Like most kids growing up in the early 2000s, Claire's was my favorite destination during shopping trips with my mom. With its sea of pink and purple hues and infinite racks of cute earrings, I was enthralled to the point of fixation. Claire's earrings fulfilled all of my stylistic needs as a kid, what with their cheap animal studs and feathered danglies. Since the store constantly had "buy two, get one free" deals, its already inexpensive inventory felt like a gold mine for me and my $20-a-month allowance.
Back then, the store had every trend stocked, from butterflies and dreamcatchers to tiny plastic roses. It also had a wide array of clip-on earrings, perfect for customers like myself who wouldn't get their ears pierced until they were much older.
Luckily, Claire's hasn't changed all that much. The brand still sells jewelry that is super in vogue, like chevron earrings, while keeping its early 2000s-esque hits well-stocked (I'm looking at you, Rubber Rave Ball Clip-Ons).
Revisiting old trends can induce so much nostalgia: A feeling that most Millennials would likely never pass up. Plus, the pride one feels when introducing old and beloved trends to younger generations (as I have done with my sister) can be super gratifying. So take a step back into the early 2000s, and browse through some of Claire's contemporary earrings that your younger self would've been obsessed with.
1. Butterfly Glam
Pink and Green Butterfly Stud Earring Set, $7.50, claires.com
Likely taking a cue from 2000s butterfly queen Mariah Carey, everyone I knew had a plethora of butterfly earrings, necklaces, and hair clips. They were universally understood as the only necessary go-to.
2. Hoops For Every Occasion
Thin Gold Hoop Earrings, $8, claires.com
Another staple in the '90s baby's arsenal by the early '00s was hoop earrings. They make for a classic and versatile look, and must never, ever die.
3. Days Of The Week Swag
Days Of The Week Heart Stud Earrings, $9.50, claires.com
There was an inordinate amount of jewelry and clothing sets being sold in the earlier 2000s with weekday labels on it. I had numerous underwear sets that were aesthetically dedicated to the days of the week, and these earrings would've been a perfect addition to my collection. Never mind the strangeness in designating particular items to specific days.
4. Dolphin Love
Sterling Silver Crystal Dolphin Stud Earrings, $12.50, claires.com
What young Millennial femme didn't love dolphins? They're the epitome of cute aquatic jewelry, duh.
5. Flower Power
Retro Daisy Stud Earrings, $5.99, claires.com
Plastic flower earrings, especially those that involved daisies and '70s vibes, definitely caught my eye regularly at the start of the millennium.
6. We All Scream For Ice Cream
Ice Cream Cone With Crystals Drop Earrings, $6.50, claires.com
Anything that even slightly hinted at a sugary sweet was bound to be hanging from my ears when I was younger. Plus, who didn't love gem stones?
7. A Bed Of Roses
Pastel Carved Rose Stud Earrings Set of 6, $12.50, claires.com
Everyone I knew owned piles of these cute little rosebud pieces, which usually came in a multi-pack like this one. It's understandable considering they're all so adorable that it's difficult to pick just one color.
8. Every Young Punk's Best Friend
Multi-Colored Rubber Rave Balls Clip On Earrings Set, $9.99, claires.com
I hoarded a ton of these back in the early 2000s, as I thought the spiky little balls were the punkest things ever. I will take this moment to shout-out Claire's clip-on earrings section once more, which served as a lifesaver for those of us who didn't get our ears pierced until later in life.
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9. Dreamcatcher Vibes
Silver and Turquoise Medallion with Feather Fringe Drop Earrings, $12.99, claires.com
Dreamcatchers seemed to be everywhere in the '00s. Girls rocked the design in their jewelry and on their clothes. My mom even got a dreamcatcher tattoo around this time, truly solidifying the gravity of the trend.
10. Feather Sets
Colorful Polka Dot Feather Drop Earrings Set of 6, $14.50, claires.com
Every cool girl in the early 2000s rocked these spotted multi-colored feather earrings. They were the perfect balance of bold colors and natural vibes (as natural as polka-dotted feathers can be, anyway).
11. Summery Gummies
Gummy Bear Clip On Stud Earring Set, $9.99, claires.com
Gummies were yet another thing that seemed to be everywhere back in the day. Whoever thought to capitalize off of these delish treats in the form of jewelry and furniture was very wise.
12. Dainty Danglies
Pink Washed Gold Filigree Flower Drop Earrings, $9.99, claires.com
Dangly diamond-shaped earrings were extremely common in our youth. Add some filigree and baby pink, and you've got yourself the perfect accessory for a touch of femininity in every look.
13. Teardrop Earrings
Gold Framed Blue Teardrop Gem Drop Earrings, $7.50, claires.com
For whatever reason, I had a pile of these as a kid. I probably thought they were the most adult-looking things in the world.
14. Festive Style
Gingerbread Girl Drop Earrings, $6.50, claires.com
Claire's was the best at providing fun (and often sparkly) earrings for every holiday you can imagine. And these adorable gingerbreads remind me of all the hours I spent in the store searching for the perfect pair to commemorate each annual festivity.
15. Cute Critters
Sparkly Animal Drop Earrings Set of 6, $14.50, claires.com
Teensy animal earrings were my everything, and there were so many cute Claire's options to choose from. The wintry-themed ones and the sparkly critters were even better.
16. Fast Food Life
Sterling Silver Fast Food Stud Earrings, $19.50, claires.com
These little guys remind me of the days when my family and I would regularly eat at fast food places. Now that I'm a vegan, these earrings are definitely a nostalgic reminder of the joys of a Big Mac.
17. Hot Dog
Hot Dog Puppy Drop Earrings, $6.50, claires.com
While we're on the subject of fast food, look at these little guys. My fast-food-loving, dog-obsessed younger self would have died over these earrings.
Doesn't that trip down memory lane really tempt you to invest in some nostalgic jewelry? Good thing Claire's is so affordable.
Images: Courtesy Claire's