Different Types of Earrings

drop earrings

Earrings are one of the most varied types of jewellery. There are different types of earrings for every style and occasion, making them a popular gift year-round. Here, we will take a closer look at some of the choices there are when it comes to choosing earrings, as well as covering the finer details of the different types available.

What are the Different Types of Earrings Called?

When you’re learning the different earring types, it helps to know where about on the ear you’re most likely to wear the earring. The earrings we’ll cover first are all primarily worn on the lobe, although some are a little more versatile.

Stud Earrings

If you’re wondering what is the most popular type of earring, look no further. A stud earring is an earring that is typically quite small in size. They are worn at the lobes, often with butterfly clip fastenings to the reverse. Stud earrings are discreet and simple in nature, making them the most popular and widely-worn earring type.

A stud is a design that suits every lobe, haircut, and style. The stud earring can be worn day to day, ideal for work and home-time. Larger examples of the stud are also suitable for evening wear, provided they have enough presence for the occasion.

Diamond Stud Earrings

Cuff Earrings

Cuff earrings is something of a misleading name, as these earrings don’t actually require piercings at all. Rather than attaching through the cartilage of the ear, a cuff sits at the helix of the ear and simply wraps around the outside.

The cuff earring style has become more popular recently, with the increasingly popular style of wearing multiple smaller earrings taking over the scene. Cuff earrings can appear as edgy or professional as you like depending on how you style them.

Drop Earrings

Drop earrings – sometimes called dangle or dangly earrings – are also worn at the lobe. Unlike studs, however, drop earrings do not keep a low profile. Instead of being a singular shape accenting the lobes, drop earrings have a feature that hangs down past the ear. These can be subtle, slim vertical drops, or larger-than-life diamond-coated extravaganzas.

Drop earrings are an excellent way of elevating an otherwise simple outfit into something suitable for any black-tie event. Furthermore, drop earrings have an elongating effect on the face, lengthening and thinning features for those with softer, round faces.

Different Types of Earrings

Crawler Earrings

This is another earring style that has only recently found significant popularity. This earring is usually worn at the lobe but could be placed higher up the ear depending on how you style it. The crawler earring sits close to the ear, with a design that extends upwards.

The finished look suggests that the wearer has multiple ear piercings, even though in reality the crawler most likely is attached through one piercing. These stylish earrings are popular for those who want to accessorise without feeling like their earrings are in the way.

Hoop Earrings

The hoop earring is another earring that’s mostly worn at the lobe, although some helix piercings – up the side of the ear – also incorporate hoops. The hoop is self-explanatory in its shape, and its style is very versatile.

Hoop earrings are a great earring for everyday as well as being excellent for parties and other fancier events where you might want to dress up a bit! Hoops can be a plain metal, a combination of metals intertwined in a pattern, or even accented with gemstones like sapphires, rubies, and diamonds.

Hoop Earrings

So, there are a few of the different earring types you’re likely to find – but what difference does the style of the earring make?

Styles of Earrings

Types of earrings and styles or earrings aren’t as similar topics as they may seem. Basically, the type of earring describes its shape and most of how you wear it, while the style of earring describes its actual appearance.

Cluster Earrings

A cluster style earring features a lot of gemstones set together in a cluster arrangement on the earring. This can be a stud earring with a cluster of stones set in a range of formations, or equally a drop earring can feature clusters of gemstones to maximalise the amount of sparkle and shine.

Cluster Earrings

Gemstone Earrings

These earrings differ from cluster earrings because they feature significantly fewer stones. Typically, you’ll find gemstone earrings might feature a handful of gemstones if it’s a large earring like a drop earring, or perhaps just one or two for a stud earring. This style of earring is a good choice for shopping for birthday gifts; utilise your loved one’s birthstone for inspiration.

Gemstone Earrings

Plain Metal Earrings

As you might expect, this style allows the earring type to stand alone without any ornamentation in the form of gemstones. It’s still possible, however to get earrings that feature just metals and still have some decoration going on. Engraving, hammering, oxidizing, and interweaving metals of different colours are all styles that add texture to an otherwise plain earring.

Different Types of Earrings

Novelty Earrings

This style of earring is always a cute gift idea. Typically, they’ll incorporate a niche interest or some cute imagery into the earring. For example, stud earrings often use enamel, acrylic, or another material like wood to create earrings shaped like anything from footballs to flowers to feet. Seriously! Anything you might have an interest in can certainly be found in earring form.

Novelty Earrings

One element of earring types we still need to cover is the different types of earring closures or fastenings.

Types of Earring Closures

There are earrings, like the cuff earring or even clip-on earrings, which are very easy to put on. Clip-ons, as you might imagine, simply click right onto your earlobes without the need for a physical piercing. When it comes to knowing how to put in different types of earrings, however, there are a few different styles to consider.

Butterfly Back / Push Fit

These earrings can be studs or drops, or even some hoop earrings. They have a closure at the back where a separate piece of metal attaches to the post on the back of the earring, holding it in place. These are simple enough to put on once you’ve had a couple of practise attempts. Line the butterfly back up to the post and then gently push it down until there’s just a few millimetres on either side of your lobe.

The push fit closure is the same principle, except instead of a butterfly shaped metal piece holding the earring secure, the push fit is usually rounded in form. There are also other shapes available for this, but round is the one you’ll find the most. Remember to leave a little wiggle room between the earring and your earlobe!

Butterfly Back Earrings

Lever Back / French Latch

This fastening is most often found on hoop style earrings, although it also features on a lot of drop earrings as well. In this fastening, you simply push the post of the earring through your lobe, and then you’ll notice the lever attachment at the back of the earring is perfectly lined up to be closed around the post. These earring closures are slightly easier to attach because the lever and the post are easier to align than the post and the butterfly.

The French latch is very similar to the lever back, where a hinged piece of metal to the reverse of the earring folds up and fastens in place. The only real difference is that the French latch connects cleanly to the curved post, while the lever back creates a space in the lever that the straight post weaves through, leaving some post sticking out.

Latch Back Earrings

Hook / French Hook

The hook fastening is a common one that you’re most likely to see on drop earrings of all kinds. This one features a curved hook – similar to a fishing hook – that you push straight through your lobe piercing. With the hook fastening, you might want to push the hook and manipulate it so it sits quite tightly in your ear lobe, as the hook is potentially liable to fall out – especially if the weight of the drop on the earring is heavy.

The French hook has a little – and very useful – difference. There is a small latch on the French hook fastening that catches the hook itself and holds it secure. This way, you don’t have to manipulate the hook to keep it in place. Perfect!

Hook Earrings

Screw Back

The screw back fastening is different to the clip-on style, but both work well for pierced and non-pierced ears. The screw back style was more popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and this antique style is a beautiful dainty piece of engineering. A small rounded screw on the back of the earring screws in until the earring sits flush and comfortably against your earlobe.

Screwback Earrings

Wearing Different Types of Earrings

If you’re looking for some tips for wearing different types of earrings, you’re in the right place. For each different type of earring, there are certain styles and looks that suit them the absolute best.

Wearing Stud Earrings

There are a lot of stud earrings to choose from, but one of the most iconic kinds is the diamond stud earring. You can get these in a range of shapes and sizes but round-cut diamond stud earrings are the most common.

If you want to style these in the most complimentary way, consider utilising a single pearl strand or pearl choker for your neck, and wear your hair up and away from your face. These earrings are extremely versatile, so there are options including having your hair down that also work well. Style your hair in a way that keeps your ears on show, whether you wear it up or down, to make the most of that fabulous sparkle!

Different Types of Earrings
Oval Stud Earrings
Square Diamond Studs

Wearing Drop Earrings

While stud earrings are great for everyday wearing, drop earrings are better for when you want to dress to the nines. How you style your drop earrings depends on what occasion you’re anticipating. Something relaxed and fun like a birthday party would suit your hair being styled down with some texture added like waves or curls (or straight if your hair waves and curls naturally).

If you’re headed somewhere formal like a wedding or a gala of some kind, having your hair up allows you to show off the beauty of the drop earrings better, and a lot of refined updos like French twists and buns are better suited to a black-tie event.

Wearing drop earrings

Wearing Hoop Earrings

The last classic that we’ll cover here is the hoop earring. Just like drops, hoops are versatile for their use as casual accessories as well as over-the-top glamour pieces. If you want a daily hoop, opt for something fairly small. Plain metals are more common for daily-use hoop earrings, but feel free to incorporate something with some sparkle and shine if you prefer. Wear your hair however you want and feel free to pair them with anything, you’ll be delighted with how well they work with so many styles.

When you’re looking for hoops to wear for parties and more fanciful events, you can go as big as you like! However many piercings you have, you can use hoop earrings in a range of sizes and shapes even to create a collage of beauty around your ears. Hoop earrings, plain metal or gemstone-covered, are the earrings for someone who wants to stand out and look great doing it.

Diamond Hoop Earrings
Platinum Hoop Earrings
Different Types of Earrings

Now that you’ve had something of a deep-dive into the world of different types of earrings, you can go forth and prosper in the world of these stunning accessories. Which style do you think is your favourite?

The author’s views are entirely their own and may not always reflect the views of AC Silver.

Similar Articles

There might have been a time when you thought of pearls as something big and bulky that only your grandmother would wear, but – if


Do you know which gemstones are yellow in colour? The lovely golden warmth can be found in a range of gemstones – some a lot


In this ever-evolving world, it’s become more and more important for us to be more conscious about how we can make a difference to be


What is an anniversary ring? Is it the same as an anniversary band? When should you buy an anniversary ring? What do they look like?


One Response

  1. Hi Katherine, I am a big fan of necklace jewelry and not much into earrings. In an attempt to learn more about the same, I came across this amazing post of yours which beautifully explains the types of earrings. Keep up the good work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *