Earrings 101: Types & Backs

Earrings 101: Types & Backs

Because earrings are a fundamental basic for any woman's jewelry wardrobe, it helps to be familiar with some of the common names and terms associated with earring styles.

Hoops are a classic style that will endure the passing of time and trends. Basic in design, but with the potential for dramatic effect, a hoop earring is a sweeping circle that starts at the front of the ear and curves all the way to the back, leaving some space between the earring and back of the earlobe. Sizes can range from large to small. Generally, tighter hoops are seen as subtler and larger ones as more dramatic. Diamonds or gemstones can add sparkle and color for a fancier look.

Simple and perfectly designed for any occasion, studs are arguably the most popular style of earring. Classic stud earrings feature a single diamond or gemstone. Stud earrings may also feature tiny clusters of gemstones or may simply be gold or sterling silver in petite shapes, such as balls, hearts or knots. Studs will generally be on the small side and lay snugly on top of the earlobe.

As the term suggests, this style of earring dangles from the earlobe for a look that can range from stylishly casual to elegant. Longer styles with diamonds or gemstones are often recommended for formal occasions, but subtler styles can be paired with jeans and boots for a more casual look. Dangle earrings continue to be a popular style on red carpet stars and everyday jewelry lovers.

Huggie earrings eliminate the risk of catching or snagging. As the name implies, this earring hugs the earlobe by curving around it and attaching with a back latch. Huggie earrings are ideal for those who are active but still want some sparkle and shine.

One of the hottest earring trends out there, climbers are elegant with just the right amount of cool. They get their name from the way they sit on the ear, starting at the base of the earlobe and curving, or climbing, upward. A wire hugs the back of the ear to keep the earring in place and achieve the climbing illusion. Climbers can be worn to dress up a look up or add a little glamour to a more casual ensemble.

Common earring closures and backings:

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