Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve been obsessed with hoop earrings. I don’t have pierced ears, but my mom did when she was younger. Throughout my childhood, I poked at the tiny little holes in her ears, constantly pestering her to put earrings in, to switch them out for different ones, and to show me again and again how they went in.
As fashion trends and my own style choices changed, so did my fascination with hoop earrings. In the late 90s, I fixated on the large, dangly gold hoops that I saw in advertisements and fashion magazines. In the early 2000s, I stared starry-eyed at the hoop earring sub-plot of Mean Girls. I always wanted to know more: how does one know what kind of hoops will go with their outfit? How do you choose the right hoop earrings to give as a gift?
Now, two decades later, I love the subtle glamour of a small hoop tucked around the earlobe. There’s something so classic about their small, wide silhouette. I know exactly where my love for them comes from, too; they were the size of hoop frequently worn by Kelly Bishop for her role as Emily Gilmore, in the 2000s hit series Gilmore Girls. My own longing for my grandmother’s love was echoed in her difficult relationship with her daughters. Emily Gilmore became an icon in my eyes, funny and restrained and stylish, and I have a nostalgic love for small hoop and huggy earrings to this day.
Small hoop earrings with Parisian style
The hoop earring is an iconic shape, and smaller hoops are a great way to wear them. With a thicker profile but zero drop, hoop earrings that tuck up against your earlobe have a refined, classic look. They’re a subtle statement that’s excellent for a more refined aesthetic. To me, small hoops will always feel romantic: as if they’re saying, “I am enjoying myself right now, but also I’m dreaming about springtime in Paris.”
There’s a small difference between small hoops and huggy earrings, though the two categories are very similar in style. While a hoop earring comes away from your earlobe, the downward profile of the even-smaller huggy (also spelled “huggie earring”) tucks right up against your earlobe. This makes them an excellent, slightly lighter choice for the earlobe, but also means they fit comfortably for many cartilage piercings.
The free, circular shape of a small hoop earring means that these earrings can be either delicate or eye-catching. I love styles with a diamond-encrusted front, especially in sterling silver. They’re small enough to be understated, but will catch the light even at a distance for an alluring, playful sparkle.
Going big or go home
For more of a statement (and more of a throwback), go big and bold with your hoop earrings! Large hoop earrings are a style favourite of celebrities like Khloe Kardashian, Penelope Cruz, and the ever-ageless J. Lo. A thin band draws the eye downwards, slimming the neck and serving as an excellent compliment to a top or dress with a high neckline. For a style that you’ll be able to wear for years, select a simple gold or silver band—solid gold and sterling silver are your best choice, as they’ll never wear down or tarnish.
If you already have a simple hoop earring that you love, you can add excitement to your jewelry cabinet by adding a hoop with a fashion-forward design. Chunkier designs feel heavier on the ear and won’t go with everything, but they’re a vibrant way to take an already-great outfit to the next level. Hoop earrings with bright colours and intricate designs help draw the eye to your mouth and eyes, adding colour and character to any look.
How to choose the right size of hoop earrings
If you’re thinking about buying someone a pair of hoop earrings as a gift, here’s my take: go for it. Hoops don’t have to have the same wild, raucous connotations that they once did, and there are so many different styles of hoop earrings to suit any recipient.
In order to select just the right pair for a loved one or for yourself, take cues from the wearer’s wardrobe and favourite jewelry items. Stick to the colour of their preferred metal (usually yellow gold for warm skin tones, and silver or white gold for cool skin tones), and look at the size and drop of their other earrings. Wearers who prefer little stud earrings are likely to prefer lighter, smaller hoops, while wearers of large, fashion earrings often lean to larger or more colourful designs.
Emily Gilmore, with her Chanel suits and blown-out hair, always went for an intricate gold design for daytime wear—but she had fun mixing it up after hours, and so can you.
Shop hoop earrings online at Best Buy today.