Ringapalooza: Badass Rings for Under $25

I used to think rings were these awkward things that got in the way and took up valuable real estate on my hands that could otherwise be used to hold pens or money. But then I discovered that rings are actually just the best-kept-secret way to make you look totally put together and awesome (or married depending on the ring). At first I made some common ring-buying mistakes. I went for valuable or sentimental rings. A ring with a big sapphire or my grandmothers engagement ring. These rings did not have the desired effect. When you try to rock an expensive old engagement ring that belongs to your grandmother, all that happens is that you refuse to wear it because you’re terrified you’ll lose it. If you ever do wear it, approximately 2.34 people per day will ask if you’re engaged. These are the facts.

Fortunately, there’s a magical solution that should have come to me years ago (and probably would if I hadn’t spent so much time avoiding rings like the plague). You’ve got to go badass and cheap with your rings. You’ll only ever wear a cool ring if you don’t need to stress about taking it off to wash your hands in the bathroom and losing it forever. Plus, designers right now are pumping out crazy rings with fun metalwork in ridiculous shapes and sizes. It might seem initially odd to actually go through with wearing a Bowser style spiked shell on your middle finger, but I swear it will make your whole look seem more thought out and put together. Besides, a ring can be a great conversation starter.

Think about it: there are you waiting in coat check at the local gay bar when a hottie comes up behind you. Obviously she can’t help but notice that you’re wearing a cassette tape ring. She asks, “Oh my god, do you love cassette tapes? I love cassette tapes!” and you live happily ever after in outdated technology heaven. Maybe the ring you’re sporting has a giant elk face on it. Next thing you know you’re meeting amazing animal enthusiast ladies and/or hardcore hunter ladies. See how this works? So let’s look at some rings!

Abstract Metallic Rings

Goofy Rings

Animal Rings

I know rings can make you feel really goofy and seem like they get in the way, but trust me on this one. Buy a cheap ring and give it a try at the next girls night and you might just be shocked at how cool you’ll feel. Happy Ringing!

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Lizz is a consumer, lover and writer of all things pop culture and the Fashion/Style Editor at Autostraddle.com. She is also full time medical student at Brown University in Providence, RI. You can find her on the twitter, the tumblr or even on the instagram.

Lizz has written 261 articles for us.


  1. I have a ring that’s the standard image of a group of dolphins leaping out of the water in a half circle form except they’re little metal dolphins on my finger.

    I also think triple roll rings are super cool.

  2. I love all these rings, but I also wear a wedding/engagement ring and I feel like it looks the opposite of put together to have a giant owl head on one hand, and delicate vintage-y wedding rings on the other one. Will other people notice that my hands don’t match?

    • I have the same issue, but I’ve decided I just don’t care anymore! :D I wear two commitment rings and two claddagh rings, all different shapes, sizes and with different stones. Fuck the haters! :D

  3. Rings! I always have at least three rings on and sometimes my fingers turn green, BUT THAT’S OKAY! My favorite is a Dia de los Muertos ring that I found at a flea market, and it brings all the girls to the yard. Just kidding, I just wanted to quote Kelis, but I still really like that ring.

  4. BEWARE DRUNKEN RING WEARERS: This NYE I wore a awesome cocktail ring. Then, I slipped on some ice and cut the hell out of my hand as my large ring swung around and came between me and the ground. I bled everywhere, which is not sexy.


  5. I love the animal rings so much. That sly one at Etsy sent me a ring sizer before by order now my head is exploding from looking at these and the rings/jewelry that Laneia included in Madly in Love These Four Things posted awhile ago.

  6. I have this really cute one that’s just a plain silver band with <3 engraved on it. Not a heart, literally <3. It's my favourite. I wish my fingers weren't so fat; thumb rings only fit on my ring finger.

  7. The only problem with cheap rings is that they are often made with cheap metal, which can cause problems for those of us with sensitive skin. :(

  8. If you like big, colourful, goofy, and with kitties and unicorns, I suggest checking out locketship.com. It’s too whimsical for my tastes nowadays, but I totally would have worn that stuff when I was in my late teens.

    ALSO check out bbj.ca. BBJ, or Barbie’s Basement Jewellery, is an indie company owned by a Toronto lesbian couple. I’m a big fan of their belt buckles, and own about 5.

    • *update*
      i nearly had to amputate my other finger this afternoon after putting on the forever 21 ring i purchased. i was able to salvage the finger with a dollop of grease and possible joint damage.
      essentially, forever 21 hates queers. they’re trying to take your fingers so you can’t fingerblast other queers.

  9. Sadly I can’t wear rings on my fingers I tend to take them off with everything I do and I lose them :( The Goofy ring section is appealing though!

  10. I need rings so badly. I only have one right now, and it doesn’t even fit on my finger. And… And I just want to look down at my hand and see something pretty on my finger.

  11. That wrapped chain one in the top left corner appears to have disappeared and I COVET IT. Lizz, do you remember the manufacturer?

Comments are closed.