Paris Hilton Style Guide: How to Dress Like the Ultimate 2000s Icon
The Y2K fashion is making a huge comeback. This primarily has to do with the nostalgia Gen Z feels for the early 2000s and the aesthetics that marked this memorable period. And if you know anything about Gen Z, you know they dictate what’s cool and what’s not.
So, it’s no wonder many celebrities have hopped on this fun trend. From Kendall Jenner to Megan Thee Stallion, many of these celebs love looking like characters straight out of the iconic “Mean Girls” movie. But let’s be honest – only one celebrity directly dictated the Y2K style, with her outfits getting round-the-clock coverage in the 2000s. That’s right, we’re talking about Paris Hilton.
To the absolute delight of all Y2K fashion lovers, Paris Hilton’s iconic looks didn’t stay in the archives of fashion history. Paris is still rocking some Y2K staples in the 2020s, showing the younger generation how it’s done.
If you’re a part of these generations that want to learn from the O.G. of Y2K, we’ve got good news. This style guide will tell you which pieces your Y2K-to-be wardrobe desperately needs, from Paris’s iconic Y2K sunglasses to the endlessly playful mini-skirts.
Paris Hilton Archived Styles Brought Back To Life: The Y2K Must-Haves
Before diving into the pieces that defined Y2K fashion (and still do), let’s briefly discuss what this trend entails. This will help you make the Y2K style your own while paying homage to Paris Hilton and other Y2K icons like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Sarah Jessica Parker (or Carrie Bradshaw, more like it).
The Y2K fashion is all about daring elements, different textures, bold colors, and futuristic vibes. This trend primarily drew inspiration from the technological advancements of the early 2000s, a period often referred to as the “dot-com bubble.” Though this bubble eventually burst, the Y2K fashion still stands, sticking to its recognizable optimism and excitement well past the turn of the century.
Hopefully, you’re equally excited about building your Paris Hilton-inspired Y2K wardrobe by now. So, without further ado, here are the Paris Hilton-approved Y2K staples that should find their way into your closet.
Y2K Sunglasses: Go Big or Go Home
The more daring Y2K elements aren’t as widespread, as not everyone has the confidence to embrace the unconventional style of the Y2K era. But there’s one element that transcends any hesitation – Y2K sunglasses.
These striking sunglasses are often seen in today’s outfits, even if no other part of the ensemble screams Y2K. Like the rest of the era, these sunglasses are large and in charge. They often come in the dramatic shield style with ear-to-ear lenses in various color gradients and decorated frames.
Paris Hilton rarely left the house without a pair of these iconic sunglasses, perfectly matching them to her outfit every time. The 2020s are no different, as Paris was seen sporting Giant Vintage Y2K sunglasses on multiple occasions.
Sure, one of these occasions includes recreating the now-legendary flight attendant outfit Britney Spears wore in her “Toxic” music video for 2023 Halloween (style worn: ZIPPER). But all the other instances involve Paris being Paris – Y2K and fabulous.
Low-Rise Jeans: There’s No Point in Fighting Them
Though many millennials have expressed their dismay over the potential comeback of this 2000s fashion hallmark, there’s just no denying it – low-rise jeans are so back! In Paris’s case, these jeans were often paired with a fun tee (often a crop top) and a matching belt. (Get the Look)
However, low-rise jeans are far from the only design characteristic of Y2K fashion. After all, denim was a defining element of this daring era.
If you aren’t a fan of low-rise jeans, try rocking baggy or wide-leg jeans for a more laid-back style. You can also consider cargo pants. Paris Hilton didn’t wear these as often, but they’re undoubtedly a hallmark of Y2K fashion. Today, Hailey Bieber can often be seen wearing these pants as part of a more relaxed fit. (Get the Look)
Baby Tees: The Cuter, the Better
Baby tees are essentially miniature versions of classic T-shirts. Most commonly, they’re short-sleeved, tight-fitting, and cropped. And, of course, infinitely cute! Paris Hilton often wore baby tees with playful designs or text, adding a youthful element to any outfit. (Get the Look)
The best thing about these tees is that you can pair them with virtually anything. Wear a baby tee with a mini skirt, knee-high boots, and rimless glasses for a quintessential Y2K look or layer it under overalls for a more casual vibe; the choice is all yours.
Velour Juicy Couture Tracksuits: Juicy Never Goes Out of Style
Many people would probably be shocked to hear the words “Juicy Couture” in the 2020s. But these people probably stay offline, as social media is flooded with these iconic tracksuits.
Of course, Paris Hilton is a big part of this, as she still religiously wears her comfy pink tracksuits, even launching her own collection with the brand in 2022.
Among the younger population, the New York rapper Ice Spice is leading the Juicy Couture resurgence, wearing these tracksuits everywhere, from music videos to fashion photo shoots.
Denim Mini-Skirt: Go Small or Go Home
Another Y2K moment that has gone mainstream includes wearing denim mini-skirts. Though this garment works best in summer or spring, you can wear it whenever you’d like when styled properly.
For Paris Hilton in the 2000s, styling this skirt “properly” meant wearing it with a baby tee, a small purse, and matching heels.
Of course, you don’t have to stick to only denim. Mini-skirts come in many fabulous styles, as demonstrated by Taylor Swift’s 2023 fashion (aka the year of the mini-skirts). Try pleated, colorful skirts, bold prints, or even leather for a more modern twist on the Y2K trends.
Whatever route you take, remember one thing – the mini skirt is called mini for a reason. So, if you’re comfortable, don’t be afraid to go small and flaunt your legs confidently.
Bomber Jacket: Outerwear Chic
Though bomber jackets were worn even before the early 2000s, the Y2K era embraced them in a whole new way. This meant incorporating high-shine fabrics, daring prints, and intricate embroidery. From the streets to the runway, seemingly everyone was wearing a bomber jacket, and Paris Hilton was no different.
In the 2020s, the bomber jacket is everywhere, too, in one form or another. From oversized iterations worn by Rihanna to cropped numbers seen on Kylie Jenner, this jacket's versatility continues to make it a fashion staple.
Chainmail Dress: Going All Out for Glam
Sure, this dress isn’t a staple in the Paris Hilton’s style as much as a garment she wore on two occasions. But the first time she wore this dress—on her 21st birthday—left an indelible mark on the fashion history. So, we can’t discuss Paris Hilton’s style without mentioning the one and only chainmail dress.
Since 2002, when Paris first stepped out in this statement dress, many celebs have paid homage to this sartorial masterpiece, including Kendall Jenner on her own 21st birthday. Talk about iconic!
So, if you genuinely want to stand out on a special occasion, you know what to do.
How to Dress Like Paris Hilton in the 2020s
OK, so the first order of business is done – you know which garments and accessories to buy. But this leaves us with two questions. One, how can you style these items? And two, where can you buy them? Let’s start with the first question because let’s face it – it’s not about having the pieces; it’s about knowing how to style them.
How to Style Y2K Clothing and Accessories
Suppose you want to copy Paris Hilton’s style to a tee. If that's the case, your route is obvious – google her most iconic outfits and start recreating them.
However, if you don’t want to go all out but rather give a nod to Y2K trends, here’s what you can do:
Combine Y2K elements with contemporary items for a more balanced look. For instance, pair a cute baby tee with high-waisted jeans.
Rock the vibrant Y2K colors and prints on more modern items like slip dresses.
Go with your “traditional” outfit, but accessorize with chunky jewelry, bold belts, and shield sunglasses.
Incorporate shiny fabrics, faux fur, and mesh for a Y2K-inspired twist to any outfit.
Where to Buy Y2K Clothing and Accessories
Due to the resurgence of this trend, you can find Y2K-inspired clothing and accessories virtually anywhere. From chain retailers like H&M and Zara and online stores like ASOS to designer brands like Marc Jacobs (the HEAVEN collection), you’ll be spoilt for choice.
But two brands stand out as synonymous with Y2K aesthetics. In clothing, it’s Ed Hardy. In accessories, all you need is Giant Vintage.
Giant Vintage: Your Go-to Store for Y2K Sunglasses
Though Y2K isn’t the only style of glasses Giant Vintage offers, the sheer number of choices makes it a prime destination for glasses inspired by this legendary era. Explore the brand’s Y2K collection to see for yourself, or choose some of the styles listed below that best replicate the iconic Y2K sunglasses worn by Paris Hilton.
When it comes to the BOOM shield sunglasses, you won’t be mimicking Paris’s choices. Buy these sunglasses, and you’ll be wearing the exact pair Paris wore on multiple occasions.
These oversized sunglasses will look mighty on your face, instantly transforming any outfit into a Y2K beauty.
There are four color combos to choose from – silver, pink, black, and blue, with the first option being Paris’s fave.
If you ever go WWPD (What Would Paris Do?) when purchasing sunglasses, let us help you – she would rock a pair like TONER (also available in Blue and Smoke). These true vintage sunglasses are sleek and sexy and will add allure to any look.
Of course, they also have all the hallmarks of Y2K sunglasses. They feature rimless shield lenses in pinkish hues, metal temples, and a rimless frame. And, of course, a whole lot of attitude.
Google “Paris Hilton sunglasses 2000s,” and you’ll see her wearing a pair almost identical to the AQUARIUS model, down to the color. Plus, this model is true vintage, so chances are it came from the same era as the photo of Paris wearing these glasses.
The FRIENDS and ECSTASY sunglasses also look like something Paris would wear all the time in the 2000s. These striking sunglasses feature a thicker frame with square lenses and scream Y2K in all its chunky glory. Go for a classic all-black look, or choose the Tortoise color for an extra touch of retro vibes.
Choose the TWIRL or HIGH PROFILE model and feel like a mob boss (with a killer fashion sense) every time you step out the door. These square sunglasses demand all the attention with their mighty size and frame detailing.
The FAIRY model is the perfect dupe for the Christian Dior sunglasses Paris liked to wear in the 2000s. These fascinating glasses feature a rimless frame and transparent square lenses. But these elements aren’t what makes the FAIRY model stand out. The mesmerizing round details on the temples make these glasses a must-have.