their day in the sun, but we still all have faint tan lines that cover half our faces to help us remember this trend.

Nicole Richie wearing her own jewelry


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Tags: 2000s, Beauty, beauty trends, fashion trends, iconic looks, noughties, trends

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