Gen Z sets the tone on TikTok

Y2K Fashion On TikTok: The 2000s Are Back

While it may have started out as a source for viral dance videos and recipe hacks, TikTok has quickly grown into a social media behemoth entertaining and inspiring millions on anything from investment advice and home renovations to beauty and fashion. As tech-savvy brands begin to acknowledge TikTok as a gateway to a new cohort of Gen Z and young millennial shoppers, the platform is exploring the possibilities of monetizing its content and becoming its own eCommerce destination.

The influence of the video-sharing platform can be seen first-hand in Google searches. According to Google Trends, global searches for the keyword ‘TikTok fashion’ have practically tripled since January 2020 (+195%).

Just as ’80s and ’90s trends have experienced their own resurgence in popularity, TikTokers have shown a renewed interest in Y2K fashion in broadcasting their personal style. From pleated skirts and sleeveless sweaters to corset and cut-out tops, here are seven viral TikTok trends to shop for in 2021.

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Trend #01

Pants from the 2000s

Pocketed cargo pants, ultra low-rise fits, and baggy jeans are returning to the mainstream thanks to nostalgic TikTokers. A move away from the mom and skinny cuts of the past few years, baggy jeans are posed to make a big comeback in 2021.

On Google, searches for baggy pants have increased 170% in 2021.



search increase on Google in 2021

Trend #02

Cutout & cropped tank tops

If TikTokers have anything to say about it, it’s that we’re not yet done with crop tops. Crop tops and those with cutout-detailing are major fashion players on the app.

On Stylight, searches for the midriff-baring shirts have increased by 38% YoY.



increase in searches on Stylight YoY

Trend #03

Matching sweatsuits

Whether in response to working and studying from home or a general love of comfort, matching sweatsuits have blown up on TikTok. Oversized and tie-dye, designer or second-hand, coordinating sweat ensembles are widely worn throughout the app.

In checking the data, Stylight has seen a 49% increase in searches for matching sweatsuits YoY.



increase in searches on Stylight YoY

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Trend #04

Oval sunglasses

In company with clothing, the Y2K fashion trend has crossed over to accessories. Searches on Stylight for geometric-shaped sunglasses have increased by 104% in recent months, while the massively-popular oval-shaped style has garnered a 477% increase in searches.



increase in searches on Stylight YoY

Trend #05

Pleated skirts

Before Regina George repped the style in Mean Girls, Alicia Silverstone donned her now-famous tartan mini skirt as Cher Horowitz in Clueless. As it has been for it-girls in the past, the pleated skirt is among this season’s must-wear items.

On Stylight, clicks on mini pleated skirts have increased by 131% YoY.



increase in clicks on Stylight YoY

Trend #06

Corset tops

In contrast to TikTok’s baggy jeans trend, Stylight clicks on curve-hugging corset tops are up 42% from this time last year. Following in the lead of TikTok influencers, the sexy style can be paired with relaxed, baggy-fit bottoms.



increase in searches on Stylight YoY

Trend #07

Sleeveless sweaters

In a land of opposites, the less-than-sexy sleeveless sweater or sweater vest, if you prefer, is making its rounds on TikTok as one of the year’s most-shopped-for trends.

Whether in feminine pastels or grandpa-inspired check, Google searches for sleeveless sweaters have increased by 54% in January 2021 compared to January 2020.



increase in searches on Google YoY

Prints & Colors


The trending prints and colors on TikTok are as diverse as its userbase. While the undisputed color of the year is pink in all its shades (fashion-related searches for the color pink have increased 150% YoY on Stylight), cow print is proving to be a dominating trend in 2021. According to Google data, year-over-year, searches for Gen Z’s chosen animal print have increased by 290%.

In similar numbers to 2020, clicks on tie-dye prints have increased by 195% on Google, and following suit with a 39% increase are searches for the classic houndstooth print.

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Cow Prints

YoY search increase on Google

Houndstooth print

YoY search increase on Google


YoY search increase on Google



YoY search increase on Stylight

About this report

The data for this report is based on the analysis of the shopping and search behaviour of the 120 million annual users on Stylight. To do this, we analyzed the clicks on various product categories or styles in the period from November 1, 2020, to January 31, 2021, and compared it with the data from the same period of the previous year. Google search information is based on the comparison of January 2021 to January 2020 and was accordingly always flagged in the report as non-Stylight data.

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written by:

Kayla Kuefler

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