The right pair of earrings can add the perfect finishing touch to your look. Simple studs add polish to an everyday outfit, while an eye-catching pair of chandelier earrings makes a gorgeous gown look even better.
Of course, studs and statement earrings are far from your only earring options. There are over a dozen different types of earrings to choose from to enhance your style. When you understand all these options, it’s easy to pick the ideal pair of earrings for your outfit. To help you do just that, we’re going over everything you need to know about the most popular kinds of earrings and earring backs.
Types of Earrings
- Stud Earrings
Stud earrings are a simple style of earring consisting of a small accent attached to a post. The post slips through the ear and is held in place with an earring back. Stud earrings are the most popular type of earring due to their impressive versatility. Earrings like diamond studs and pearl studs look just as good with jeans and a t-shirt as they do with a ball gown.
- Hoop Earrings
Hoop earrings are a circular or semi-circular earring style. The most simple hoop design consists of a circle of wire that passes through the earlobe, but hoops come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, and designs. Smaller hoops are commonly worn as daily earrings, while medium and large hoops are a common choice for dressy occasions.
- Huggie Earrings
Huggie earrings are small earrings that wrap around, or hug, the earlobe. These versatile mini hoop earrings are a stylish accent to any outfit.
- Dangle Earrings
Dangle earrings dangle below the earlobe and sway with the movement of the wearer. Eye-catching by design, dangle earrings are the perfect way to elevate a look.
- Drop Earrings
Drop earrings are earrings that drop below the earlobe. Some drop earrings are subtle enough for daily wear, while others are more dramatic statement pieces.
- Cluster Earrings
Cluster earrings feature a cluster of diamonds or gemstones. Cluster earrings are often studs, but clustered gemstones can also be used on other earring styles.
- Teardrop Earrings
Teardrop earrings are a type of earring featuring pear-shaped accents. Teardrop earrings are often dangle earrings, but can also be studs, hoops, or drop earrings.
Chandelier earrings are a dramatic earring style that dangles from the ear in tiered layers. This is a popular type of earring to pair with evening wear.
- Threader Earrings
Threader earrings are designed to look like they are threaded through the ear. The back of this thin style of earring hangs down quite low to create the threaded look.
- Jacket Earrings
Jacket earrings are earrings that come with a jacket attachment. The front part of the earring goes on as usual, while the jacket part slips on the back of the earring. Jacket earrings can typically be worn with or without the jacket backing, giving them multiple styling possibilities.
- Ear Climbers
Ear climbers, also known as ear crawlers or climber earrings, are designed to look like they are climbing up your ear. Depending on their design, ear climbers can be subtle or quite dramatic.
- Ear Cuffs
Ear cuffs are earrings that wrap around the ear in a c-shape. Some cuffs are designed to work with pierced ears, while others are meant to be slipped on the ear and bent into place.
- Single Earrings
Single earrings are technically more of an earring trend than a type of earring. As wearing asymmetrical and mismatched earrings has become more popular, so have single earrings. Wearing a single earring or different earrings on each ear is a confident, creative styling choice.
- Tassel Earrings
Tassel earrings are a type of dangle earring featuring tassel accents. The accents on a tassel earring are often made of fine chain or string, but can be made of any material.
- Bajoran Earrings
Bajoran earrings get their name from the Bajoran people, a group of Star Trek characters known for their signature accessory. These characters wear earrings featuring layered chains that connect accents on the lower and upper ear. This earring design is inherently bold and ornate, so it’s perfect for when you want to add impact to an outfit.
Types of Earring Backs
Push backs, also called post backs, are the most common type of earring back. This style of backing consists of a tiny piece of metal with a hole in its center. The wearer slips their earring post through their piercing, then pushes the push back on the post to hold the earring in place.
Screw backs look similar to push backs, but are screwed in place instead of pushed in place. This secure earring back style is ideal for an expensive pair of earrings, like high carat diamond stud earrings.
Lever backs are hinged pieces that rest on the back of a curved earring post. The wearer pushes the lever back to open the earring, slips the curved post through their ear piercing, then releases the spring loaded lever back, which closes itself. This type of earring back is very popular for dangle earrings and drop earrings.
Like lever backs, latch backs are hinged closures. But rather than being spring loaded, this style of earring back snaps into a latch. Latch backs are a common closure for hoop earrings, drop earrings, and dangle earrings.
French hooks, also called fish hooks, consist of a long piece of curved metal that rests on both sides of the earlobe. This delicate hook is long enough that it does not need a backing to keep it in place. Some french hooks may come with a small tube-like backing that slips on the back of the earring for extra security. French hooks are commonly used for dangle earrings.
For those who don’t have pierced ears, there are clip-on backs. Clip-on backs hold clip-on earrings in place using tension. They consist of a hinged clip that presses against the back of the earlobe.
Hinge backs, also called saddlebacks, are a type of closure that snaps together when a hinged earring closes. The wearer opens the hinged earring, slips its post through their earlobe, then closes it and clicks it into place. This kind of backing is common on hoop earrings and huggie earrings.
Still not sure which type of earring or earring back is right for you? Visit our showroom in Beverly Hills to try on different types of earrings and find a style you love. If you’re not in the Los Angeles area, we can also assist you virtually. Contact us for a personalized recommendation from one of our expert stylists.