Deep-scrolling through TikTok or a trend guide cements one fact: Y2K fashion is back. Sure, we may still be slightly traumatized by low-rise denim and exposed G-strings, but it’s all part of the moment. What makes a trend “of the moment” moves far beyond the cyclical nature of fashion. A bevy of things is required to make it happen. No one was thinking about going near anything aughts-related until it was trending on TikTok or championed as the Hot Girl Summer aesthetic by rappers like Megan Thee Stallion. But beyond the social influence, historically speaking, after any form of mass upheaval—pandemics, warfare, or recessions—clothing becomes, well, over-the-top. (See the recent rise in risqué trends.) This is why I’m placing bets that the next big trend will be rhinestone swimsuits.
Sparkly swimsuits in every form—embellished, sequin, chain-mail, and rhinestone—had a hold on us in the Y2K era. There was one point in fashion history when runways, red carpets, films, and private islands were filled with celebrities wearing itty-bitty rhinestone bikinis. But the case for bringing back blinged-out rhinestone swimwear was unwarranted… until now. If you’re not convinced, ahead we’re showing how rhinestone swimsuits (and other examples of embellished swimwear) were the epitome of peak-aughts style, how they’re coming back, and where to buy the 2020s version now.