Know Your Style: A Buyer's Guide to Earrings.
Have you ever been in a situation where you can picture in your head the style of earring you're looking for, but have no idea what that style is called? It poses a whole range of problems when you're trying to Google it for a special occasion: hmmm lets see, little round earrings? longish earrings? really long earrings? tiny little hoop kind of things that wrap around your lobes? Don't worry, we've all been there and we all know how frustrating it can be, so we've put together this handy earring style guide to help you out.
STUDS Studs are small simple earrings that sit at the front of the lobe. They can be any shape: round, square, triangle, butterfly etc., and any material: plain metal, pearl, crystal, diamond, enamel ... They're great little earrings for everyday wear and are often chosen as a starter earring for new piercings as they're less likely to catch on clothing, are comfortable to sleep in, and are also light enough to keep holes from stretching. Several studs can be worn in a row, or on any part of the ear, if you have multiple piercings.
Button studs are larger than regular studs, sometimes domed, sometimes quirky, sometimes decorated and sometimes plain. Often they'll feature a centre piece, such as a coloured gem or pearl, surrounded by a decorated border, and in pierced studs the post may be off-centre to allow the earring to sit correctly on the lobe. A button stud is worn like a regular stud but will cover most of the earlobe.
DROP, TEARDROP & DANGLE EARRINGS
These earrings are harder to define with the term often being interchanged amongst all three styles. They can fall to a short length below the earlobe (being fixed and immobile in one solid piece, or swaying from a stud top) or they can be long and linear falling to jaw length, with maybe a decorative piece added too. Teardrop earrings have - you guessed it! - a teardrop shaped decorative piece suspended from a stud top, hook, or other decoration. The longer earrings generally have some movement to them so that they can swing and sway freely from their stud or clip fastening. They're very versatile and suit a number of occasions.
CHANDELIER EARRINGS Chandelier earrings are usually quite elaborate and - as the name suggests - reminiscent of ceiling chandeliers! They may be wide at the top and taper to a narrower bottom, or start narrow and widen as they fall. They'll often have many tiny drops suspended from the main part of the earring and are super glamorous for after-5 occasions.
SHOULDER DUSTERS These are the longest style of earring and are often fringed. They'll sweep your shoulders with every movement, so are perfect for shoulder-less or strapless dresses. Anything else and they could get caught in your clothes!
HOOPS Hoop earrings are circular, or slightly off-round, and come in a range of thicknesses and sizes. You can have delicate small hoops, gem-studded hoops, or large 'gypsy' hoops. Hoop earrings can also be suspended to swing from a stud. If you're looking for earrings that form a complete–or almost complete–open circle, then they're hoops!
LEVERBACK EARRINGS Leverback refers more to the closure of the earring rather than a particular style of earring. The earring is suspended from a hook that goes through the ear piercing and closes with a hinged lever that snaps against the end of the hook. Leverback earrings can be a drop, dangle, or suspended stud.
Euro wire earrings look similar to leverback earrings, but they don't have the lever clasp to close over the hook. Some euro wire earrings might have a little hook to catch the main wire, a bit like an old fashioned safety pin, and some have little gems or decoration to the front of the wire. A simple euro wire without a catch-hook or decoration is also known as Shepherds Hook Earrings.
Demi-hoops are partial circles (usually half), curving down to tuck under the lobe, and can be quite decorative. They may be formed with crystals or with decorative patterns.
Huggie earrings are small hoops that hug the lobe from front to back. Often they are hinged for easier fitting, quite decorative, and considered very comfortable to wear and a good choice for children as they don't easily get caught in clothing or little fingers. EAR JACKETS, SUSPENSION EARRINGS & DOUBLE-SIDED EARRINGS
All these styles refer to two-part earrings that consist of a stud at the front with another decorative part that frames the lobe, or hangs below the lobe, slid onto the back of the stud before the fastener. They're a relatively modern style and a very versatile earring - you can wear both parts or just the stud, and if you have several pairs you can mix and match!
EAR CRAWLERS or EAR SPIRALS
Like the double sided earrings these are also relatively new to the fashion scene and come in several different styles. Fixing through the lobe piercing they extend up the inside or outside curve of the ear. You can find a million ways to express your personality with ear crawlers because they come in so many wonderfully wacky, imaginative and pretty designs.
EAR CUFFS Ear cuffs are a clip earring that is worn anywhere on the curved part of your ear. They don't require a piercing and you simply squeeze them tight to the ear to hold them in place.