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Y2K Glasses Are in: What You Need to Know about the 2000s

Jamie Mendiola

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Jamie Mendiola

Updated: 12 June 2024 •  
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Y2K itself has come and gone, but the great news is that Y2K glasses are likely to be around for a while. These eyeglasses are making a solid comeback and, at this point, seem unstoppable. If you scroll through social media, you may think it’s the early 2000s again.

Defining the Y2K style revolution

4 women exuding y2k playful nostalgia vibe

Y2K style is all about playful nostalgia. Source: Yahoo! Life

If we have to sum up Y2K in one word, it’s playful.
Picture this: Chunky glasses, a baby tee, and a pair of wide-leg jeans. You’ve probably seen this OOTD on the streets at least once. This style is called Y2K.
Y2K belongs to the pop culture of the mid-90s and early 2000s. Back then, the Internet was just becoming popular, and everyone was experimenting with their clothes. So, classic dresses were out; mini skirts were in.
The aesthetic allows you to mix futuristic and retro vibes. Think of bejeweled flip phones, shiny jackets, and velour tracksuits.
This trend eventually turned into a fashion movement with celebrities. Look up Y2K online, and you’ll see Paris Hilton, Destiny’s Child, and Britney Spears proudly wearing low-rise jeans.
While Y2K faded in the early 2000s, it made a big resurgence today. Everyone’s digging the nostalgia aspect of it, especially during the pandemic.
And it’s not going to fade away any time soon.

All about Y2K glasses from the 2000s

metallic monochromatic glasses is one of the y2k glasses trends

People would go for metallic and monochromatic glasses. Source: Pinterest

When it comes to stylish eyeglasses, the Y2K style takes the cake. This era is where chunky frames and eccentric shapes were born. The funkier it looks, the better.
There’s a lot of discourse on where Y2K originated. But, in general, it was inspired by technology. As the Internet boomed at the time, fashion was leaning into futuristic, fun, and quirky looks.
It was a complete 180 from the classic look of the early 90s. Rather than going for a minimalist pair of glasses, people would opt for metallic and monochromatic spectacles.
You could also see the Y2K effect in pop culture. For instance, when she wore her ‘Supa Dupa Fly’ sunglasses, Missy Elliot got first-class seats on this bandwagon.
And, of course, this trend went off the rails as ‘‘The Matrix’ hit the movie theaters. Everyone wanted to look like Neo with the 90s oval sunglasses. And honestly, who could blame them?
If you’re going to look like you came from an early 2000s movie, Y2K glasses should be on your shopping list. Here are 4 iconic styles to look out for.

1. Try out oversized square glasses

kim kadarshian wearing a pair of y2k glasses with black oversized square frame

Kim Kardashian’s bringing oversized square frames back. Source: Cosmopolitan

Nothing serves ‘futuristic diva realness’ more than oversized square glasses. The right color and style can make you stand out from the crowd.
Think of Lady Gaga in her ‘Bad Romance’ music video. Or, if you want something more casual, look up Kim Kardashian and her favorite sunnies. She mentioned, “I never step out without wearing a killer pair of shades! My fave styles to wear are square and oversize…”
If you have an oval or round face shape, that’s another bonus point. Oversized square glasses will be perfect for you. It can add more angles and balance out the softness of your features.
However, if you don’t know your face shape, check out our complete guide on which glasses fit your face shape.

2. Give tinted glasses a shot

robert downey jr wearing a pair tinted glasses in the avengers endgame conference with a y2k vibe

Robert Downey Jr. wearing tinted glasses in a press conference for‘Avengers: Endgame’. Source: GQ

While dark shades and frames might be your usual go-to, a pop of color can complete your Y2K outfit effortlessly. If you’re looking for that, get a pair of tinted glasses.
Sheer-tinted glasses are the perfect callback to retro chic without sacrificing its ultra-modern edge. You can wear them to parties, festivals, and everyday life.
For instance, Robert Downey Jr. had this style down pat, whether in casual or formal wear. You’ll often see him donning a pair of orange or blue-tinted glasses everywhere, becoming his signature fashion statement.
Tinted glasses are also a fantastic finisher for a monochromatic look. Look at Dua Lipa with her whimsical all-pink getup, and you’ll want to try the style yourself.
If you’re up for something new in your wardrobe, try our Swift frames.


3. How about shield sunglasses?

paris hilton wearing a pair of y2k shield sunglasses

Paris Hilton maintains her Y2K icon status with her shield sunglasses. Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Shield sunglasses are the ultimate Y2K accessory. Some are huge enough to cover more than half of your face, and they scream retro-future in big, bold letters. It’s so Y2K that you’ll feel like you’re in a 2000s music video once you wear it.
And, of course, we can’t talk about shield sunglasses without mentioning the Y2K icon, Paris Hilton. In her hit reality TV show, you’d usually see her wearing the biggest frames to match her doll-like outfit.
Fast forward to today, and everyone’s bringing this trend back. Not only do they effectively cover your eyes from sunlight, but they also elevate your outfit. Shield sunglasses are here to stay, from the Kardashians to the high-fashion runway.
If you dig that oversized glasses look, check out our Tim frames.


More Y2K glasses you’ll love

While we all have our style favorites, some glasses deserve an honorable mention in the Y2K category. These selections might look more subtle and casual, but they still give that early 2000s vibe.

1. Geometric glasses

Ugh, geometric glasses are the bomb. These angular frames can make any outfit look good while still showing a hint of that retro nostalgia. Plus, they’re versatile for any face shape!
Some geometric glasses are more rounded, while others offer a sharper angle. You have many options, starting with the silver Initiate frames to ease into the Y2K style.


2. Cat-eye glasses

If you want both classic and fresh, a pair of cat-eye glasses are probably calling your name. These frames give that air of ‘vintage chic’ that goes so well with Y2K.
They’re easy to match with any outfit too. Imagine a pair of cat-eye glasses with a sleek, leather outfit. Oh wait, that’s Lucy Liu in the iconic movie, ‘Charlie’s Angels.’ Now you have Y2K style inspiration!
Cat-eye glasses usually have this upward curving shape, inspired by the Harlequin masks in Italy. They’re meant to frame your eyes as the perfect centerpiece of your face.
Lastly, these frames look stunning in oval, round, square, and diamond face shapes.
Want to try them out? Steal that ‘Charlie’s Angel’ look with our Candid frames.


3. Unique vintage glasses

The last one on the agenda is a pair of unique vintage glasses. You might think this type of glasses only belongs to the academia aesthetic, but you can pull it off with a Y2K vibe too.
Vintage glasses can offer unique shapes that many often crave. Some go into that “oversize” category, while others look more geometric. There’s a lot from which to choose.
Wearing vintage frames can make you chic, sophisticated, and modern. If you’re wearing an ultra-futuristic outfit, a touch of vintage on your eyes can balance it out. Remember, there are no strict rules regarding Y2K fashion.
One good choice is our Lavish frames that let you explore a more fun-seeking side to style.


Wear your Y2K glasses with pride

Exploring a new wardrobe niche might initially seem overwhelming, but it’s not impossible. By getting a few basics in your wardrobe, such as a proper pair of Y2K glasses, you can nail your dream OOTD down.
What makes the outfit ultimately complete is your confidence.
It’s not all about getting the most expensive clothes. As long as you’re having fun and tapping into your creative streak, nothing else matters.
If you want more blog posts like this, browse Mouqy’s blog for more advice on eyewear trends, such as our complete guide to Korean glasses.

Jamie Mendiola
Jamie is a writer and non-profit volunteer advocating for mental health. When not typing up a storm at work, you'll find her binge-watching Netflix or meditating like Yoda.

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