Fashion Trends of 2003

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Ever wonder what styles of clothing were popular in 2003?
Believe it or not, every year brings a new style (especially when it comes to women's clothing). Fashion is ever evolving. Sometimes trends carry over from the previous year and sometimes get tweaked just a tad bit.
Here I'll try to recall the styles that were common in women's clothing from the year 2003-specifically taken from women's magazines, catalogs and street-wear.

The year 2003 was in a sense Part 2 of the year 2002 because certain clothing styles carried over, like camoflauge and dusty denim.  What was it about this color choice?  Is it even considered a color?  It was more of a fade and if I'm not mistaken it was called "sandblast".

Another trend or two that carried over was the fringe belt and the bell sleeved top.  I think it was the "Bohemian" look that we were trying to copy-a look very popular in the 1970s.  These belts were slung low o the hips and were usually worn with the peasant skirt or with jeans.  But the top worn had to be flowy and have the bell sleeves (sometimes they had these ragged edges on sleeves called "handkerchief" edges, also seen on hems.)

Aside from the sandblast denim, the year 2003 saw a lot of twill (which is kind of a denim but has a different texture to it) which usually came in olive greens and khaki tones.  We wore jackets made out of twill and we usually paired them with a fun t-shirts (the popular thing in 2003 were the t-shirts with city names like San Francisco or Las Vegas-basically anything with a city name and screenprint).

In 2003 the magazines and catalogs showed a look of looks (mainly for teen girls) that somewhat revisited the 1980s punk scene.  But it was a girly type of punk style, consisting mainly of hot pink touches, leg warmers, mesh tops and lots of zippers. Some clothes also came with safety pins already glued on to the shirts-and TA DA a pre-made Punk Princess.

In 2003 we would see these blouses with split sleeves (which as of 2017, they seem to be coming back).  The blouses were made mainly of a sheer type of chiffon fabric and could be flowered or solid.  Other tops were called "off the shoulder" and in a sense were also revisiting the 1980s.  Other times you'd see gathers at the sides of the shirt (or even at the shoulders)-I guess this was done to add interest to an otherwise simple shirt.

Other trends seen in 2003 were: wrap tops, empire waists, cap sleeves, embroidered necklines, scarf belts, tops with bows on the waist, "barrel" bags, mod touches, wide waistbands, mini polka-dots, strapless dresses with a 1950s vibe, ribbon belts, jute sandals, longer length capris, lapeless jackets, and purses with wooden handles.

Thus 2003 can be eclectic mix of the 1970s and 1980s styles that would later morph in to slighlty different 2004 style that I'll revisit next.


Submitted: June 12, 2017

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