12 Top Types of Earrings – Your Ultimate Guide

Types of earrings guide

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Earrings are the foundation for most jewelry collections, but how well do you know your ear jewels? From simple studs to stunning ear climbers, we’ve rounded up a list of different types of earrings.

Stud Earrings

Diamond stud earrings

Diamond Stud Earrings by James Allen. Check Price Here.

If you’re into classic and simple styles, studs are made for you. Stud earrings are typically small, and they sit flat on the ear without any dangling element. Studs consist of a head that holds the gemstone or metal in place and has a metal post secured with a backing. This type of earrings features a simple design, whether it’s a diamond, semi-precious gemstone, or any creative metal design.

When building a personal collection of jewelry, it’s recommended to opt for a pair of stud earrings first. With their simple style, they’re perfect for daily wear, go well with other earring combinations and look great with any kind of outfit.

Hoop Earrings

Hoop earrings

14k Gold Hoops by Blue Nile. Check Price Here.

Hoop earrings are round, and from the front of the earlobe towards the back, they flow through the ears. While its traditional shape is round, modern varieties can be found in squares, triangles and organic shapes. The loop can be smooth or patterned and decorated with gemstones or other fancy metal designs.

These earrings can be found in a variety of sizes, from subtle to dramatic designs. Oversized hoops go down to the shoulders, while mini hoops hug the earlobe. Depending on their thickness, size and design, hoop earrings can be a great statement piece or casual wear.

J Hoops

J hoop-earrings

Rainbow Huggies by FANCI Fine Jewellery. Check Price Here.

Instead of a continuous design from the front to the back, these hoops have a gap, forming a C or even a J shape. Since these earrings don’t meet from end to end, they’re held in place with a straight post secured with a backing.


Girl wearing huggies earrings

Pave Huggie Earrings by Shopseewhy. Check Price Here.

As the term suggests, these hoop earrings are small and hug the earlobe. Compared traditional hoops, huggies are less likely to get caught or snag on clothes, making them perfect for everyday wear. They can also be worn on cartilage piercings.

Creole Hoops

Creole hoops

Creole Hoop Earrings by Chain Reaction UK. Check Price Here.

Another variety of hoops, creole earrings have a half moon shape, and tend to look broader at the bottom than the top. Some of the designs feature geometric shapes, while others showcase vintage and even starburst motifs.

Drop Earrings

Pearl drop earrings

Pearl Drop Earrings by Blue Nile. Check Price Here.

If you’re looking for a flirty and feminine statement, drop earrings are made for you. Even if the term is commonly used interchangeably to describe dangle earrings, drop earrings just drop and typically have a stationary structure.

Think of it as an extended stud earring, having a little bit of length and ornament into it that hangs below the earlobe. Sometimes, they have a solid metal stem that drops below the ear, with a decorative piece at the end. However, its ornamental piece doesn’t move, unless it moves together with the body.

Dangle Earrings

Diamond dangle earrings

Diamond Dangle Earrings by James Allen. Check Price Here.

Just like the drop earrings, dangle earrings hang down below the earlobe, but they have more movement, hence the name, dangle. In fact, its dangling element makes the earring move back and forth. Sometimes, they have a stud-like back, but French wire and fishhook varieties let the decoration hang or swing loosely. Dangle earrings are great for transforming your look, from elongating the face to adding a bit of glamor to the style.

Threader Earrings

threader dangle earrings

Diamond Threader Earrings by Jean Joaillerie. Check Price Here.

These earrings look like a piece of string that goes through the piercing and dangles on either side of the earlobe. It typically features a decorative piece dangling on one end, while the other part has a needle-thin like structure. Since threader earrings are simple and modern, they’re perfect for minimalists and can even be worn at the office.

Chandelier Earrings

chandelier earrings

Statement Bridal Earrings by Tigerlilly Couture. Check Price Here.

If you’re looking for drama and statement, chandeliers are made for you. As the name implies, they mimic the shape of chandeliers and have multiple layers of jewels and embellishments. Traditional styles often fan out from the base in a diamond-like shape. The most luxurious of all the earring types, chandeliers are usually reserved for special occasions.

Ear Jackets

Ear jackets

Statement Earring Jackets by Emmanuela. Check Price Here.

Modern and trendy, ear jackets have a complex design that peeks out from behind the earlobes. The front of the earring typically features a simple stud, but the main design is worn at the back of the earlobe. Some of the designs are petals, leaves, stars and even starburst motifs.

Ear jackets are as comfortable as studs but have the appeal of more elaborate earrings. Since they have a typical stud piece, you can easily dress down the look by replacing the ear jacket with a regular backing. Also, you can easily mix and match your studs with other ear jacket designs.

Ear Climbers

Ear climbers

Diamond Ear Climber by Shlomit Rogel Diamonds. Check Price Here.

Romantic and elaborate, ear climbers have a long design, as though the earring is climbing up the earlobe. It’s no doubt that they have got their name from the way they sit on the ear. Instead of a regular backing, a wire hugs the back of the ear, as a sort of backbone that keeps the earring in place.

Also called ear crawlers, these commonly feature flowers, vines, leaves and constellations in their design. These earrings are great for dressing up any outfit, without looking like you’re trying too hard. Ear climbers give the same elegant appeal of drop earrings without snagging on clothes.

Ear Cuffs

Ear cuffs

Constellation Ear Cuffs by Brooklyn Tag. Check Price Here.

If you’re not ready to commit to another piercing, think of ear cuffs. They have become popular due to the jewelry stacking trend, for those who aren’t ready for a range of cartilage and conch piercings. These earring variety are easy to wear and are no commitment pieces.

Hoop Cuffs

Hoop cuffs

Diamond Hoop Cuff by Jewel Heart California. Check Price Here.

Hoop cuffs will give you the same edge that exotic piercings do without the commitment. Most of these are made of flexible metals that you can adjust with a bit of a pinch. Daintier cuffs are wearable on the helix, on the conch and around the middle of the ear. They’ll also let you mimic the look of orbital piercings.

While traditional hoop cuffs come in minimalistic designs, modern varieties even feature spikes and elaborate designs. If you’re looking to have a personalized earring stack, these ear cuffs are perfect for you.

Full Wraps

Full wrap earrings

Mono Earcuff by Dari Jewellery. Check Price Here.

These pieces remind us of the ear climbers, but they’re longer to the point that they reach the helix. Full wraps cover the edge of the ear, from the lobe to the top. These ear cuffs also don’t require piercing and are meant to wrap around the entire ear.

Depending on the design, a full wrap can have a wire behind the ear, which slips comfortably and can easily be contoured. Others rely on a typical stud, along with a hoop cuff that clips on to the side cartilage of the ear. Some of the designs feature diamond patterns, flowers, vines, constellations, as well as snakes and other exotic creatures.

Ear Hooks

Ear hooks dragons

Game of Thrones Jewelry by Marty Magic. Check Price Here.

While these pieces are similar to full wraps, their designs tend to overlap at the back of the ear—and some are meant to be worn behind. Ear hooks have a wire that curves at the back, which can be adjusted to fit the shape of wearer’s ear. Some of the designs feature starbursts, angel wings, as well as mythological motifs like dragons. If you want to make a whimsical statement, you can even go for ear hooks that mimic the ears of fairies. These are typically worn on one ear.

Wrapping Up

Just like any piece of jewelry, earrings can make or break your look. Hopefully, we’ve inspired you to experiment with your personal style and invest in a pair of earrings that might be a little out of your comfort zone. To learn about the different types of earring backs, check out our article here.