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Earrings Guide

Earrings -- How fashion and hairstyles affect trends

Though earrings have been around for thousands of years, their popularity has been largely dictated by the style of fashion as well as hair style trends. Think about the large ornate hair pieces and intricate hair styles of the Middle Ages- there was no room for decorating the ears. Collars that came to the chin were also popular and they were typically ruffled or had bows. Again, this severe fashion made the gold earring and other styles unnecessary. Conversely, when the high collars faded away and hair styles climbed up in the 17th and 18th centuries, women again sought ways to decorate the newly exposed areas of their bodies. Popular at this time were dangling gemstone diamond earrings that filled in this open area. By the middle of the 19th century, fashion again caused earrings to fall by the wayside. This time it was the common practice of wearing bonnets and the pulled back hairstyle that covered the ears. Moving into the 20th century, earrings made a comeback, especially after World War I when women started sporting shorter hairstyles like the bob. This century also saw the invention of the screw-back and the clip-on so pierced ears were no longer necessary to enjoy whatever was the latest trend in earrings. In fact, pierced ears became quite uncommon and didn�t make resurgence until the 70s. But, whether pierced or not, the 20th century revived the popularity of earrings and they have remained popular to this day.

Earrings -- The basic styles

There are just a few basic styles that are the jumping off point for every piece- whether it be simple or elaborate- they all start from one of these basic frames:
  • The Stud-
  • While this style may seem simple, embellishments and gemstones, called jackets, can really dress it up nicely. The stud earring includes the button and the solitaire style. It is a simple gold ball or a gemstone that is connected directly to the post and that�s all there is to it.
  • The Dangle-
  • This style is just like it sounds- it dangles from the ear. That means it swings and moves with the body. Threader earrings are a style of dangle as are chandelier earrings.
  • The Drop-
  • This is different from the dangle in that there is no movement. The drop earring hangs below the earlobe, but it is stationary. It can be gold or silver earrings that drop to form a design or hold a gemstone.
  • The Hoop-
  • Hoop earrings are the classic style of earring. This style dates back to about 3000 B.C. and has been popular ever since. Some hoops are tiny, just barely hugging the ear lobe, while others are large and wiry, brushing the shoulders. Some hoops dangle and others are attached directly to a post. Embellishments, color and design are added to the basic shape for a little more character. But, the simple gold or silver hoop earring will always be in style and go with any outfit.
  • The Chandelier-
  • This is really a type of dangle, but it is a very elaborate design that dangles from the ear. The chandelier branches or fans out as it falls from the ear, resembling the elaborate designs of a ballroom chandelier. Diamond earrings in a chandelier style make a stunning addition to a formal evening out.

    Earrings -- Choosing the perfect gift

    With so many different styles to choose from, it should be easy to find the perfect gift for that special someone. The key is to know their style and understand their personality. The easiest way to figure out if threader earrings suit her or if simple pearl earrings are more her style is to observe what she already wears. Does she always have tiny studs in or does she mix it up with long flowing chandeliers or large hoop earrings sometimes? Is her casual look flirty and fun or is she always conservative? These are all easy questions to answer just by paying attention to.

    Maybe the gift is supposed to really say something like �This is getting serious� or �I love and treasure you.� Diamond earrings are just the gift whether you're relationship is young and just starting out to if you're celebrating your twenty-fifth anniversary. There are so many styles to choose from in this category as well- solitaire studs, hoops and other designs can keep the message serious or light. To personalize the sentiment, select a pair of gemstone diamond earrings with her birthstone. It's a great way to let her know she is special.

    Earrings aren�t just for women either. Over the years, men have taken to piercing one or both ears and wearing tiny studs, small hoops and even diamonds. Some wear not so tiny pieces too. It�s all in the personality and taste of the guy. Whoever is wearing them, one this is for sure, earrings aren�t going away anytime soon. The jewelry industry adapts to changing trends that are often dictated by current hair styles and fashion. They have given women and men every opportunity to express their serious side, quirky side and sophisticated side with the vast array of earring styles on the market.