The Jewelry Box Blog

Fourteen Types of Earrings to Wear with Any Outfit

Stud earrings in an orange box

For many, earrings are a must-have, go-to accessory. For days at the office, you never forget your power hoops for big meetings. Going out for coffee with your BFFs? Be sure to dig out your favorite playful, dangly tassels to show off your fun side. And of course, for glamorous evenings out, look through your armoire full of sparkly drops, dangles and studs to find the perfect pair for the big occasion! 

But exactly how many different types of earrings are there, and what is best to pair them with? Let’s take a peek at all the “ear candy” that’s available and when best to wear them.


Close-Fitting Types of Earrings

When you’re heading to the office or heading shopping at the mall with friends, there’s no need to overdo your earring choices. Less is more, sometimes, right? Here are some of the best “I’m-not-trying-to-look-this-good” earring choices for everyday wear.


Stud Earrings

Almost anyone who has had an ear pierced knows what a stud earring is. You remember that first earring...a simple birthstone or gem in the shape of a circle at the end of a post? It came shooting through a gun, pierced your ear, and you thought it was the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen (after the pain faded away)! The all-grown-up version of that is the diamond or pearl stud earrings, perfect for adding a touch of glam to everyday wear when you want to plus up your look without adding a dangle anywhere. Studs come in many shapes—circle, heart, square, pear, snowflake, stars and more. This versatility in shape, material and color is what makes them so suitable for just about any casual outing, and even for an understated look for formal wear. While there are many fancier types of earrings out there, the stud is a great choice when you’re in a pinch for time and just need to finish off your look and head out the door in a rush.


Clip-on Earrings

For those of you who haven’t gone through the trauma of having your ears pierced, you still have some really beautiful earring options for daily wear and to go with that LBD (little black dress) on a fancy night on the town. Clip-on earrings naturally hug your ear using a hinged lever on the back that holds them in place instead of a post that goes through a piercing. However, today’s clip-on earring styles are not your grandmother’s anymore! Clip-on earrings can range from a single gem or shape to clusters or dangles and more. The sky is the limit for options here, making clip-ons a versatile choice for the office or for a date with that special someone.


Huggie Earrings

Nope. We’re not talking about diapers. We are talking about small, comfortable earrings that literally hug your ear. Generally in the shape of a hoop, these earrings are not large enough to qualify as a hoop since there’s very little space between the bottom of the earring and your ear lobe. Thus, they have been dubbed the huggie earring. When you’re not sure if you should wear a stud or a hoop or something even longer, a huggie is a perfect in-between option. It will have just a little more metal and a little more “pop” on the ear, yet still qualifies as a conservative, understated accessory.


Cluster Earrings

Just as the name suggests, cluster earrings feature a grouping or cluster of smaller gemstones,  sometimes giving them a floral-like appearance. Some clusters lay flat against your ear in a grouping, while others can be dangly cluster earrings which add a little length and interest (and sometimes additional shine and color). For that reason, flat cluster earrings make a good option for more casual social events or work attire, while the longer cluster earrings can be a great choice for up-dos, bare shoulders and fancy dresses. 


Hoop Earrings

Hoop earrings create a perfect circle or oval shape (and sometimes even rectangular shape!) around your ear and hang down further away from your ear than huggie earrings. Generally made of sterling silver or gold, these longer earrings are still conservative enough for everyday wear and office wear. However, buy hoops bedazzled with diamonds or other gemstones and now you have a perfect option for slipping off into the city all dressed up for a cocktail party or the theater!


Jacket earrings

Jacket earrings are two-piece earrings that cover the front and back of the ear. The front piece is generally a stud or smaller shape, while the back piece usually follows the shape of your ear lobe using multiple gems or stones to create a small, curved look along the bottom of your lobe. However, there are also jacket earrings that feature two similar, geometric shapes on front and back, creating an interesting, separated peek-a-book look to this earring.


Dangle Earrings

Oooh-la-la. Many of us love fancy, dangle earrings—and opportunities to wear them! Dangle earrings refer to any kind of earrings that hang below your ear lobe and, well, dangle! They have movement, catch light and attention, and can plus up any outfit in your wardrobe. Here are a few favorites.


Chandelier Earrings

Just like crystal chandelier light fixtures, chandelier earrings have the same intricate patterns and light-dazzling effect dangling from your ear lobe. Featuring two or more swirly tiers of sparkly gems, these elaborately detailed earrings have a bit of an antique yet sophisticated look. Their multi-tiered, sparkle and shimmer make them a perfect choice for holidays and special occasions.


Threader Earrings

Threader earrings are long, slim earrings made of a single piece of metal, like silver or gold, that can be simply threaded through your ear to wear without attaching a back to. Half of the long earring lays in front of your ear, while the other half lays in the back. Generally, the front half will feature a design while the back half of the threader is simply thin metal so it can be threaded through your piercing easily. For women with two or more piercings in one ear, threaders can be used in multiple holes thanks to its long, narrow design. Threader earrings are a dainty addition to dressy outfits. 


Bajoran Earrings 

Made popular by the fictional Bajorans in the Star Trek universe , Bajoran earrings refer to a specific type of earring that is typically worn on the right ear. It attaches to the ear at two places: the pierced hole itself, and the top of the ear via a small cuff. It usually has a long, drapey chain in between the two points. Many people will wear a matching stud earring in the left ear and simply feature the chain on the right ear. However, you will find some pairs of Bajoran earrings today as well. Be sure to wear your hair back or pushed away from your ear to enable full viewing of this galaxy-inspired jewelry!


Tassel Earrings

Perhaps the most playful of all dangle earrings, tassel earrings are made to look exactly like a tassel from a rug or window covering or purse strap. Tassel earrings are typically made from material or string and in a variety of colors but can also be made of thin metallic strips as well. This boho look can add a fresh twist to shorts, jeans, jackets and even dressy wear for a non-traditional pop of texture and color. 


Shoulder Duster Earrings

These long earrings are the longest of all the dangle earrings, literally touching, or “dusting,” your shoulders. Because they are so long, they tend to come in slim, delicate designs featuring metal and repetitive gemstones for accents. However, shoulder dusters can also feature tiers of hoops or even ultra-long tassels, too. The most dramatic of all the dangle earrings, shoulder dusters are a glamorous showstopper, especially when shoulders are bare!


Teardrop Earrings

A small type of dangle earring, teardrop earrings are a popular shape and can be found in various materials, sizes and colors. Some teardrop earrings will be made of gold or silver and can be found in solid shapes or teardrop-shaped hoops. Some teardrop earrings in bold colors feature geometric metal overlays which add interest and movement. They can be chunky, slim or flat and look good on any ear. 

Earrings make a great accessory every day. Be sure to change up your looks by trying fancy earrings with casual outfits and soft-spoken earrings with dresses for more formal occasions. Play with how your choices make you feel when your looks are different! And be sure to insure your favorite, most valuable earrings before you lose one on the dance floor! Insuring your expensive jewelry with a separate policy not only protects against claims on your homeowner’s policy, but it also covers loss, damage, and disappearances. Get a fast quote online today!


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