person wearing blue denim bottoms

Why Y2K Keira Knightley’s style will Forever be Our Top Icon

person wearing blue denim bottoms

This nice weekend, a luxurious ‘activity’ idea is to watch Bend it Like Beckham with your loved ones. This is not an advertisement, but a Public Service Announcement.

You might be excited about the possibility of an unlocked long weekend and want to get out there. Understandable. Nothing can get you up and running like four days of sleep to recover from a hangover.

What to wear? The weekend is a fun day to dress up. It’s not the Christmas season with its extravagant sparkle and shine. It’s not yet warm enough to wear the barely-there summer dresses at high summer bacchanals. You need something casual, but not too formal, that is comfortable for both day and night. What you need is Keira Knightley’s failsafe outfit formula circa 2003: Jeans-And-A-Nice-Top. Jeans-And-A-Dressy-Top, as you might have actually known it back then.

Knightley was hot off the heels of her part in Bend it Like Beckham and landed a role in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie. She wore a diaphanous, off-the-shoulder, white top and jeans to the premiere of the film. They were super low-slung and boot-cut. Consider how many gowns have you seen on the red carpet over the past 19 years, or just the last week. How many fade into insignificance almost instantly? However, this was and still is a memorable look.

It was clear that Knightley looked and felt great in it. For the British premiere, Knightley rewrote the same formula two weeks later, but this time she wore a black, cold-shouldered top. To premiere Love Actually later in the year? Black jeans with a crisscross-lace-up corset.

Now, twenty-two years later, the look is complete and has huge 2022 energy. It’s not surprising, given the insatiable appetite for all things Y2K. A friendly reminder to our gentlemen friends: The seat-belts Knightley and Jamie Dornan favored are best left behind.

The Top Noughties Fashion Trends

  • Jennifer Lopez’s Cropped Cargo Pants

This outfit has a lot of detail. Highlights include cropped cargo trousers, a crochet beret with a playful pattern, and a sequin shrug.

  • Victoria Beckham Sunglasses

The entire VB era is legendary. We believe that the bigger the shades, the better.

  • Nicole Richie’s Headscarf

Nicole’s entire outfit is perfect. It’s the peak 2000s: the neon boob tube and the cross-body bag as well as the headscarf.

  • Jeans and a nice top by Leighton Meester

This is the ultimate combo for an ‘It’ girl. Amazingly low jeans and a cute top. Bonus points are awarded for her dangly earrings and tiny bag, as well as the cork wedges and cork wedges combination.

  • Beyonce’s Pink Shag Bands

You can’t go wrong with the polka dots two-piece, but add some neon pink accessories to make it even more special.

  • Lindsey Lohan’s Bootcut Jeans and Belt

This outfit deserves a moment. The fitted shirt. The wrap-around sunglasses. The chain belt that does nothing. Perfect.

  • Christina Milian’s Scarf Belt

Another entry in the pointless belt category – this time it’s a sparkly scarf version. These scarves are not recommended for use with jewelry.

  • Atomic Kitten’s Denim

Aren’t Natasha and her slim-line pedal pushers a beauty of the ’00s?

  • Kate Moss’s Yellow Dress

Every cool-girl waited in line for the little yellow dress when Kate Moss collaborated to Topshop. It’s still available for purchase on Vinted or eBay.

  • Lucy Liu’s Halter Top

Liu became a master of the halterneck in the mid 2000s. The black strappy top is a highlight, and would look great in 2022.

  • Mary-Kate Olsen’s Cowboy Boots

Although she’s one of Manhattan’s twin luxury brands, Mary-Kate Olsen is the other half. But back in the early 2000s Mary-Kate Olsen wore tangled necklaces and laddered tights. She also wore knee-high cowboy boots. I can still recall making scrapbooks from her courtside outfits. Sigh.

  • Zoe Kravitz’s Waistcoat

I can also recall wanting to see a friend’s collection waistcoats. It’s strange, but it is true. Zoe Kravitz’s was paired with a tank and bootcut jeans for an early red-carpet appearance. Right?

  • Nicole Richie’s Headband

Another Nicole Richie appreciation post. Richie was a boho-inspired inspiration for teenagers in the noughties after “The Simple Life”, AKA Rachel Zoe. Is there anyone else who can recall trying and failing to make a headband across their forehead look so cool?

  • Ariana Grande’s Tattoo Choker

Chokers are a classic that has been around for many years. However, nothing can live up to the original incarnation of these plastic bands. They looked almost like neck tattoos. FYI: You can still purchase a pack of three Chokers from Claire’s for less than fiver.

  • Rachel Bilson’s Bootleg Jeans

Although they are flattering than skinnies and more flattering than the boot-leg, the word “boot-leg” is enough to cause fear in the hearts of many. In the early noughties this was not the case. Summer Roberts and Marissa Cooper, both from The OC, were avid fans of flaring.

  • Beyonce’s Boob Tube Dress

Another entry for Queen B. Beyonce wore it, as did Carrie Bradshaw. However, a stretchy boobtube dress now seems a little scary. We may never know. Maybe boob tubes can make it, if combat trousers and bandanas are able to do it.

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