The ears are the most common piercing site on the body, with a whopping 83 percent of the US population having one or more piercings in their lobes, but it’s difficult to tell exactly which earrings are which. So here’s a few little things that can make a big difference when shopping:
First, the best way to narrow your choices right off the bat is to know exactly what length and size of earring your prefer. If you’re only interested in studs it can be quite easy, but with words like dangle, drop, and chandelier thrown in there, those who are slightly more open might find the sheer numbers just a bit overwhelming.
“Dangle” of course means that there’s a dangling element. This can include chains, crystals, or charms, or be as simple as a single bead. Either way you can assume that the hanging portion falls somewhere between a half and one and a half inches. This isn’t a stone-set rule, but it is a common denominator that can help out when you’re shopping. Earrings that are labeled as “drop” usually involve either a large embellishment or a lengthier chain with some type of decoration at the end. These can be longer than your average earring, so if you know that you don’t like longer earrings, it’s best to stay away from this category. The same goes for “threaders,” which routinely have not one but two free ends, both of them dangling relatively low.
For those who enjoy a statement earring or like the look of costume jewelry, chandelier earrings are a great option, as are those that involve oversized natural elements like feathers. If you have multiple lobe piercings, helix (cartilage), or tragus/anti-tragus piercings, a chain connector earring is also a fashion forward option. There are even designs that connect from a lobe piercing to a nostril piercing, and styles range from simple to amazingly ornate.
Our last main category of earring is the hoop, which can satisfy a variety of aesthetics depending upon style and dimension. Hoops termed “huggy” are smaller and wider, “hugging” relatively close to the lobe. Other hoops will generally be labeled with either overall length or hoop diameter, both of which can serve to assist in decision making. Very large hoops will likely be measured in inches, and diameter is measured as the distance from inside edge to inside edge at the widest point.
Once you’ve got the size and style you’re interested in down, it’s a simple matter of choosing a material and color scheme. Do you prefer gold tone or silver? Metal or plastic/acrylic? For those who have allergies to nickel or other metals, choosing items that are hypoallergenic is a must, and niobium, solid gold, bioplast, or solid titanium are all terrific options.
For more about jewelry and sizing, check out our Jewelry Sizing Category, and always buy smart.