Recently, a surprising number of Y2K trends we thought were lost to history have made unexpected comebacks. But we never saw the return of glitter jeans.

Yes, glitter jeans, a.k.a. the crowning jewel of your eighth-grade dance outfit. They were cool, they were sparkly, they were extremely messy. I can’t be the only tween who left a pile of glitter over every chair in my middle school classrooms by rocking my pair. They shed constantly despite the fact that I never, ever washed them, per the directions (in hindsight, gross).

And just so we are all on the same page, I’m not talking about jeans with a cute little rhinestone detail, a la Taylor Swift at the Chiefs game. I’m talking jeans that are as covered in glitter as a toddler art project. Like, these bad boys were SHINY.

Steve Grayson

And while some millennial women may be LOL’ing at their memories of leaving, as one TikToker put it, a trail of glitter everywhere they went, this trend is being celebrated by the youths.

“I’ve never been so obsessed with a pair of jeans in my life,” said one Gen Z’er on TikTok, showing off her pair from Stradivarius.

This 2024 version of the glitter jean is a little more elevated. For one, few brands are actually referring to them by their given name (perhaps to differentiate them from the shedders? Unclear). Glitter jeans are now being referred to as “shimmery,” like this pair from Zara.

Zara Shimmery High Waist Wide Leg Jeans

Some other brands are elevating the look a bit as well by not covering the jeans in glitter, but in rhinestones (and this is presumably less messy). At Reformation, their “sparkle” jeans seem a little more durable than the sparklers of yore.

Reformation Abby High Rise Straight Jeans

This is also a trend being embraced from high to low. Ganni has a pair of sparkle stary [sic] jeans, which are bedazzled to high heaven and retail for more than $300. But you can also find sparklers at places like Target, which makes their “glitter coating finish” jeans in a ’90s-style relaxed fit.

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