Jewelry Smarts: How Well Do You Know The Different Types of Earrings?
Studs, hoops, chandelier, and more. How well do you know the different types of earrings? Test your jewelry smarts here as we talk about the different kinds of earrings, back types, and how to choose the best ones according to your style.
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Fashion icon, Coco Chanel, was famous for saying, "Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off."
She was talking about jewelry and accessories. But we can't imagine she ever meant to remove earrings.
While we'd never dispute Ms. Chanel's fashion advice in general, when it comes to adorning our ears, we think singer/actor Jennifer Lopez has it right. She once said "Women should never go without earrings. Passing on them is an opportunity missed."
So, the question isn't if you should wearing earrings. It's what types of earrings should you wear?
If you're like most women, you have 1 or 2 favorite styles. But if you're toying with a new look, what are your options?
To help you explore new possibilities, here's an overview of the most common and stylish kinds of earrings.
This style of earring is simple and classic. You can wear studs with any kind of outfit from casual to elegant and be fashionable.
They're ideal for when you're around babies and small children. (Nothing for little hands to grab!)
But just because stud earrings are simple, they don't have to be boring. Diamond stud earrings are possibly the most timeless but any precious, semiprecious, or gemstone can make a bold statement.
Cubic zirconia is a lab-grown diamond that is virtually indistinguishable from diamonds. Many opt for CZ studs because they get a lot more bang for the buck and if they get lost - oh, well.
Sterling studs are also popular and can look great on women of any age. Even if you have long hair, don't dismiss this option. It can be a nice surprise for someone you're talking to when you tuck your hair behind your ear to reveal a beautiful stud earring!
Some say that hoop earrings are back in fashion. Others say they never left.
Either way, this style of earring is not for wallflowers. Hoops that hang from your ears make a bold and playful statement.
Choose hoop earrings made from precious metals to add elegance to the statement. To make an outfit pop, try jeweled hoops or high-quality Bakelite pieces.
This might be the least helpful of earring names, but it's a real type of earring.
Think of them as tiny hoops that hug your earlobes. Often they have small inset jewels from front to back, creating a subtle and sophisticated look.
Because they hug your earlobe, they can be a better alternative to the hoop when dressing for an active day.
Drop earrings have a long, curved attachment that goes through the earlobe. At the back, the attachment hangs parallel to the neck.
On the front of the earlobe, a small ornament hangs (or "drops") from the attachment.
This can be a "dressy" option for corporate environments. It's the type of earring Amal Clooney often wears to work.
These cousins of the drop earring are often secured with a post and butterfly earring back. This helps keep the end at your earlobe stable yet allows the attachment to sway.
In traditional danglers, the attachment is a single strand of jewels or designed precious metal. The length of the attachment doesn't matter. It can stop just below the earlobe or go all the way to the neck.
This earring style works well with short or updo-styled hair. This is especially true when paired with a shoulderless dress, as demonstrated by Meghan Markle's outfit for her wedding reception.
If you like the dangly feeling of drop earrings or dangle earrings but want more oomph, try chandelier earrings.
As the name implies, they mimic the shape of chandeliers and have at least three levels of decoration.
This is an ornate choice that you might reserve for special occasions but one worth trying.
If you're concerned about the weight of the earring, look delicate designs with fewer insets. Also, consider using wider earring backs to help stabilize the attachment at the lobe.
Think of a flat flower petal or other geometric design made from fine metals with insets. Now think of that pressed against your earlobe. That's a cluster earring.
With a post and butterfly backing, this type of earring is as stable as a stud. But it's far more decorative.
Gemstones are often central to the decoration. The versatility of gemstones means cluster earrings suit both casual and formal styles.
Bajoran earrings are one of the most different types of earrings, in the minds of many women.
If you ever watched Star Trek: The Next Generation, you've seen them on women (and men) from the planet Bajor. In the decades since that TV show aired, the earring style has become fashionable on Earth.
The style has one key identifiable feature: There's a decorative chain that starts at the dangling attachment and ends with a clip (or cuff) worn high up on the outer ear.
Those who wear Bajoran earrings say they instill a feeling of calm ferocity and strength. It's unlikely you'll make this your go-to choice, but it can be fun to try different earring styles once in a while.
Determining the Right Types of Earrings for You
Like everything in fashion, if it feels right, it will look right. After all, style is more about attitude than anything else.
So how can you know which types of earrings will add to your style, not detract from it?
The most important thing to consider is the shape of your face.
- Inverted triangle: Chandelier or tear-drop earrings
- Oval: Studs or any kind of triangular earrings
- Round: Drop or dangle earrings
- Heart-Shaped: Chandelier or tear-drop earrings
- Long and Narrow: Studs, clustered earrings, short dangles, medium or large hoops
- Square: Any medium to long earrings with rounded edges
From there, choose materials that complement your complexion and wardrobe.
The bottom line is that there are all kinds of earrings out there.
There's no harm in trying a new look. Or spruce up your collection with a new pair in your favorite style.
Which direction will you take? Check out our selection of earrings to help you decide today!