Like many other millennials, I was in high school around the time that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen started becoming paparazzi darlings. Every day at recess (yes, we had recess at my high school), a good chunk of my grade could be found in the computer room, logging on to Olsen Twins (or, as we fondly called them, M.K.A) fan Livejournals to peep the latest snaps of the twins bopping around Manhattan in oversized sunglasses, clutching Tasti D-Lite cups. We were enthralled. Something seemed so cool about the pint-sized sisters. Their boho-chic flair, too-long skirts, layers of scarves and necklaces…in the mid to late aughts, just about every girl wanted to look, dress and act like an Olsen Twin.
And we did–we followed their trends almost to a T, and boy, did it ruin like, every single picture we took in high school in between the years 2004 and 2006. But we don't hate them for it. In fact, we love them even more.
Today, the Olsen Twins celebrate their 28th birthday. In honor of that, we wanted to show the tiny style icons some love for inspiring us all these years and proving that, even though you might have dressed like a hobo when you were 18, you can blossom into two-time CFDA award-winning style arbiters when you grow up.
Here are 5 trends that M.K.A. put us on to in the aughts…that drove our parents crazy, but made us swoon. Happy Birthday, Mary-Kate and Ashley–this one's for you.
The Olsen Twins are arguably responsible for the hobo-chic craze that took over in the mid aughts. Girls traded in their Abercrombie & Fitch baby tees for flowing maxi skirts, long scarves and oversized sweaters. The look wasn't for everyone–particularly if you weren't 5'2 and 100 pounds, but the Olsens made it look fabulous.
Their clothes might have read vagrant, but the accessories skewed more heiress. Even if their outfits looked as if they picked them up at the swap meat, M.K.A. would always roll out with different versions of Balenciaga's motorcycle bag on their arms. Prices for the smallest versions of the carryall start at over $1,000. There were lots of girls carrying around really good knockoffs of the bag around high school.
You can't have a complete homeless-chic look without the obligatory oversized shades. We let our sunglasses swallow our faces whole, just because M.K.A. did. Sadly, it didn't look as good on us as it did on them.
The MK Smile
At a time when duck lips were all the rage, Mary-Kate and Ashley pretty much ran the game. The pair managed to bring duck lips to the red carpet, with a tight-lipped smile that we thought was so cute back then. Looking at it now? Uh, not so much.
They definitely had enough money for manicures, but did they have the time? The Olsens raised the eyebrows of many a beauty snob in the aughts by showing up to red carpet events and appearances with uber-chipped nails.