Your Need-to-Know Guide to Hoop Earrings

Your Need-to-Know Guide to Hoop Earrings

Whether you grew up wishing you could wear your mother’s favorite pearl hoop earrings or have seen the recent fashion trends, hoop earrings have been popular for centuries. But, with so many earring designs to choose from, where do you start? Learn more about the common earring sizes, definitions of each type, and inspiration for styling with this complete guide to hoop earrings.  


What Are Hoop Earrings?

Hoops are a popular earring style often characterized by their circular or semi-circular shape, designed to loop through a piercing. While the clasps, ornamentation, or general aesthetic may differ, most hoop earrings are designed to resemble a ring that dangles off the ear. Thin, gold hoop earrings in different circle sizes were the traditional style, but in modern times, these earrings are created with different contemporary shapes, colors, gemstones, and silhouettes.


Common Hoop Earring Sizes

Size is an important factor to consider when trying to find the perfect jewelry gift for yourself or someone else. All hoop designs come in a variety of sizes, and finding a flattering fit is all about the diameters, ranging from:

  • 9-15 mm—the smallest size, these hug tight to the earlobe
  • 20-25 mm—small to medium sized, with the hoop just barely hanging off the ear
  • 30-40 mm—the average medium size, preferred for everyday wear; these noticeable hoops hang off the ear
  • 45-50 mm—medium to larger hoops, depending on the wearer
  • 60 mm and above—large hoop earrings that dangle towards the collarbones, perfect for making a statement


Defining Popular Hoop Earring Types

As you look for your dream pair of hoops, learn the differences between each design to narrow down your search: 


Huggie Hoop Earrings

Huggie hoop earrings are a specific subsection of hoops. This style consists of small metal circles that “hug” the earlobe. They can either be closed with a lever or hinged latch closing to give the illusion that the piece is strung through the piercing while still allowing for different metal styles. Huggies are typically daintier, small hoop earrings with simple bands or a dangling charm or gemstone decoration, like white gold diamond huggies


Small Hoop Earrings

With a smaller diameter, small hoop earrings tend to hang closer to the earlobe but not necessarily right against it, like a huggie design. Where bigger hoops may only be placed in the first piercing, small hoop earrings are perfect for creating a stylish stack, being lightweight and dainty enough to be strung through any piercing along the ear. 


Large Hoop Earrings

When you’re looking to make a statement, large hoop earrings are the perfect choice. Large hoop earrings, like sterling silver extra large hoops, tend to be over 50 millimeters in diameter, hanging below the ear in a bolder statement. Every larger size will look different on each wearer, depending on factors such as the length of their neck or the width of the hoop metal, but typically, large hoop earrings hang low below the ear and take up lots of space—perfect for turning heads!


Twisted Hoop Earrings

If you’re looking for a spin on a classic style, the texture and shine of a twisted hoop earring are a winner. Rather than a continuous, simple band, this design appears to have a band twisted in on itself, creating an asymmetrical and organic shape instead of a perfect circle. Others, like oval fluted twist hoops, feature a stylish fluted twist, where multiple bands are wrapped to create a chunky, multifaceted, textured hoop. These modern and stylish pieces, such as medium yellow gold twisted hoop earrings, make a one-of-a-kind addition to any jewelry box.


Different Shaped Hoop Earrings

Although the name itself refers to a perfect circle, modern designers have manipulated hoop earrings into different shapes for a completely unique and contemporary look. The concept remains the same—a piece of metal that runs through the earlobe, leaving either a small or large shape hanging from the piercing, but a circle isn’t the only option. These can be worn for a unique style, whether you’re looking for an elegant pear-shaped pearl hoop earring or a pair of boxy squares.


Popular Hoop Earring Shapes

  • Rectangle
  • Pear
  • Oval
  • Triangle
  • Heart


When Should You Wear Hoop Earrings?

The short answer? Whenever you want to! With an endless array of hoop shapes, styles, and designs, there’s a perfect pair for any outfit or occasion. Whether you’re accessorizing with a stunning pair of diamond hoop earrings for a black-tie wedding or looking for staple silver hoop earrings for a day at the office, hoops can be styled for any time and place. 


5 Ways to Style Hoop Earrings

Hoops can be worn in a wide variety of ways.

Once you pick a pair you love, find inspiration for accessorizing with our five top style suggestions:

  1. Incorporate different hoop sizes into your piercings and design an earring stack that’s unique to you and your style.
  2. Find a small hoop earring you love and wear it as an everyday staple, such as a thicker huggie hoop earring or minimalist silver j-shaped diamond hoop earring.
  3. Make a statement with a larger-than-life hoop earring and show off a dazzling pair over 50 mm to pull your outfit together.
  4. Try the mixed metal jewelry trendand pair different silver and gold hoop earrings together.
  5. Consider a striking pair of gemstone or diamond hoop earrings for special occasions to draw all the eyes in the room. 


Caring for Hoop Earrings

Learning about jewelry storage and proper care will help you protect any breakable elements, preserve shine, and give you years and years of use with your hoops. Luckily, there are a few ways to keep a pair of hoops safe while wearing and storing them.

Like most jewelry, always take your earrings off while sleeping or exercising or when you’re planning to be near water to keep the metals and gemstones safe. Invest in high-quality jewelry storage options that keep each pair separate, whether it be a drawer insert with individual felt-lined sections or an earring hanger with individual holes for each earring to hook through. 

Hoop earrings are a versatile accessory that will never go out of style. Between funky, modern shapes and the classic, unforgettable circle, there’s a dream design for everyone. Discover the perfect hoop earrings for you and your wardrobe today.