A Nostalgia For the Past: An Analysis of Fashion Trends Over the Past Year

How Bronx Science students feel and incorporate 2022 fashion trends into their wardrobe.


Saziea Biva

Aaqib Gondal ’24 wears some of the latest fashion trends of 2022.

As we enter into the new year, a close examination of fashion trends throughout this past year shows a myriad of different popular styles. From baggy clothes to the revival of Y2K fashion, and fun colors, the trends of the past year have one common theme, a nostalgia for the past. They mixed elements of 2000’s fashion trends with the latest fashion advancements, creating a modern-day style with a twist. Many celebrities and influencers have had a drastic impact on the fashion industry such as Bella and Gigi Hadid.

This year has been all about fun patterns, bright and bold colors, low rise, and volume tops. We’ve seen these trends in worldwide fashion showcases such as the annual Met Gala and Fashion Week. These are major events in the Fashion industry. These trends have left an impact, making their way into our wardrobes and shopping carts.

One of the most significant trends of the year is the revival of Y2K fashion by Gen Z. Y2K is often associated with Bratz dolls, butterfly clips, and Britney Spears. This stylistic trend incorporates the late 90’s and early 2000s styles. This makes them icons of the era.

These trends may seem intimidating and difficult to incorporate into your closet. However, Bronx Science students have been able to include many aspects of these trends into their outfits.

According to fashion magazine HarpersBazaar, Y2K fashion refers to a simpler and more innocent time, a drastic change from 2020 and 2021. The emergence of short mini-dresses, bubblegum pink, and chunky boots is playful and bold. This is a perfect change from the neutral and toned-down themes of 2020 and 2021. 

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The Y2K fashion trends emphasize bagginess. For example, bootcut jeans are very popular right now. In the past, skinny jeans were a staple in one’s closet but have completely fallen off since the revival of baggy jeans. Baggy jeans can be paired with anything such as baby tees and ribbed shirts making baggy jeans a crucial piece in any closet.

Mini skirts, which were extremely popular in the ’90s, have also made a comeback. In bold vibrant colors, mini skirts can spice up an outfit when paired with any top. Mini skirts bring back the Bratz doll vibe, an iconic part of Y2K. They are perfect to pair with an oversized top, a turtleneck, or even a baby tee. Radyah Imam’24 said, “Mini skirts are adorable and can be paired with a variety of tops.” Imam also thinks pairing them with stockings is cute, and gives off an edgy vibe. 

Baby tees also carry nostalgia, which is an essential part of the Y2k style. These tiny t-shirts, cropped above the belly button can display fun quotes, characters, and patterns on them. They can also come in plain solid colors. Adiba Sufti ’24 said that baby tees are a staple in her closet. “As a Bronx Science student, sleep and convenience are one of my biggest priorities. Putting on a baby tee with a pair of jeans is easy and efficient. You don’t have to stress about the fit and contemplate whether the pieces match because they almost always do.” Sufti said. Baby tees can be styled with loose jeans and pleated skirts for the ultimate look.

Although leather jackets have made a comeback, it depends on how they are styled. Instead of jackets with studs and zippers, jackets sporting waist ties and quilted stitching are far more stylish. The American model Hailey Beiber was recently seen in a vintage leather bomber that went viral. Leather jackets give off a thrifted vibe, a desired aesthetic. Though some may think that a leather jacket is exclusively for chilly cold months, stylist Karen Schijman disagrees. “I wear my moto jacket year round,” said Schlijman. “Think of it as your second skin,” said stylist Jaimie Frankle. Their use year-round makes them the perfect staple in any closet. Sufti said, “I haven’t seen a lot of people wearing leather jackets at Bronx Science, but I really admire the style”.

Accessories play a key role in bringing back the nostalgia associated with Y2K, specifically, accessories in fun kitschy patterns. Accessories can always complete an outfit or touch it up. Sufti said that she pairs “fun beaded accessories with minimal pieces of clothing in order to liven up my fits.”

Trendy accessories are now filled with bright colors, kitschy patterns, and loads of beads. BONBONWHIMS, a jewelry line, went viral for their chunky resin rings. Many celebrities such as Ariana Grande appreciated these accessories as well. Campy beaded necklaces have also been reaching the spotlight. Ian-Charms, a Los Angeles-based brand, has gained a lot of recent popularity. Their necklaces have been spotted on Olivia Rodrigo, Dua Lipa, Pete Davidson, and Naomi Osaka. 


Shiny materials, such as silver and gold, brings back the nostalgia of Y2K. It can be worn as a staple in an outfit or as an accessory. Sufti mainly wears silver jewelry but enjoys wearing gold accessories as they “are very flattering” and would like to incorporate gold into her outfits more often.

The use of butterfly clips, also known as claw clips, is a must-have. Claw clips have replaced the classic ponytail holder and scrunchie. Scrunchies and ponytail holders are classics, used throughout the 2000s. Claw clips were a part of a classic style in the 1990s, and have found their way back with the help of Alexander Wang’s runway show in 2018. Wang’s runway show brought attention to the older styles.

Claw clips played such an important role this year, that influencer Ms. Smiko, a TikTok influencer, documented her search for the perfect claw clips on TikTok. Ms. Smiko was on the hunt for the perfect claw clip, after misplacing hers. Ms. Smiko’s Tiktoks, where she visited chain stores in search of a new clip, quickly received a million views. She gained over 100,000 followers since the start of her journey. Ms. Smiko’s Tiktok analytics confirmed that claw clips are essential to the Y2K aesthetic.

Despite how popular these trends are now, they usually disappear within a short amount of time. Though Y2K played a big role this past year,  some elements of today’s fashion trends will soon end. The main question on everyone’s mind is, what’s next for 2023?

Despite how popular these trends are now, they usually disappear within a short amount of time. Though Y2K played a big role this past year,  some elements of today’s fashion trends will soon end. The main question on everyone’s mind is, what’s next for 2023?