Y2K’s Beaded Phone Strap Is Making A Glorious Comeback As This Season’s ‘It’ Accessory

The Y2K trend is well and alive with yet another pop culture resurgence — and this time it has nothing to do with bucket hats, platform flip-flops or the Balenciaga City Bag. Surprisingly enough, the latest fashion revival has to do with beaded phone straps, attached to the sides of our high-tech smartphones. How’s that for kitsch?

Call us charmed; featuring nostalgic candy-coloured plastic beads, clay ones, or even high-end crystals that glitter under the right light, this 13-going-on-30 trend has been catching on among fashion’s most influential set. The beaded accessories of celeb-favourite indie brand String Ting, for instance, have been spotted on everyone from Dua Lipa and Kendall Jenner, to popular South Korean influencer Irene Kim, who’ve been flaunting them in their latest mirror selfies, which we’re 100% here for.


Certainly, the irony of splicing together today’s top-of-the-line technology and, well, plastic beads, a reminder of simpler times, is not lost on us. A revival of early-2000s, Paris Hilton-era bedazzled flip phones, perhaps? Or simply an evolution of the numerous home D-I-Y projects we’ve been keeping ourselves busy with since the start of sanctioned lockdowns? No one’s quite sure, except that we’re undoubtedly enamoured.

The phone charm is also meant to be practical, yes, but only marginally so. When fastened to the side of your phone case, you’re free to sling it across your wrist while on the move, or dangle your phone from your fingers, which makes for a rather precarious predicament in our opinion.

Above: Jolly Rancher Crystal Wristlet Phone Strap, £150

It might be easier to think of this as modern-day accessorising — the phone strap’s essentially jewellery for your smartphone. With “casual” mirror selfies currently a thing on the ‘gram, and with our smartphones permanently attached to our being, one way or another, you don’t want to just be sporting a ubiquitous black case.

From subtle pearls to the most brilliant of beads, protective evil eyes or chunky heart charms, these phone straps offer us yet another way to show off our personality through our devices, which makes for quite the sweet (sweet) fantasy indeed.

Ahead, we suss out some of the best beaded phone straps in the market.

Above: Purple Haze Wristlet Phone Strap, £35 ; Only Hearts Club Wristlet Phone Strap, £35 ; Chrome Denim Spike Crystal Wristlet Phone Strap, £70 ; Sugar n’ Spice Crystal Wristlet Phone Strap, £150. All, String Ting.

Above: Phone Strap – Glossy Rainbow, USD35 ; Phone Strap – Matte Rainbow, USD35. All, Casetify.

Above: Pixie Dust Phone Strap, €30 ; Chill Out Phone Strap, €30. All, Grigribeads.

Above: LANFY Handmade Mobile Phone Straps, $1.65 – $2.12 ; LANFY Ins Mobile Phone Straps, $1.79 – $1.93 ; New INS Colorful Beads Pearl Charm Mobile Phone Chain, $3.59 ; AUGUSTINA Ins Mobile Phone Strap, $2.04. All, on Shopee.

Above: Clear Phone Case With Beaded Lanyard, $3 ; Faux Pearl Hand Strap Phone Case, $2.50 ; Colored Beaded Hand Strap Phone Case, $2.50 ; Cartoon Graphic Phone Case With Flower Decor Hand Strap, $2.75. All, SHEIN.