Did you know that people have been wearing earrings for thousands of years? Over that time there have been all sorts of different types of earrings created, many of which continue to be worn to this day.
When deciding which earring types you should wear with which outfits it can be hard to choose. How do you know which type will look good on you or best suit your outfit? Should you opt for stud earrings or hoops? What about drop earrings or long dangle earrings? Do you think you can get away with mismatched earrings?
Keep reading to learn more about the different types of earrings for women and ideas about how you can style them to suit your own sense of style and your outfit. We’ll include examples of our own gold earrings and silver earrings to help inspire you.
Let’s dive in …
Stud earrings are generally the most delicate and small when it comes to the world of earrings. If you’re like most people, simple stud earrings will often be your go-to for day-to-day wear. But that doesn’t mean they need to be boring or lacking in style.
Stud earrings as minimalist accessories
Stud earrings are often quite dainty, so you might pair them with simple casual outfits or more minimalist, elegant outfits. You could add a delicate necklace or some rings. Also consider matching the outfit or some other accessories to the colour of gemstone studs.
Our little opal & solid gold stud earrings are a great example of stud earrings that are perfect for everyday wear without being boring. Small gemstone studs like these are great for adding a little bit of colour without dominating an outfit.
Simple studs with statement jewellery
Wearing a very simple pair of studs will work beautifully with a much bolder statement necklace, stack of bracelets or a suite of ring stacks without leaving your ears completely unadorned.
Wearing super simple silver ball stud earrings with our coral reef and aquamarine pendant necklace is a great example of how this can work, with the large and shiny statement necklace grabbing the attention while the studs still give off some sparkle and shine. As an alternative you could also wear the matching aquamarine stud earrings with the gemstones providing an aesthetic connection between the earrings and necklace.
Using stud earrings to guide your outfit
You can also use more complex or ornate stud earrings as a guide the rest of your outfit. Suppose you have a beautiful pair of stud earrings in the shape of flowers, such as our gorgeous dahlia solid gold stud earrings.
This type of earring is quite feminine, so it would make sense to complement it with an equally feminine outfit, perhaps picking up on the flower motif or with floral-inspired colours.
Imagine pairing these gold earrings with a long, flowing summer dress, for instance. If you don’t like to wear dresses, don’t worry, because there are still many other options such as long palazzo pants or a flowing blouse. Alternatively a well cut but feminine suit will work well with the geometric design of these particular earrings.
Drop earrings have the main feature of the earring design dropping slightly below the earlobe. They may or may not swing depending on the design, unlike dangle earrings which always swing (see below). These earrings can use a post to secure them to your ear, similar to stud earrings, but often they use hooks called ‘ear wires’.
These are likely to be one of the more common types of earrings in your jewellery collection and simple drop earrings often make a good alternative to studs when it comes to everyday wear.
Drop earrings may have a simple and subtle design, but they can also be more bold and eye-catching, although generally not quite as much as their close cousin, dangle earrings. Drop earrings are so varied and versatile that you can wear them either to dress up or dress down. You just need to have enough variation in your jewellery collection to give you lots of options.
Dressing up with drop earrings
Pairing our elegantly simple pearl and solid gold drop earrings with a little black dress or white linen dress will work beautifully. You could add simple solid gold necklace or even just some minimalist gold rings to complete the outfit.
Alternatively our starburst silver drop earrings with Australian opals will add a bit more drama to an outfit as they swing and sparkle. Imagine wearing these earrings with a vibrant colour-blocked dress. You could also add the matching necklace.
Dressing down with drop earrings
For a more casual look pair a simple pair of earrings, such as these dots texture silver drop earrings, with blue jeans and a sunny, flowing blouse. The earrings will swing and sparkle as you move without being too distracting. Add some silver rings and you’ll look effortlessly well put together.
Dangle earrings are similar to drop earrings (see above), but generally hang further below the earlobe and they always swing back and forth and/or side to side. Being bigger on drama than drop earrings, they are usually longer and can hang all the way down to graze your shoulders.
Because dangle earrings are so varied, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the right kind to match your style. Just make sure you choose a pair of earrings that will make you feel confident and comfortable. Your own confidence will do the trick to complete your outfit. If big and bold isn’t for you, then smaller and more simple will still work a treat.
Dangle earrings as statement jewellery
You can absolutely pick the right pair of dangle earrings to be the main focal of your outfit. In this case you’d generally not wear much other jewellery or wear subtle pieces further away from your ears, such as rings or bracelets.
For a very dramatic pair of statement dangle earrings you may find you’re best off not wearing a necklace so it won’t distract. Our bold leaves long dangle earrings are an example of statement earrings that make a great focal point for an outfit.
Alternatively you can pair a less bold but still striking pair of dangle earrings with a matching or complimentary necklace. For instance, our very intricate mehndi dangle earrings look amazing when paired with the matching big and bold mehndi mandala beaded necklace with gorgeous rose garnets.
Casual outfits with dangle earrings
If you’re not going for all out drama with your dangle earrings, then you can easily choose a more subtle design. Consider our elegantly beautiful leaf chain dangle earrings: they’ll swing and sparkle with the best of them, without being over the top. They’ll look gorgeous paired with a simple linen shirt or a flowing summery dress.
Hoop earrings are such a classic design. In fact some of the oldest known gold hoop earrings belonged to Sumerian women who lived in around 2500 BC, yet her earrings are still a recognisable design to us today. Hoops were eventually worn across much of the ancient world, including by cats in ancient Egypt (true story!).
There are several different types of hoop earrings to choose from, from simple and classic, through to very ornate. Large hoops can make a big statement and grab attention as you walk into a room, while smaller and more subtle designs will still catch the eye and add interest to your outfit.
Plain metal hoop earrings: a wardrobe staple
We think that every woman should have at least one pair of super simple hoop earrings. Our endless gold hoop earrings will make a perfect wardrobe staple without breaking the bank. We also recommend the matching endless silver hoop earrings as well.
These plain hoop earrings are a design classic. They’ll add some minimalist but eye-catching sophistication to many outfits, without being overly large. You can pair them with a suit to add some sparkle. Alternatively they’ll work beautifully with a very casual outfit and worn with rings, bracelets or necklaces in the same colour metal.
Wearing ornate or colourful hoop earrings
While simple hoop earrings are a must-have, there are many other types of hoop earrings you can choose from in all sorts of designs, including intricate panels and unusual shapes. Such hoop earring designs catch the light effortlessly, which will attract attention to you.
Our coral pattern hoop earrings in sterling silver are very popular (if you find they’re out of stock when you read this: don’t panic, they’ll be back!). These beautifully intricate hoop earrings make great statement earrings. As with big and bold dangle earrings you can choose to make them the focal point of your outfit.
Alternatively include these intricate earrings with a riot of silver jewellery – rings, bangles, layered necklaces – paired with a very simple casual outfit. You could even include one of the matching coral pattern necklaces.
If you’re wanting to add a pop of colour to your earring game, going for simple beaded hoops is a great option. For instance, our very affordable and easy to wear cola brown & gold hoop earrings will add some warm gold, orange and rich brown tones to an outfit. In winter they’ll look great paired with a cable knit jumper, or in summer wear them with a casual outfit with warm colouring.
Here’s a bonus earring type which can include any of those listed above. There’s no reason why you have to wear a matching pair of earrings.
Experiment with wearing earrings from different pairs in different combinations. This is a great way to add even more versatility to your jewellery collection. Look for styles that compliment or clash with each other in interesting ways and try them out in front of a mirror. Who doesn’t love a bit of style experimentation?
Our Amulets Jewellery Range is designed for mixing and matching. You can wear a different amulet earring on each ear: they will be identical in size and a similar style, but each earring will feature a different design with different meanings attached.
Alternatively take a look at our striking bouquet dangle earrings, which are mismatched right out of the gate. Each earring features 3 different flower motifs from our Bouquet Jewellery Range (also made for mixing and matching), with each flower having its own special meaning.
All About Different Types of Earrings
There are many types of earrings to choose from and they all have their place in a thoughtfully put together jewellery collection. We recommend having a look at your own collection to see what you’re missing and where you could add some different types of designs. That will give you a lot more versatility with your wardrobe and lots more inspiration when getting dressed to impress.
For inspiration, check out our Australian earrings collection. Read more about why it’s a great idea to shop for artisan designed jewellery in Australia.
More about earrings