An Illustrated History Of The Early-2000s Status Symbol

The 2000s were genuinely strange years. For the early half of the decade, it felt like Mercury was perpetually in retrograde; people were just kind of wandering around, listening to Nelly, wondering if their diamante-embellished fedoras and bellybutton rings would stand the test of time. But the early aughts, despite being rife with pube-skimming pants, wasn’t all bad. It gave us the best years of Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and, depending on who you ask, Beyoncé.

The same can be said of early '00s style: It was an era that emphasised that the bigger your sunglasses, the more monogrammed your handbags, and the more belts you had to throw around your tank tops and dresses, the more chic you were. And the style status symbols of the time weren’t your timeless Chanel three-pieces or demure Cartier Love bracelets. Instead, they were emblazoned trucker hats that cost a small fortune, velour tracksuits, and anything sex-tape-era Kim Kardashian would have worn. Name brand recognition was everything, and if the price of your outfit wasn’t instantly recognisable through logo ubiquity, it wasn’t worth it. And though times have certainly changed since then, there's nothing more fun than taking a trip down memory lane. Ahead, we remember some of the most iconic 2000s status symbols, and look at how they became famous and the legacies they’ve left behind.