What is the “older brother core”? Generation Z is turning bad 2000s style into a new style trend.

In the 2000s, there was a certain breed of older brother. He didn’t even have to be your older brother. He might even have been a cousin. (There’s a damn good chance he was a cousin.) But he was the mid-2000s older brother.

If, like me, you were a young person then, then you were knowledge what i’m talking about This older brother was mid-2000s cool in a way — a way that would probably make you shudder now, almost 20 years later. They wore extremely wide trousers, probably with metallic accessories such as a wallet chain or studs. They played Xbox 360 all night, probably fueled by Monster Energy Drinks or Mountain Dew Code Red. They had long hair pushed to the side and falling over their eyes — an almost scruffy nod to the Southern swoop cut.


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Well, I have devastating news: Gen Z has found out about this brother and is rekindling the aesthetic on TikTok. All over the social media site you can find people posting about the so-called “2000s elder brother core.” Some posts are just images of ephemera from the period accompanied by nostalgic music: punk guys looking like older brothers; PlayStation consoles; lime green accessories; checkered vans; And Tony Hawk professional skater. As In The Know pointed out, pretty much any teenager from that era would have interacted with some or all of these things. But together it is one esthetic. It’s youth nostalgia of early childhood. It’s similar to the kids who wore bell bottoms and Led Zeppelin shirts in the 2000s.

“Generally, it characterizes a 2000s skater or punk teen who also played video games,” TikTokker @4blue_moon4 noted in a video explaining the “2000s older brother core” aesthetic.

That feels right for the most part. TikTok has harbored an odd nostalgia for the 2000s for a while now – there have been entire accounts of digging up footage from that era and making it appear impressively. This is often associated with the desire to return to a time with less technology and a slower pace of life. It attracts a mix of people who lived through that era real Nostalgia and young people nostalgic for a time they weren’t really aware of.

The older brother Core is just a new addition to this trend. He was the guy who might have given you your first Blink 182 CD or dropped you off at the mall in his broken down car.


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The videos on TikTok show a mix of things. There are pictures from that time, but there are also people wearing the clothes and style of that time. They resurrect the real, flesh-and-blood older brother in the mid-2000s. Finally, fashion trends are already bringing back oversized jeans, graphic t-shirts and trucker hats. It’s not a big step to fully embrace this aesthetic. All you need are baggy cargo shorts. (They’re back now too.)

Given where the trends are headed, it’s not shocking that Gen Z would embrace the “2000s older brother core” style. There’s something alluring about being that certain type of teenager. They have a black and oddly lime green uniform – think Xbox, Mountain Dew, slimy logos – that’s comfortable and casual to wear. You can address “The Man” in a relatively mild way, which is always great for a young person.

The older brother of the 2000s is back and now everyone can be him.


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Chrissy Callahan

Chrissy Callahan is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Chrissy Callahan joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: ChrissyCallahan@worldtimetodays.com.

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