Let me set the scene: The year is 2002. You smell like Glow by JLo and have an AIM away message up because you’re painting your nails glittery blue to match your entire outfit, from head to toe (or rather, butterfly clips to pointy-toe heels). MTV is playing TRL in the background—or maybe it was The Proud Family on the Disney Channel? You didn’t have a cell phone yet, but you would borrow your mom’s tiny Nokia to play Snake.
We didn’t know it at the time, but all of the things that we called normal back in the early aughts would one day make great material for a Halloween costume theme. Or maybe you were too young to remember any of this, but you’re obsessed with everything from the era, which is totally understandable! Who doesn’t love wearing glitter?! Either way, you should recreate one of these 2000s Halloween costume ideas inspired by the pop culture moments, celebrities, and fashion trends of the time.
Josie and the Pussycats
The 2000s were all about scarf tops, flashy low-rise pants, and animal print. Clearly, Josie and the Pussycats were all about those three things, too. If you’ve got a group of three, go as the members from this fictional girl band.
JLo at the 2000 Grammy Awards
When people are talking about the 2000s and referring to “the dress,” they mean this Versace one JLo wore to the Grammys. It’s so famous people still freaked out over it almost 20 years later when she wore a similar version again.
The Cheetah Girls
Speaking of girl bands and leopard print! If you watched the Disney Channel in 2003, you and your friends probably dressed up as The Cheetah Girls at one point, so why not rehash the good times and do it again?
Look up “2000s fashion” in the encyclopedia. I’m pretty sure Paris Hilton’s photo is right there wearing this ensemble from her 21st birthday. The chainmail dress is so memorable Kendall Jenner brought it back for her own 21st. If you can’t do the same for your b-day, Halloween is the next best thing.
The Lady Marmalade Music Video
Lil’ Kim, Pink, Mya, and Christina Aguilera are all musical and style icons in their own right, but this music video of all four of them together was beyond iconic—and it makes for a pretty memorable group costume idea too.
Lara Croft from Tomb Raider
Nonono, I’m not talking about the 2018 version—I’m throwing it all the way back to 2001 when Angelina Jolie played the badass archaeologist and inspired costumes for years to come.
Isis from Bring It On
Go as one of the Clovers cheerleaders, or get a group together and dress up as the whole squad. This look is so gold, Gabrielle Union even brought it back last year for her own costume. Just brace yourself for the dozens of movie quotes you’ll hear all night long.
Mariah Carey in a Juicy Tracksuit
The 2000s can pretty much be summed up in two words: Velour. Tracksuit. If you can’t get your hands on one from Juicy Couture, any version would get the job done. Just make sure to pair it with gradient-lens sunglasses, long necklaces, and heels, because why not!
Nicole Richie Wearing a Denim Miniskirt and Uggs
Raise your hand if you’ve ever worn a miniskirt with Ugg boots. The fact that most people that were alive in the early 2000s could probably raise their hand for that makes this a pretty epic costume to recreate.
Andie from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
You could make this a couples costume, or you could just go as Andie Anderson herself. The yellow gown with the Isadora necklace is optional; the love fern is not.
Avril Lavigne was the reason why many of us who grew up in the ’00s learned how to tie a tie (just me? Cool.). Dust off your old striped one and wear it with a plain white tank top, loose cargo pants, and sk8r shoes, and you’re basically Avril.
Beyoncé, Kelly, and Michelle had a lot of memorable moments together, but the looks from the “Survivor” era were *chef’s kiss.* After you and your two friends are done arguing over which member you get to be, dress up in coordinating camo print and boots.
Nelly Furtado in a Corset Top and Jeans
If this outfit–a formal corset top paired with loose jeans, sneakers, and a chain pendant necklace–looks familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen about one million people on TikTok wearing this same outfit. The 2000s are coming back, babyyy! In other words, this should be pretty easy to throw together for a last-minute costume.
Meagan Good Wearing Von Dutch
I can’t decide which part of this outfit screams “2000s” the loudest: the Von Dutch trucker hat or the ultra low-rise faded denim jeans. Anyway! Both would make for a great costume from the early aughts.
Queen Akasha in Queen of the Damned
Aaliyah had some of the most iconic fashion moments in the ’90s, but the costume she wore to portray Queen Akasha in this early 2000s vampire movie deserves a moment, too.
Ashanti in This Millennium Monochromatic Look
This whole look is so quintessentially 2000s that it’s hard to say what to love about it the most. All I know is it deserves to be recreated, asap.
Britney and Justin in Denim
The cowboy hat! The tiny handbag! The long denim train! Nothing about this matching couples outfit ceases to amaze me, and you know what that means? It would make for an amazing couples costume, too.
Christina Milian Wearing a Ruffled Miniskirt
A logo handbag, a statement waist belt, and a miniskirt are all things that you might have in your closet right now, but the trick to making it look like you’ve stepped right out of a CosmoGirl cover shoot is all in the styling. Use this photo as your inspo.
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