These Were the Best Red Carpet Looks From the Early 2000s, Hands Down


If you did a deep dive back into the many celebrity red carpet moments of the early 2000s, you’ll be reminded that it was a wild time on that magical crimson carpet. Given the Y2K revival in fashion, these archival images are more relevant than ever. Looking through these images, it almost feels like some of them could’ve been taken in 2022. Hot pink, low-rise waistlines, and micro-mini hemlines abound, but there are also timeless gowns that would be on the best-dressed lists for this year’s Oscars ceremony.

I dug through hundreds of red carpet images from 2000 to 2010, and while it wasn’t easy to narrow it down to just 15 winners, I did my very best. Below, see what Anne Hathaway, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, and more were wearing approximately 20 years ago, and shop early 2000s-inspired pieces that meet the moment.

This hot pink dress and matching pink heels reminds me of the Barbiecore moment we’re living in. It was one of the pop princess’s chicest red carpet appearances, in my humble opinion.

Jennifer Lopez’s plunging brown dress was sophisticated without being stuffy. I’d love to see her wear this exact look again. On Jennifer Lopez: Roberto Cavalli dress

This fun, flirty Chanel look is a departure from the gowns you usually see on the red carpet, and that’s why I love it. On Cameron Diaz: Chanel Haute Couture dress

Penelope Cruz’s azure gown, which she paired with simple jewelry and hair and makeup was perfection. On Penelope Cruz: Ralph Lauren dress

Rihanna’s glammed-up tuxedo and leather gloves were ingenious at the time, and a departure from the sea of gowns that were commonplace at the Met Gala. On Rihanna: Dolce & Gabbana suit

This was Blake Lively’s best red carpet look to date, hands down. On Blake Lively: Versace dress

I had to include this because I’m sure everyone’s jaws dropped when she stepped on the Pirates of the Caribbean premiere red carpet wearing this. It was fun and unexpected, just like the film’s star herself.

This shimmery column gown solidified Anne Hathaway as a red carpet star, which she continues to be to this day. On Anne Hathaway: Armani Privé dress

Kate Bosworth has really racked up the great red carpet looks over the years, but this silver Chanel look really captured her fashion girl essence. On Kate Bosworth: Chanel Haute Couture dress

The jaw-dropping sheer gown, which Halle Berry won her Oscar in, is one of the most memorable Oscar dresses of all time. On Halle Berry: Elie Saab dress

This whimsical, perfectly tailored dress suited SJP to a T. Carrie Bradshaw fans everywhere rejoiced. On Sarah Jessica Parker: Oscar de la Renta dress

This stunning dress was pure Versace and pure Lucy Liu. And it holds up—it’s tough to guess what year it’s from—that’s how timeless it is. On Lucy Liu: Versace dress

Taylor Swift looked like a gilded goddess at the 2008 Met Gala. The fact that it was her first Met Gala appearance makes it even more impressive. On Taylor Swift: Badgley Mischka dress

Michelle Williams took home an Oscar wearing this memorable saffron-colored dress. It’s not a color you often see on the red carpet, and that’s one of the things that makes it so special. On Michelle Williams: Vera Wang dress

If you’re thinking that you wish you owned this perfect hot pink dress today, you’re definitely not alone.

Zara might’ve been looking at early 2000s red carpet photos too this season.

Here’s looking at you, Keira Knightley.

Red carpet (or wedding)-worthy.

Silver sequins are as Y2K as it gets.

I can’t get over how many PVC heels I spotting while searching through 2000s photos.

It’s giving early 2000s and ’90s.

The corset trend shows no signs of fading.

So many hot pink dresses, so little time.

SJP-inspired, obviously.

The recipe for a fun night out.

Sequins in this form look so sophisticated.

Blake Lively would defintiely wear this today.

Next up, the best celebrity Cannes outfits from the ’90s.

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