7 Most Shameful Uses of Rhinestones in the 2000s

by Arielle Dachille

In the annals of fashion history, the 2000s is an era that taste just plumb forgot. An evidentiary relic of that period is the rhinestone trend. Uuuugh, the rhinestone trend! Just take a moment to awaken that repressed memory: The tees, the sunglasses, the phone cases – all studded with little faux jewels. Your middle school self drank that sparkly Kool-Aid as if it were a magical life-giving elixir, only coming up for air to pile more tiny disco balls on your person.

Yes, the reign of the rhinestone fad was one of ostentation, emblematized by Paris Hilton and her Swarovski-crystal encrusted Sidekick. Everywhere you went, T-shirts were embellished with them. If they weren’t on your clothing, rhinestones were on your body in the form of temporary tattoos. If you were really hardcore, you’d stud your forehead with them like a modern-day fairy. At the turn of the millennium, it all seemed like an awesome idea!

However, enough time has passed for us to recognize that our addiction to bling was killing us. Rhinestones were never cute on sunglasses, your body, or your face, guys. They were even less cute on cockroaches. To prevent these twinkly little demons from slipping back into our good graces, let’s remember all the fashion atrocities that the rhinestone trend was responsible for. Say it with me: never again.

Rhinestone sunglasses

Ahh, the rose-colored glasses with the diminutive rhinestone design in the corner of the lens. It was a look for the Paige Michalchuk in all of us.

Rhinestone Makeup & Tattoos

Fair game for everyday beauty, as well as fairy cosplay!

Embellished tees

Lizzie McGuire wore these all of the time, so it couldn't be a bad idea... She always had great taste, right? Right?!

Bebe continues to survive on people who won't abandon rhinestone fever.

Crystal-encrusted Sidekicks

You wanted one of these more than world peace. In turn, you settled for a rhinestone snap-on case for your Nokia. You look back and hate yourself for this.

Bedazzled bandanas

We allowed them to happen.

Bedazzled cockroaches

This is the point at which nobody wanted to play anymore.


Then, J. Love made it unforgivably weird and uncomfortable.

Images: Twentieth Century Fox; Twentieth Century Fox; Norabebe1/ Instagram