What Is McBling and How Is it Different From Y2K?

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Zip up your tracksuits and charge your bedazzled BlackBerry—we’re wearing the 2022 version of McBling. If you’ve been searching “Y2K” on Depop or scouring thrift stores looking for Von Dutch trucker hats, Juicy Couture tracksuits with “Juicy” stamped on the back, or tight baby tees with the bedazzled, cursive “Baby Phat” logo, you’re actually searching for the McBling aesthetic.

Still unsure of the difference? McBling is a grainy song ringtone blaring out of your Motorola’s speaker. It’s unwrapping your headphones from around your pink metallic iPod nano. It’s spraying your Viva la Juicy perfume around your chunky highlights.

Y2K, meanwhile, landed a tad earlier on the fashion history timeline, teetering between the late ’90s and early 2000s with the dominating trends of lower waist lines and relaxed glam. The era slowly morphed into something more defined; think of McBling as Y2K’s teched-out, more splashy sister.

 Singer Sandra “Pepa” Denton, rapper Rah Digga, and singer Dena Cali attend the First Annual Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Awards on August 30, 2001 in New York City. Ron Galella/Getty Images

What Is the McBling Aesthetic?

McBling style was all about, well, bling. Trend-setters sparkled in bedazzled outerwear and jewelry, with tech becoming the newest and shiniest accessory.

Anything colorful—preferably pink—and sparkling became your best friend during the rise of McBling. The mini skirt became shorter, and velour and streetwear became the uniform of the red carpet. Many staples born from the McBling era include graphic tees with sassy phrases, bedazzled tracksuits and jeans, and sequined accessories.

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