For those of you who cringe remembering the days of baggy pants and chunky shoes, we might have some bad news for you — it's all coming back.
"The ‘90s are back, Y2K fashion is back, early aughts is back. Even the ‘twee’ aesthetic — which really wasn’t that long ago," NYC-based personal stylist, Gloria Cospito, told us. "Usually fashion is more of a 20-year or 30-year turn, but now it’s like, OK, even 10 years ago feels like a long time ago and that’s being reinvented and reimagined. And that part is also really fascinating to me. We’re bringing back trends that really haven’t been out of fashion for that long — they’re barely vintage!"
“We’re truly taking our direction from Gen Z, like that’s real,” Cospito continued. “So, they decided clogs were cool and now, clogs are cool. Not just for people working in restaurants. It’s like ’Oh, OK, they’re cool now — TikTok told me.'"
"And it’s genuinely affecting culture," Cospito said of TikTok, stating "there's a new trend every other day."
Though TikTok and GenZ are not the only factor Cospito said are responsible for the return of decades-old fashion.
"The trends are coming and going so much faster than they did and I think that has to do with the fact that people are embracing second-hand shopping more than ever," Cospito said.
A place we're especially seeing the return of these trends? Shoes. So, if you thought Crocs were divisive, you might want to prepare yourself for the other shoes stylists say are making a comeback right now.
Why are '90s and 2000s shoes so popular right now?
"I think in some capacity, these shoes never went away and even though a lot of them can seem bulky and unattractive for someone who favors classic/elegant pieces, they fit well with streetwear and androgynous styles that are also popular now," Dina Scherer, NYC wardrobe stylist and owner of Modnitsa Styling told Shop TODAY via email.
Though Scherer does say TikTok had a hand in the more widespread return of these looks.
"I think TikTok is largely responsible for the Y2K trends that are currently coming back," Scherer said. "I do also see some of the big designers interpreting the trends on the runway and in RTW (Ready to Wear clothing) - making them more 'high-fashion' and desirable."
Scherer says large platforms and bulkier soles are in right now, adding that she's seen "more stylish" interpretations of "almost-combat styles" from designer brands like Chanel. Though the look might not be for everyone, Sherer says, there are ways to incorporate these trendy shoes into your fashion routine.
"If you favor street style and like a more dramatic look, clogs and Doc Martens can be a great addition to your wardrobe — I do think they have more staying power than some of the other trends like the Moon Boots," Scherer continued.
Before you approach the trend, Cospito says to make sure you invest in footwear that makes you feel comfortable "and not feel like it is wearing you, but you are wearing it."
If you want to help yourself to a healthy serving of nostalgia, we rounded up all of the shoes that Cospito and Scherer say have found their way into the mainstream. Keep reading to re-discover all of the shoes you likely forgot you loved.
Trending shoes right now
Cospito says Birkenstocks are back in style and this shoe is checking all of the boxes: It's a Birkenstock sandal and looks like both a clog and a mule. The shearling lining makes them a chic pick for the spring to summer transition.
Thought you kissed thong sandals goodbye? Meet the thong platform sandal. The platform measures 2-inches high, so you'll gain some extra height with these.
If you're not into clogs but prefer a sandal, revisit the traditional Birkenstock sandal. From the molded footbed to the double straps for support, they're bound to become your go-to's.
Penny loafers aren't just for the guys anymore! Cospito says lug-sole loafers are trending right now and we love that this sleek pair has memory foam cushioning.
Behold, the original clog. With a 1-inch platform and 1 3/4-inch heel, they'll give you just the right amount of height without compromising comfort, thanks to the memory foam footbed.
The elevated Mary Jane is also back, according to Cospito. You can find this look in black or white styles.
Both Scherer and Cospito say that platforms are back. If you have a few girl's nights planned, you'll want this pair in your closet. The block heel and platform give it that chunky feel without compromising style.
Scherer mentioned these boots can make a "great" addition to your wardrobe and Cospito says they definitely have made a comeback in recent years. Whether you're trekking through snow or want to add some edge to a maxi skirt, you can't go wrong with this iconic combat boot.
If you're not into lacing up your boots, Cospito says these boots with a side zipper and pull tab from Steve Madden are another popular option. You can find them in pink, black or white with the same amount of platform lift.
Scherer says she's seen Moon Boots "in places that aren’t just après-ski style." However, they're a statement shoe that will probably serve you best during the colder months of the year.
For more stories like this, check out:
- Exclusive: Crocs just added a super cozy sandal to its collection
- Why are New Balance shoes so popular? We spoke to 2 experts to find out
- From dresses to slacks, 13 sneakers that go with everything