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Dangle vs Drop Earrings

History of the Earring

Women and men have been wearing earrings for thousands of years, possibly as far back as 2500 B.C. Over this time, the styles, popularity and significance of these accessories have changed. Of course Cleopatra draped her ears in adornments, but so did King Tut. In India and in other cultures, the piercing of children's ears is a part of certain religious ceremonies. In modern times, earrings have been a fun way for women to express themselves.

The styles have evolved to match the times and the tastes of women. When many balked at having to put holes in their ears to accessorize, the industry created a screw backs and then clip-ons so everyone could enjoy their creations. Today, the sky is the limit on earring design. What a woman wears on her ears is very revealing about her overall personality or, in the very least, her mood for the day. She can be as kooky as she wants with dangle earrings that brush the shoulders or simple and sophisticated with pearl studs.

What are drop earrings?

Basically, these are earrings that "drop" below the earlobe just a bit. Typically, these are simple pieces where some kind of adornment like a gemstone, charm or bead drops directly from the base of the earring. These are usually fairly simple pieces and, though it hangs below the lobe, the ornamental piece is stationary or in the very least, movement is limited because it comes right off the base.

The hanger used for drop earrings are usually posts with an o ring attached for the drop piece. It also may be all one piece. This is often true if the hanger is a wire hook which serves as the hanger plus holds the ornamental piece.

What are Dangle earrings?

The word "dangle" means to hang and swing to and fro or side to side. So, a dangle earring hangs below the earlobe and has movement. The length to which they hang is varied with some that even brush the shoulders.

The style can be a single chain or wire that extends from a hook, which is typical, or a post and ends in some sort of ornamental piece like a gemstone or a bead. For special occasions, a dangle of diamonds adds sparkle to the face. This style can also branch off into several layers and lengths creating a waterfall look. This style is called chandelier dangle earrings.

Could earrings be both dangle and drop?

There is no hard and fast rule about this but the answer is maybe. A dangle could also be considered a drop because it hangs below the earlobe and there may be limited movement if it is a short dangle. However, a drop can not be a dangle simply because of the definition. drop earrings are not going to swing and move.

There could be combination earrings. There could be an ornamental drop from the earring base and then an additional chain that dangles from there with more gemstones, beads or charms. That's one of the great things about earrings- almost anything goes.

Who can wear these earrings?

First of all, age and personality plays a huge part in how women choose their earrings. Because the dangle style comes in so many different lengths and range from simple to elaborate, there should be something for everyone. Young women tend to wear the longer styles and as they age, the earring lengths shorten. This is not to say older women can't wear dangles to their shoulders, but typically they don't.

The occasion is also a deciding factor. For an evening out clubbing or a formal event, sparkling silver and gold dangles with shiny stones are almost always the accessory of choice. A drop style is more appropriate for the office or more serious events. Drops can be fun too so wear them whenever.

Hair style can accent an earring or hide it. For women with short hair or with an updo, long dangle earrings look great. If long hair is worn down, a dangle is hidden and may very well get tangled in the hair. A drop style really looks great with any hair style.

Choosing earrings for comfort

When choosing accessories, the weight may be more important than the style of the earring. Weight is particularly important with drop and dangle earrings . Think about it- not only is weight a factor, but gravity gives that weight more impact. A drop style is less likely to cause problems, especially if it uses a post, because it doesn't hang as low as a dangle. But, the decorative piece could still be heavy.

For the dangle, the combination of the hook hanger, which is typical, plus the length, weight and gravity can ruin an ear lobe. So, try to choose lightweight styles whenever possible and test them out before buying them. If the perfect pair of dangle earrings happen to be heavy (and we all know comfort is often sacrificed to fashion), wear supportive backings to reduce the pull and limit the time and frequency they are worn. A stretched ear lobe and hole is really unattractive and the damage could be even worse with swelling and infections.

Earrings are such an important accessory that finding the perfect pair is almost like winning the lottery. Drop and dangle earrings have universal appeal so there is a perfect pair for everyone.