Earrings come in a variety of styles. Although you may not know the name of each type, chances are that you’ve seen every design available. The four main categories of earrings include: studs, drops, hoops, and huggies. Stud earrings include any earring that rests directly on the ear. Although some people consider studs and “clusters” separate categories, they’re effectively the same. Clusters are earrings that have several gemstones or other element on the earring. However, because clusters don’t hang down, they are categorized the same as studs. Drop earrings are as the name suggests: earrings that drop down past the earlobe. Chandelier earrings would fall in this category and so would any earring that dangles. Huggies are similar to hoops in the sense that are circular and wrap around the ear. However, unlike hoops, huggies “hug” the ear. In other words, huggies are much shorter and smaller than hoops. Hoops are perhaps the most widely known and include any earring that boasts a large circle that wraps around the ear. Because there are so many different styles of earrings, it can be challenging to know which style to wear during specific occasions. We’ve taken the guesswork out of choosing earrings with our guide below.


Generally, studs are best for office settings. Whether you work for a corporation or are attending a business meeting, studs are a safe bet because they are nonintrusive and conservative. When in doubt about the most appropriate earring type, opt for studs.


Drop earrings are ideal for fancy occasions. Whether you’re attending a formal dinner or merely a friend’s birthday party, drop earrings are fun way to add glamour and class to an outfit. Generally, drop earrings should be reserved for black-tie events or fun nights out. They are not considered business appropriate.


Huggies are great because they are office appropriate, but can also be dressed up for nights out. In addition, huggies are great for day-to-day wear because they are simple, understated and comfortable. Ultimately, huggies are a good choice for any occasion.


Hoops should be reserved for nights out, afternoon lunches with friends or after parties. Although fun, hoops are typically considered the least business appropriate of all the earring types. However, that doesn’t mean that hoops should be left in the dust! To incorporate hoops in your ensembles, opt for subtler jewelry elsewhere.