9 Recent K-Pop Comebacks That Are Bringing Back Y2K Fashion
Retro has been trending in K-pop for a while now, and the most recent throwback trend takes us to right around the year 2000, otherwise known as Y2K! This was a unique time for fashion, with colorful and cute looks aplenty, bold pieces, and a slightly futuristic vibe (after all, this was when huge technological changes were underway: the rise of flip phones and personal computers). It would be hard to list all of the Y2K trends that are making a comeback these days, but think pink, chunky, and shiny, tiny tops and pleated skirts, denim on denim, graphic tees, and kitsch accessories (beaded bracelets and plastic rings galore). Beauty-wise, Y2K featured bright pastels, whimsical nail art, and hair styled with thick headbands, baby braids, and colorful clips.
That’s a lot to keep track of, right? Then dive right into our list of recent Y2K-inspired comebacks for some bold, stylish examples!
1. “1/6” — Sunmi
Sunmi’s “1/6” mini album is Y2K through and through, from its concept photos to the music video for title track “You Can’t Sit With Us.” The solo diva dons a variety of Y2K outfits, from her fabulous denim-on-denim (with flared bottoms) to the schoolgirl-inspired look and matching bandana getup. For her concept photos, Sunmi showcases a range of accessory trends from the turn of the century: kitsch rings and earrings; colorful, wide headbands; and bright, audacious nail art — see below!
All this fashion is complemented with throwback settings, from the DVD/VHS rental store that serves as the main stage of the MV, to Sunmi’s pink bedroom, complete with shaggy pink furniture and full of tech from way back when: an old desktop computer and corded and flip phones — all pink and bejeweled, of course.
2. “CRAZY IN LOVE” — ITZY
Love isn’t the only thing ITZY are crazy about in “CRAZY IN LOVE,” their first full-length album. The girls are also crazy on the Y2K style! Almost every look in the MV for their title track “LOCO” is Y2K-inspired, from the bright pink attire complete with various shiny and fuzzy textures (above left) to the crop tops, pleated skirts, wide-leg pants, and chunky boots (above right). The girls even dabble in the punk side of Y2K fashion in the MV’s final stage.
But “CRAZY IN LOVE” has more 2000s-era fashion to offer, as the b-side track “SWIPE” also features plenty of bright accessories, as well as tiny tops in fun graphics and colors. The Y2K winners here, though, are the group’s coordinated outfits with futuristic, shiny statement pieces:
3. “Windy” — (G)I-DLE’s Jeon Soyeon
(G)I-DLE’s fearless leader made her solo comeback with the mini album “Windy,” delivering not only a bop in the title track “BEAM BEAM,” but also a feast of Y2K fashion. Soyeon paraded through this MV (and the track’s promotions) in miniskirts and miniature crop tops, outlandish boots, and translucent sunglasses with a smaller silhouette. She also leaned into the more punk trends of Y2K days, like in her edgier outfit with a jean maxi-skirt (above right).
Even her dance squad in the MV is full Y2K!
4. “Weekend” — Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon
Taeyeon throws back to various retro looks with her digital single “Weekend,” but the late 90s/early 2000s vibe is pervasive. Her main look of the MV — a pink sweatsuit with a Juicy shirt — is straight out of Y2K, as is her bandana and pink-toned shades. Tayeon also brings some 2000s tech into her concept, such as old Mac computers and a throwback Mp3 player. Her bright pastel makeup look and body jewelry accentuate the Y2K vibe:
5. “The Feels” — TWICE
TWICE’s first English single is making waves, and the concept for “The Feels” is just as bright and energetic as the track! The fashion and the prom-themed music video are giving us nostalgic feels for sure, and the early 2000s elements are clear: pleated skirts and crop tops, pink and sparkles — not to mention those long, patterned gloves that Nayeon and Momo rock. The official lyric video for the track also draws inspiration from the Y2K vibe, with a retro computer theme (below right)!
6. “ReviveR” — AleXa
AleXa goes all out on Y2K’s pink trend, even sporting a bold pink hair color for her “ReviveR” single album! Her concept is full of crop tops and tiny tees with fun graphics, as well as pants with a lower rise, denim, and a pleated miniskirt. To top it all off, the soloist accessorizes with hair clips and heart sunglasses — the “Xtra” music video is definitely filled with the best of 2000s-era casual chic.
7. “DUMB DUMB” — Jeon Somi
The high school prom concept of Jeon Somi’s “DUMB DUMB” is given an extra boost of nostalgia with its early 2000s twist! In the album cover above, Jeon Somi sports the “space bun” hairstyle and bright pink eyeshadow, as well as a host of other Y2K trends, ranging from face-framing bangs to flare pants. The music video for the single is also full of nods to Y2K, like Jeon Somi’s beaded bracelets, pink nail art, and schoolgirl outfit:
8. “Play Game: Holiday” — Weeekly
Weeekly’s “Holiday Party” is the charming single off their recent mini album “Play Game: Holiday,” and the girls’ concept is both futuristic and retro at the same time — Y2K in a nutshell! They rock the tiny T-shirt look like no other, with fun, colorful graphics as befitting this throwback trend. The wide-legged jeans are another Y2K staple (top photo below), but Weeekly’s attention to detail is what completes their 2000s-inspired concept: their jewelry is playful and bright or rainbow-beaded, and their hairstyles include some of Y2K’s best, from face-framing bangs (below left) to space buns adorned with butterfly clips (below right).
9. “1+1=1” — HyunA and DAWN
Last but not least, HyunA and DAWN’s duet EP features Y2K taken to the extreme — as expected of this boundary-pushing power couple! Their concept showcases some of the most outlandish fashion imaginable, and the music video for title track “PING PONG” is a feast for the eyes. The Y2K influence is obvious in (above) HyunA’s denim dress and leg warmers, with stacked hair clips, as well as DAWN’s tight top, baggy pants, and bucket hat.
Year 2000 influence can also be found in many of the couple’s other outfits such as those below: HyunA’s flower-powered top (top photo) and cropped shirts (left), her pleated miniskirts (right), DAWN’s whimsical face art (bottom), and the couple’s many fabulous oversized shoes. And, of course, the colorful setting in which it is all packaged!
Hey Soompiers, how do you feel about the Y2K fashion trend? Which of these comebacks is your fave? Let us know in the comments!
hgordon stays up way too late on weeknights marathoning K-dramas and trying to keep up with the latest K-pop releases.