Save, Spend, Splurge: Y2K Rings

Jenessa Williams 24 May 2021

Want to stock up some beautiful rings? Then look no further, as Jenessa Williams has the perfect Y2K rings for any budget size

Conventional wisdom suggests that it takes 20 years for any era to become officially ‘retro’, and as we close in on the halfway point of 2021, a homage to the early noughties has certainly become clear, infiltrating everything from homeware and clothing to bodily grooming and hairstyle trends. If it looks like it could have fitted in on the set of ‘Big Brother’ or in the gift shop of the Millennium Dome, it’s likely bang on trend – tie-dye, crimpers, miniature handbags and notebooks with jelly covers.

For those old enough to remember the noughties first time around, the idea of its fashion resurgence might cause horror, but ‘getting the look’ doesn’t have to mean succumbing to the full diamante-butterfly life. There is a way to do primary school chic in a sophisticated way, and it often comes down to jewellery. Whimsical and colourful, a statement ring is the perfect way to add a hint of Y2K spirit without descending into full gaudy-tackiness. Dust off your low-rise jeans, play some S Club 7 and shop our edit below. 

"For those old enough to remember the noughties first time around, the idea of its fashion resurgence might cause horror"

SAVE

An assortment of rings that are cheap

For those on a particularly tight budget, look for options with a clear, distinct pattern – a classic Y2K daisy, a large gemstone, a rainbow heart or smiley face. Properly plated options might be rare in this budget, but you can combat the dreaded green-finger with a quick slick of clear nail varnish before wearing, or a pivot to more creative materials – acrylic (even better if it’s recycled) or crochet knit, straddling the boundary between the 90s and 00s.

Ring stacking packs can also be a great option if you don’t quite want to commit to a bulky signature piece. Accessorize, Monki and childhood favourite Claire’s Accessories have a good range that can be easily layered with finer jewellery or given as a fun gift — a nice way to remind a friend of old memories or show a youngster just how readily old fashions comes around.

SPEND

An assortment of moderately priced rings

With a little more wiggle-room for something a bit more grown-up, a budget of around £100-£200 is best spent on a fun cocktail ring with more delicate features, outliving the immediate penchant for high-colour plastic and motifs. Independent jeweller July Child has become a huge favourite amongst the Instagram-fashion set, and for good reason — their designs are nostalgic and maximalist without compromising on quality, usually set in 18k plating.

Can't quite find what you’re after? Try carving your own. The Workbench Box comes fully equipped with all the tools you’ll need to shape your own design, which can then be sent off by post for their London team to cast in solid recycled silver. Simple shapes or engraved patterns work best, but the brand have also recently added birthstone options for an additional fee. With a little imagination,  you can craft yourself the perfect retro keepsake.

SPLURGE

An assortment of rings that are expensive

At this price point, you can really stand to make an impact. Opulence is key; think large gemstones, thick bands and signet-style faces, the brighter the better. Mocola’s pink opal design has really caught our eye, but Milan-based designer Bea Bongiasca’s shapes also have an irresistible sense of childlike joy about them, perfect for jazzing up a little black dress.

If budget will allow, more is definitely more when it comes to the Y2K look. Mix up designs from all three-price points and have fun with your curation, clashing them against a fresh manicure. Pastels purples work great with juicy oranges, while startling pink and sickly green epitomise the vaguely obnoxious ‘ugly fashion’ aesthetic of the trend. Monochrome simply isn’t an option; this is all about immortalising six-week summer holidays, after-school snacks and just a hint of youthful naiveté. Maybe this retro comeback isn’t so bad after all…

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