For those who are still building their jewelry collections, it’s important to include at least a few staple pairs of earrings. Even if you don’t wear earrings all that often, you still want to have the right earrings for the right occasions and the right outfits, when you do fancy wearing a pair. To help you pick the perfect options to add to your collection, here’s a basic Earring Buying Guide on everything you need to know about earring types, when to wear them and how to pick the best earrings for your personal style.
The Different Types of Earrings
There are many different styles of earrings. Dozens, in fact. Here are just a sampling of the most popular styles.
Studs are pretty self-explanatory. They’re minimalistic and often small, with a simple gemstone or other material on a post. They’re designed to sit right against your earlobe, without any extra hanging or dangling. You can find an array of stud-style earrings, but the most popular options (and the classics that we recommend you add to your collection as soon as possible) include diamond stud earrings and pearl stud earrings. Both can be worn with both formal and casual attire, and are the perfect way to dress up an otherwise low-key or monochromatic outfit.
Hoops, likewise, come in an array of styles. You can find big hoops, small hoops, hoops in different shapes (though the circular options are the most popular) and hoops in varying precious metals or embedded with gemstones. You’ll want to choose a hoop size that works well with your face shape and size (more on that in a moment), but having multiple sizes in your jewelry box can’t hurt either, as certain sizes work best with certain outfits and certain sizes go in and out of fashion.
Chandelier, Teardrop & Drop Earrings
Chandelier, teardrop and drop earrings are all larger, lengthier options for those who want something a little more eye-catching and bold. Chandelier earrings are usually more extravagant and feature various layers of gemstones or other adornments, while drop earrings are a little sleeker and may just feature one or two gemstones, though they do still boast a similar length. Teardrop earrings offer the same or similar lengths, but are always in a teardrop shape, as you probably guessed.
Threader earrings are likewise on the longer side, but have a key difference. They’re far more minimalistic and, often, just look like a simple chain or piece of thread. The earring, rather than clasping against the earlobe or hooking through your piercing, goes all the way through your piercing and hangs out visibly on the other side, for a more modern, yet still minimalistic, look.
Cuff earrings attach at the bottom of your ear like normal, but then curve up and around the edge of your ear. The effect is bold and somewhat unusual, as this style of earring isn’t quite as popular yet, but for those who prefer an alternative look or something particularly head-turning, cuff earrings — also sometimes called climber or crawler earrings — fit the bill.
The Parts of an Earring
Started shopping for one of the various options above and coming across some terminology that you’re not quite familiar with? Here are all the various parts of an earring and the terms used for each, so you know exactly what you’re looking at.
Posts are the straight, well… posts, that are usually seen on stud earrings. The posts go through your piercing and then are held in place by a backing that’s typically made of the same metal or, sometimes, with more affordable, budget pieces, plastic.
Earwires, however, are similar to posts, but instead of being straight, are curved so that they go through your piercing and then remain in place a little easier without the backing. Earwires are most popular and, to help them stay in place, may sometimes feature a small piece that slides onto the back of the wire, keeping your earring stable. (A similar piece, called a kidney wire, features the same or similar shape, but also a clasp that fastens in the back, to keep things in place.)
A few terms apply to hoops in general. Wire hoops latch to stay put, while hinged hoops feature a special hinge that’s not a part of the hoop body. Endless hoops feature a tube at one end that the opposite end of the hoop slides into, to keep your hoop earring in place while creating an infinity effect.
What Types of Earrings are Best for you?
When picking a specific pair of earrings, you’ll want to take two things into account: skin tone and face shape.
To make round faces look slimmer and longer, opt for an earring with some length, such as a chandelier, drop or teardrop earring. If you have a more rectangular or square face, you can help soften up your features by wearing stud or hoop earrings. If, though, you’re lucky enough to have an oval-shaped face, you should be able to wear any style or shape of earring with ease.
As for what precious metal you pick, you’ll want to choose a pair of earrings that complements your skin tone. If you have a warm skin tone, you’ll want to pick earrings in a yellow or rose gold hue. If you have a cool skin tone, opt for silver. Neutral skin tone? Try both!
If you’re not at all sure which skin tone applies to you, look at the veins at the bottom of your hand or wrist. If your veins look green, you have a warm skin tone. If your veins appear blue, you have a cool skin tone. If you’re not really sure and can’t decide, you likely have a neutral skin tone.
Are Earrings a Good Investment Piece?
Many jewelry collectors choose jewelry according to its investment value. Will it be valuable decades into the future? Can you pass it down through your family? Can you resell it if needed? While, often, collectors might think of larger pieces, like statement rings or designer pieces, as investments, earrings can make a good investment under the right circumstances.
There are two ways to think of jewelry investments: as valuable based on the individual parts, such as the precious metals and gemstones, or as valuable due to the designer name or overall price tag. If you don’t think you could fetch a high price for a piece of jewelry’s gold or diamonds alone, you may be able to get more money because it was produced by a particularly notable designer or because it’s a style produced in limited quantities. Who What Wear recommends, if you’re looking for some earrings that are currently holding their value, to look at Fondrae’s charm earrings, or Anita Ko earrings, both of which have received notable attention recently thanks to celebrities such as Meghan Markle and Zendaya wearing the brands.
Find Your Perfect Fit from Yamron
So — are you shopping for that perfect pair of earrings? Or maybe you’re trying to choose a pair of high-end earrings that will make a great gift for a major life milestone or celebration?
Whatever the case may be, if you’re shopping for luxury jewelry, the experts at Yamron can help. Stop into our Naples location to see all of our options from top designers such as Seaman Schepps, Robert Prop, Roberto Coin, Piranesi and more.
Sources and Recommended Further Reading