Everything You Need to Know About Buying Hoop Earrings

Make your hoop dreams come true with these stylish pairs.

It used to be said that only tall people could pull off truly huge hoops, and cool skin tones should stick with silver, while those with war, undertones should go with gold. To all that we say hogwash! You gotta go where you wanna go wearing what you wanna wear. The key is to pick something that you like, because nothing’s more flattering than a confident swagger and a great big smile. Here are our favorite hoop earrings to rock.

Classic Design

This deceptively delicate hypoallergenic pair comes in various metal finishes, so you can pick the hue that you like best. PAVOI

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The greatest thing about a hoop is its versatility. It truly does look just as appropriate with a work outfit as a fancy dress. Just take care not to wear hoops anywhere you could potentially get snagged, like on the basketball court or at the hairdresser’s.

Good for Sensitive Lobes

These infinity loops fasten into themselves, making for a seamless design. They’re harder to put on than a click-in-place option, though, so anyone with less-agile fingers might find them tricky. EPIRORA

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To pick the perfect size and style for you, get to know gauging. Gauge size refers to the thickness of the metal and, counterintuitively, the lower the number, the thicker the metal. That’s particularly important if you plan to make your hoops pull double or triple duty as a nose ring, tragus ring, or adornment for any other part of your body.

A Bit of Bling

This one does what it says: embraces the lobe instead of dangling beneath it. The more minimalist size and shape leave room for some dazzling gems. PAVOI

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Let’s talk plated versus vermeil. Pure solid-metal pieces (e.g. 14-karat gold) can get very expensive, so if you want the look of a precious metal without the price tag, you’ll likely be buying something gold- or silver-plated or -vermeil. Gold-plated means that the base metal is brass, which is then dipped in a solid-gold bath. This is the most affordable option. Vermeil uses the same process, except that the base metal is slightly-more-precious sterling silver, and has a thicker gold coating. They’re both affordable alternatives to solid gold or silver; the downside is that they can tarnish, stain your skin, and sometimes look obviously fake. But especially for trendy pieces you don’t plan to wear forever, there’s no shame in buying plated or vermeil.