Statement Earrings

Statement Earrings

There are pieces of jewellery that you might wear every day. Your wedding ring, stud earrings, or perhaps a slimline necklace. These pieces are jewellery box essentials, but they usually aren’t your most valuable items – those you save for when you want to make an impression. Such jewellery pieces, large and bombastic, fabulously sparkling or unusually unique as they may be, are typically reserved for the fanciest occasions in our social calendars. These precious pieces are what we would call statement jewellery items.

What is Statement Jewellery?

A statement jewellery item is usually best described as something that you can’t take your eyes off for whatever reason. Typically, most pieces of statement jewellery are oversized, forcing you to keep looking at them. Equally, they can feature bright and bold colours and patterns as well as an excess of sparkling gemstones.

While all categories of jewellery can have statement pieces, sometimes it’s difficult to imagine what a statement piece might look like. A common one that gets questioned often is earrings, with people left wondering what are statement earrings exactly. If you yourself have been asking this question – fear not- today we’re covering all aspects of statement earrings and how to wear them.

What are Statement Earrings?

Among the oldest known body modifications, ear piercings have been a common practise around the globe for millennia. There are elaborate earrings made from gold, brass, and gemstones like lapis lazuli that date back to a variety of ancient civilisations such as Persia, Minoa, and Ancient Greece.

It seems that earrings have been around as long as anyone can remember, but what about statement earrings? What does it take for an earring to become a statement in the first place?

wearing statement earrings

Possibly the earliest example of statement earrings comes in the form of girandole earrings. These seem to have first emerged in the mid-17th century, but didn’t become widely popular until the Georgian period. Girandole earrings often consist of a bow shape at the centre, with three elaborate strands hanging down. These earrings were frequently coated in gemstones like diamonds and rubies, hence the title of ‘statement’ earrings.

Gemstones don’t have to be what makes a piece of jewellery a statement, however; whether they’re earrings, a ring, or a pendant. Sometimes, just the inclusion of bright colours is enough to have a piece become a statement. Neon colouring or wonderfully complimentary and contrasting colours can help an earring come out of the everyday and become extraordinary.

Considering the age of the ‘first’ statement earrings, it’s not out of the question to want to know if statement earrings are still in style today.

Are Statement Earrings in Style?

Owning statement jewellery is never a bad idea overall. Although the trend of the statement can change, it’s never bad to have them on the back burner. Chandelier earrings, for example, were a huge fashion statement in the Victorian era, being adored by women with the latest updos that left plenty of space to show off intricate designs and gemstones. At the turn of the 20th century, they fell out of fashion, only to return once more in the 1990s and early 2000s.

The statement style of the moment when it comes to earrings is mismatching. Wearing a single, oversized, statement earring on one side and a smaller, more subdued stud in the other ear is a look that’s really turning heads at the minute. You’ll see it on the runways of the world, which means it’s well on its way to the high-street fashion that’s more accessible to the majority of us. So, all in all, yes statement earrings are currently in style.

But, how do you approach this fashion style?

How to Wear Statement Earrings

The first thing to address when it comes to wearing statement earrings is your confidence. Trying new styles can feel intimidating, especially when you’ve already settled into familiar aesthetics. However, always remember that you can pull off any style you approach when you believe that you can; it’s cheesy to hear but it is in fact the truth. There are practicalities to consider that we’ll get onto, but the psychological aspect of wearing statements with confidence is where it all starts.

Something that you can bear in mind when considering statement earrings is your hair. If you have short hair that leaves your ears exposed, statement earrings are the perfect accessory for you. Having them on full display is a great way to dress up your look for a special occasion, and you don’t have to worry about looking overcrowded. If you have long hair, this is where you can debate how to style it.

Statement Earrings
sapphire and diamond statement drop earrings

Very long hair, well past the shoulder, looks good when left down with statement earrings. Have a look at Beyoncé’s style to see how to pull off having long hair down whilst sporting a pair of stunningly oversized earrings. Alternatively, if your statement earrings truly need to be seen, there are lots of up-dos that can be of use to you.

The swept-up bun is a brilliant choice for looking fashionable, graceful, and timeless. It’s also achievable with most hair types and textures. Something of an in-between can be found in a half-up-half-down hairstyle. This is a more transitional look that can be worn casual or formal depending on how you choose to style it. Ultimately, statement earrings are a lot more workable than you might imagine, and they are certainly worth your consideration.

Outfits to Pair with Your Statement Earrings

With hair out of the way as a problem, the next question inevitably becomes ‘what outfits can you pair with statement earrings’. This is a twofold situation, where the road forks in both formal and casual directions. For those looking to branch out by bringing the statement piece into the casual world, consider wearing your statement earrings with a relaxed outfit for a casual day out in the city. This looks especially ‘cool’ if you are someone with short hair, but if not, feel free to leave your hair down in order to emphasise the relaxed nature of your style.

wearing statement diamond earrings

A simple white shirt with some straight-leg jeans and comfortable-but-cool trainers looks great with a pair of statement earrings on display. Pair them with one or two large rings and bracelets and you’ve got a balanced look that is both laid-back and effortlessly chic.

For something more dressed up and formal, statement earrings can make you feel ready for any occasion. It truly doesn’t matter if you prefer the traditional floor-length gown approach to formality or if you’re more comfortable wearing a well-fitted suit – statement earrings are your friend. Another great approach for people with short hair is to have their statement earrings on display and wear a suit, full tie and waistcoat accessories are up to you to decide. This look is both glamorous and assertive, letting everyone around you know that you are indeed the boss.

Feminine aesthetics more suited to dresses are the perfect excuse to go full-formal if that’s something that interests you. If you use the prominent colours from your statement earrings to establish a palette, then you can wear a dress featuring these colours to keep a consistent style. Wear your hair up and out of the way, and consider adding a suitably dramatic accessory like a pair of silk or velvet gloves to top off the aesthetic perfectly.

What Earrings to Wear with Statement Necklaces

A general rule of thumb when styling statement jewellery – or even when styling at all – is to listen to the experts. The designer icon, Coco Chanel once said ‘When putting on accessories, take off the last thing you’ve put on’. Say what you will about Coco, it cannot be said that she didn’t know what she was talking about when it came to fashion.

A statement piece of jewellery is exactly that: a statement. Wearing too much can leave you looking cluttered and messy, rather than going for a maximalist style that involves more being more. It’s not impossible to wear a necklace with statement earrings, but it’s all very style dependent. Proportions are essential to any outfit, and if everything you have on says ‘statement’ then you’re probably saying too much.

For this reason, statement pieces of jewellery tend to stand on their own. You wouldn’t wear multiple bold perfumes, and you should avoid multiple statement jewellery pieces for the same reason; too much sensory stimulation. If you’re wearing a statement necklace that is either very large, very colourful, very long, very sparkly, or some combination thereof, you should consider leaving the statement earrings at home.

statement necklace

Although you certainly still can wear earrings alongside a statement neck piece, you need to be more considerate to the size and shape of the earrings. Studs are a sensible choice, ideally with a complimentary gemstone which best suits the necklace itself. Diamond studs, for example, are a great idea to pair with a range of statement necklaces, whether they are white, black, grey, gold, or a variety of colours (diamonds are truly a girl’s best friend when it comes to their diversity).

If you’re wearing the full formal outfit for a formal or black-tie occasion – be it a gown, a tux, or a suit of any kind – and you’ve opted for a stunning statement necklace, keep your earrings very simply (or absent entirely). If you choose to wear your hair up or have short enough hair that your ears are on show, then some subtle studs or huggie style hoops that sit flush against the lobe are ideal. If your hair will be covering your ears, however, it’s best to let the necklace do all the work and leave earrings out of the equation all together.

The rules are less particular when dressing casually, but if your aim is to appear stylish – even in your own unique way – then you’re only doing yourself a favour by finding the balance. Large stud earrings can be a good pair with a statement necklace, but you need to follow your intuition in terms of what will go well together. The same applies to the opposite situation.

Casual styles can look great with statement earrings and necklaces, but the necklaces need to be more subdued. Several slimmer, chain style necklaces in a range of lengths can look very chic with statement earrings and a casual t-shirt and jeans combo. Wear your hair up in a casual hairstyle like a bun or a ponytail to further the laidback elements of the aesthetic.

The statement earrings themselves can often seem intimidating due to their sizes, shapes, and styles. But thankfully, they don’t have to put you off of accessorising all together. Let’s break down a few of the most popular statement earring types and go over how simple they can be to style.

Pearl Statement Earrings

Pearls are one of Earth’s great many gifts to us. Naturally forming in clam shells, these organic gemstones are true beauties. They will suit any skin tone, any style, any aesthetic, and any occasion with absolutely no effort. When it comes to pearl statement earrings, it doesn’t have to all be about the size of the pearls, but it probably should.

Nothing says ‘I am important and intimidating and fabulous’ like a pair of enormous pearls hanging from your ears. Whether you opt for the gloriously simple pearl stud and just crank the size all the way up, or you decide something a little more complex is your cup of tea, pearls are a godsend in terms of their versatility.

You’ll find a lot of pearl earrings that are here to make a statement are paired with diamonds to some extent. Again, we bow down to the endless styling possibilities which diamonds present; they can take a pearl from a church-worthy everyday item to a dazzling red-carpet-event piece. Drop earrings are the most common form for making a statement, and pearl drop earrings are no different.

pearl and diamond art deco statement earrings
cultured pearl and diamond statement clip on earrings

By putting pearls and diamonds together, it’s easy to take drop earrings to the next level of glamour, becoming something befitting the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, or Sophia Loren. Most of the pearl drop earrings you’ll find will feature an elegant streak of diamonds leading to a stunning pearl drop, while some will also have a cluster of some kind at the lobe, whether it features pearls or diamonds predominantly changing from one pair to the next.

Finally, there are statement pearl earrings which are part of jewellery sets. Typically, jewellery sets are very cohesive and stunning collections that can feature anywhere from two to five pieces of jewellery. They can be more casual in style, but often they are statements – making it simple enough to strike the balance and not appear ‘over accessorised’ since they items were made to be worn together.

diamond and pearl statement jewellery set
pearl and diamond set with statement earrings

Here we have two very different sides of the jewellery set coin. Large, pure cotton white pearls sit in the midst of a plethora of diamonds in one set, with stud earrings which dominate the lobe and draw the eye towards the face. All the while, a ring perfectly complimenting the cluster design and style can sit proudly on the hand, either as a cocktail ring of sorts or even an engagement ring stand-in for special occasions.

In the other set, we see something altogether different. The natural saltwater pearls used in the Asprey jewellery suite comprise of a generous handful of colours, with even the lightest being more of a silver colour than the traditional white. Instead, bronze, pinks, purples, and rich browns come together to create a colour palette that’s nothing if not a statement. Consisting of statement clustered pearl earrings, a vibrant cocktail ring, and a stunning brooch, this jewellery suite lends itself seamlessly to being the perfect accompaniment to any event.

pearl statement earrings

Gold Statement Earrings

Plain metals are a very popular choice for jewellery of all kinds, not least because it is easy to style with most outfits and aesthetics. When you’re looking at gold statement earrings, you can find ones that are plain metal as well as ones which feature subtle gemstone touches and accents which are typically just what a piece needs to become a stunning statement in and of itself.

pearl and yellow gold drop earrings
seed pearl and yellow gold statement earrings

Pearls are a gemstone you’re highly likely to find in gold statement earrings; their varied size makes them ideal for providing the finishing touches needed to take a pair of earrings to the next level. Once again, drop earrings are often going to be the place to look for the perfect pair of gold statement earrings. Dramatic drops incorporating different shapes in interesting and unique ways are perfect for getting as much eye-catching goodness as possible out of your accessories.

Sometimes, thick expanses of gold will be broken up by smaller gemstones in order to create a beautiful statement earring with lots of charisma. This is also a great way to utilise smaller gemstones that might otherwise not get the appreciation they deserve. While some pieces of statement jewellery are named as such for the sheer size of the materials used, it’s equally possible to look bold and beautiful through the use of a plethora of smaller stones.

Using gold to create patterns or specific designs can be very effective when looking to find statement earrings that are predominantly gold. Large gold statement earrings have a feel to them that’s very vintage, with ‘80s styles first soaring them to the height of popularity. As is the case with many vintage styles, large gold earrings are once again at the fore of style and fashion. Check out these gold statement earrings to see if they might be something you could see yourself sporting.

gemstone statement earrings
sapphire and ruby gold earrings

Textured gold earrings are also great choices for statement earrings made predominantly of precious metal. Whether it’s a hammered gold finishing or some geometric ridging, textured gold is always stunning. Yellow gold jewellery in particular was very popular in the mid-20th century, and you’ll find a lot of vintage pieces from this era making use of lots of gold as well as lots of texture.

This time period is also when the extraordinary hoop earring style first started reaching popularity. Since then, hoop earrings have been a versatile addition to the jewellery world, equally suiting a young punk style and a timeless more mature aesthetic. Statement hoop style earrings are wonderfully varied in both their shape and size. It takes more than a large thin circular band to create a statement hoop earring. A lot of earrings take a twist in the way the hoop lies against the ear, as well as the overall shape – with squares and triangles being just as popular as a traditional hoop when it comes to making a statement.

Read more about how to wear hoop earrings

turquoise and gold drop earrings
swirl diamond hoop earrings

Statement Diamond Earrings

Diamond jewellery in and of itself is a classic element of style and is about as timeless as it gets. Although diamond jewellery isn’t inherently a statement – a lot of dainty diamond jewellery pieces are perfect for every day, as well as engagement rings which are typically worn everyday – it is certainly more than capable of being the ultimate statement piece.

Whether you opt for some contrast with diamonds set in yellow or rose gold or you prefer the ‘white on white’ aesthetic that can be found with diamonds set against white gold, silver, or platinum, diamond earrings are the ideal statement. Especially well styled with short hair or updos to show off as much as possible, statement diamond earrings are as varied and beautiful as the people who wear them!

white gold diamond drop earrings
vintage heart shaped diamond drop earrings

When you’re wondering how to get the most out of some statement diamond earrings, consider the cut of the diamonds involved. Mixing it up by utilising less common cuts like heart shaped cuts and baguette cuts is a great way of keeping the look very interesting. Statement earrings incorporating a mix of different cuts for the diamonds always catch the eye, particularly since light will enter the stones and refract in a massive array of shine and colour.

Certain eras of jewellery creation are also excellent for creating different styles of statement jewellery. The Art Deco era, for example, stretched across the early 20th century and is responsible for some of the most timeless pieces of design in existence. Picture the Chrysler building of jewellery, and you have Art Deco design summed up in a nutshell. Statement diamond earrings in the Art Deco style are among the most beautiful pieces of jewellery you will ever see. Balancing simplicity and intricacy, they utilise simple geometric shapes to create complex symmetrical patterns.

vintage diamond clip on statement earrings
art deco diamond earrings

Although large diamonds are the go-to reaction to the concept of statement diamond earrings, it’s still very plausible to have stunning statement earrings which make use of a plethora of smaller stones. As can be seen in the below examples, small diamonds – when used en mass – can be put to great effect. Using interesting shapes and large sizes, these statement earrings pack a punch by featuring a lot of smaller stones.

As has been mentioned, the usage of many diamonds allows for lots of light refraction, leading to the most stunning sparkle you’re ever going to find. The subtle twists and shapes used in both of these statement earring pairs is enough to make anyone look truly fabulous, so much so that it’s hard to pick a favourite.

antique circular diamond earrings
french diamond earrings

Where to Buy Statement Earrings

Where you decided to buy statement earrings is largely dependent on your own personal tastes and style preferences. If you are someone who loves a luxury brand and wants a famous name or logo attached to your jewellery, then shopping designer seems like the smartest choice. If you just love things that are quirky and unusual, then perhaps an independent creator will be better for you.

If you like the idea of truly unique statement earrings that you won’t see on anyone else’s ears, you’ll shop antique and vintage. Not only does this pathway lead to more individualistic styles which aren’t typically found on the high-street or in luxury stores today, but the price tag is typically much nicer on the eyes! With antique and vintage jewellery, you’re likely to find that you get more carat for your cash, which is great when you’re looking to make a statement with some dazzling stones.

Check out some of our most fabulous statement earrings below and see if any of them grab you by the heart. Be warned – once you see the ones you love, you’ll never be able to move on!

That was a lot to take in! But, if you’ve made it this far, you must be serious about your statement earrings and what they can do for your overall style. The next time you have a big event coming up, consider how a powerful pair of earrings can be all you need to take your look to the next level and become the star of the show.

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

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