It's Only a Matter of Time Before This Y2K Swimsuit Trend Takes Over the Summer

Rhinestone swimsuits are the Y2K swimwear trend worn by celebrities


@theestallion; Kevin Winter/Staff; @rinasonline

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.

Rhinestone swimsuits are the Y2K swimwear trend worn by celebrities


Frank Micelotta/Getty Images; Everett Collection; Scott Gries/ImageDirect; Kevin Winter/Staff; ALEXIS DUCLOS/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

For the newbies in the back, the late ’90s and early ’00s saw big fashion brands burgeoning with risqué trends. But the most exciting moment was when, suddenly, women were wearing rhinestone swimsuits. Of course, it didn’t just come out of nowhere—brands like Baby Phat and Chanel finished off iconic runway shows with Lil‘ Kim and Naomi Campbell in rhinestone-encrusted swimsuits. High fashion was not the only place where glitzy swimwear shined. Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez donned various iterations of sparkly swimsuit tops paired with matching bottoms on stage. Yet the most iconic (albeit questionable) styling of these embellished bikini tops was when they emerged on the red carpet at A-list events. Everyone from Destiny’s Child to Gwen Stefani wore heavily adorned, crystal, and chain-mail bikini tops with denim skirts and second-skin tops. It made the case that skin was not only in but that swimwear didn’t need to be worn exclusively near a body of water. And if that’s not the most aughts thing ever, I don’t know what is.

At some point, as rhinestones became overdone (much like the embellished jeans and trucker hats from iconic 2000s fashion brands like Ed Hardy—ah, memories), the rhinestone swimsuit was replaced by more classic swimwear. Post-pandemic, however, celebrities are slowly bringing back embellished swimsuits for seemingly every occasion. Think of Kim Kardashian West’s viral re-creation of Elle Woods’s Harvard Law admissions video from Legally Blonde or Dua Lipa’s incredible 2021 Grammy Awards look. Somehow, this bejeweled look is back. 

But before you pass on this blast from the past, we’ve taken the liberty of rounding up the best rhinestone swimsuits on the market right now (along with a few sequin, crystal, and chain-embellished ones) to help you embrace your sparkle and bring this Y2K trend back in style. 

Shop the best rhinestone swimsuits:

Not only is this baby-blue swimsuit very Y2K, but the small rhinestones are smokin‘.

Is that a black-velvet sequin-and-rhinestone swimsuit? Yes, yes, it is.

It doesn’t get more ’00s than this embellished Playboy Bunny logo on a pink bikini.

The tiny rhinestones on this black swimsuit provide the perfect amount of sparkle to any summer look without going overboard.

It’s not a rhinestone roundup without the brand that made fetch happen—TYSM, Juicy Couture. 

It doesn’t get more Y2K-inspired than a rhinestone butterfly detail.

The spaghetti straps, bright-neon hue, and rhinestones are everything.

Did the rhinestone heart detail in the middle of this metallic lavender suit make your heart skip a beat too? 

Now that you've found the perfect swimsuit, you can book that trip. 

A bikini with crystal-lined cups and straps? Pinch me—it's too pretty. 

Hot Girl Summer is incomplete without a rhinestone flame swimsuit.

It’s giving heavy-metal vibes, and I’m here for it.

Oh, you fancy, huh? Well, you will be in this rhinestone bikini from the Black-owned brand D.Bleu.Dazzled. 

Okay, but this chain- and rhinestone-encrusted star bikini top is transporting me back in time. 

If the phrase “show me the money” was distilled into a swimsuit, it would be this one.

You don’t have to be covered in rhinestones by the pool in order to nail this trend. Try opting for suits that have small rhinestone details like this one. 

Shop other embellished swimsuits:

It’s all in the details—aka, it’s all about this small rhinestone fringe on this halter bikini top. 

Who said white swimsuits had to be basic?

Leave it to a Brazilian designer to make the perfect sparkly swimsuit. 

Is it just me, or can you imagine Dua Lipa wearing this embellished one-piece?

It’s impossible to go wrong with this gold sequin swimsuit.

Have double-D cups? This sequinned ombré tringle top comes in your size.

Don’t want to go overboard with the glitz? This black Gucci swimsuit has just enough sparkle.

From its gold metallic fabric to its lace edges and rhinestone belt, this suit is a lesson in the art of subtle shine. 

Floral sequins on white swimwear bottoms? Groundbreaking. 

You can’t go wrong with a black studded swimsuit. 

Give Destiny’s Child a run for their money with this crystal suit.

For those of us who want a little pizzazz without rhinestones, swimsuits with chains are a solid option.

Sure, this swimsuit isn't on the sparkly side, but I can’t think of a more Y2K-inspired suit than one with a bandana print and heart rings.