Whether what’s in your wardrobe lives and dies by what’s happening at Fashion Week, or if, quite frankly, you couldn’t care less, the truth is that trends born on the catwalk will trickle down to inform your style. And if fashion powerhouses like Italian label Valentino and luxury streetwear favorite Vetements are anything to go by, earrings for men are about to have a serious moment.
For some celebrities though, men’s earrings are less of a trend and more an evergreen style statement. Take Jamie Foxx, for example – has anyone seen the star without his signature studs? Or that self-proclaimed “pretty motherf*cker,” A$AP Rocky, whose look wouldn’t be complete without his diamond earrings.
The Best Earrings For Men
Ready to dive into the world of men’s earrings? Here are the main types you’ll come across on your hunt for cool ear bling.
1. Stud Earrings for Men
The simple stud is what you’ll get pierced with if it’s just your lobe staring down the barrel of the gun. You’ll have to leave it in for eight weeks while the hole heals – take the stud out any sooner and it’ll close up – so you’re going to have to embrace this style regardless of whether you see yourself as more of a hoop man.
2. Hoop Earrings for Men
Think David Beckham in the ’00s and Romeo Beckham in the here and now, who looks suspiciously like he might have been raiding dear old dad’s jewelry box. Hoops might be a little bit more adventurous than the simple stud, but they’re also the comfortable option. Get a pair of aptly named ‘sleeper’ earrings (designed so they can be worn at night), and you never have to take them out.
3. Dangle Men’s Earring
The punchiest of the men’s earring options, this one requires the most sartorial bravery or inclination to peacock. Take Johnny Depp, who has worn drop dangle earrings since way before it was necessary to add the prefix ‘problematic’ to his name. Or look to an ’80s Rob Lowe and, more recently, Snoop Dogg, for inspiration.
4. Clip-On Earrings for Men
If you don’t want to commit to a full-fledged piercing, opt for clip-on earrings instead, which are just as stylish with way less commitment. Clip-ons can come in a huge range of shapes and styles, making them suitable for pretty much any occasion. The one downside is that you may experience slight discomfort after wearing clip-on earrings for a while, as they pinch the earlobes to stay on.
5. Magnetic Earrings for Men
Another alternative to putting an actual hole in your ear are magnetic earrings. These are virtually the same as clip-ons in the sense that they can be worn without a piercing, but work with a magnetic back and front. Simply line the earring up on your lobe and let the magnets do the rest.
This type of earring for men generally works best with the stud style, but you’ll find the occasional dangly magnetic earring, too. Just make sure not to pick anything too heavy, or you run the risk of revealing your secret as the earring may begin to slip off your ear.
6. Novelty Earrings for Men
Novelty earrings are a fun way to add a statement accessory to your outfit, and with so many options to choose from, you’re sure to find a pair (or two) that will fit your style and help you stand out in a crowd.
Novelty earrings can range from bright neon shapes circling your ear, to dangling daggers or a hoop with cartoon animal hanging from it. The best part about novelty earrings is that there are no rules. Simply pick a pair that speaks to you and let the rest fall into place.
7. Barbell Earrings for Men
Barbell earrings can be traced back as far as the 1970s to the very first piercing parlor in the USA. Today, they have a punk rock feel and the ability to transport you to the early 2000s, with dark eyeliner, lots of leather and grunge galore. That said, these earrings aren’t out of style in the least, and still remain popular among men looking to jazz up their look.
Barbell earrings sit across the top of your ear, with two holes and balls on either side. This ear piercing for men is eye catching to say the least and is certainly a step beyond your typical earring styles.
8. Gauge Earrings for Men
And then comes the most intense men’s earrings: gauges and plugs. This is certainly a step beyond any kind of ear piercing as it requires you to stretch out your ears to create a flesh tunnel. Gauges take commitment to size up, and require plastic surgery if you’d like your earlobes to return to their normal state, but they certainly suit some men’s styles, especially if they’re going for an edgier look.
Do keep in mind that gauges may not be acceptable at some workplaces and might give your mother a heart attack. They also run a high risk of infection and tears. But if you’re ready to take your style to the next level, this is an earring style to consider.
9. Gold Earrings for Men
Gold earrings look far too regal to ever be punky, but they do lend themselves to a romantic, vintage look – think Lord Byron reclining on a sofa. A gold hoop also looks surprisingly good with sportswear. Don’t ask us why. We don’t make the rules.
10. Silver Earrings for Men
Silver – along with platinum and white gold – jewelry works well for all kinds of cool earrings. It can look sleek, punky and also lend itself to a hippyish aesthetic. Fun fact: sailors traditionally wore silver earrings as a way to pay for their burial were they to die at sea and wash ashore on a strange land.
If you’re new to body bling, men’s silver hoop earrings are a great starting point as a stylish, easy-to-wear, goes-with-everything option.
11. Diamond Men’s Earrings
The likes of silver screen (and style) superstar Michael B Jordan have rescued the diamond from only being the preserve of a Third Division footballer. However, a diamond stud set should probably be reserved for suited and booted days to avoid their sartorial relegation.
The Best Earrings Brands For Men
If you’re looking for the best earrings for men, start with these retailers to find a wide range of options to choose from:
Brooklyn-based Martine Ali‘s unapologetic fusing of punk and 90’s hip-hop aesthetics is winning her legions of fans. Her statement heavy metal earrings are also pretty reasonably priced given the amount of silver used.
Head to everyone’s favorite behemoth of an online store for an extensive range of gold-plated and sterling silver earrings, with a particularly strong selection of simple hoops. They also have a few ear cuffs if you’re not a fan of needles.
Danish designer Maria Black offers a masterclass in sleek Scandinavian simplicity with her unique men’s jewelry. Handcrafted in London, her earrings are a failsafe option, whether you’re dipping a toe into the trend with something smaller or embracing your inner Jack Sparrow with a stinking great hoop.
Pearls Before Swine
Think earthy rather than flashy and polished from Canadian jewelry brand Pearls Before Swine. Designer Himo Martin plays around with organic and nature-inspired shapes, making use of handsomely brushed silver and raw black diamonds.
London-based designer’s men’s earrings brand Alan Crocetti have been picked up by some of the coolest shops across the globe, with the likes of Machine-A in London and Tokyo’s aptly named GR8 lining their shelves with his wares. Find flames, hooks and hoops crafted from precious metals. Not one for wallflowers.
Stolen Girlfriends Club
The earrings at Stolen Girlfriend’s Club are decidedly masc4masc, with skulls, snake bites and daggers making up some of the designs from this Kiwi surf brand’s cool collection of jewelry.
Earrings For Men: What To Consider
Before you take the plunge into the final frontier of earrings for men, here are all the practical considerations of a piercing.
The Piercing Itself
How and where you start your ear decoration journey depends on the type of piercing you’re looking for. High street jewellers can often do a bog-standard lobe piercing. But as you move up the ear – to where it no longer feels fleshy – it turns to cartilage, and the piercing gun will no longer cut it. Instead, you’ll need someone to pierce you with a needle.
Age ain’t nothing but a number, wrote R.Kelly for a then underage Aaliyah to sing. Grim. But when it comes to men’s earrings, people, unlike hummus, do not have a best before date.
Granted, there are cases when anything other than a simple stud past a certain age can come across a bit try-hard. But if you have enough swagger, you can pull anything off. Check out the hoops on London-based architect and artist Abe Odedina, who’s approaching his sixth decade, if you don’t believe us.
While a sharks tooth dangling from your ear might sit a little uneasily at a black tie event, there aren’t really any hard and fast rules when it comes to picking an earring. “It completely depends on the customer, as they all have different styles. Some might want something subtle, whereas others want something dramatic.”
Think of picking earrings as being similar to shopping for a suit or tattoo ideas. There are styles that you’re naturally drawn to, and it’s usually wise to go with your gut. There’s nothing stopping you from wearing a dangly earring if you want to, but you’ll probably instinctively know whether it will suit your look.
FAQs About Earrings For Men
If you still have some questions about earrings for men, check out these FAQs for some final answers.
How to wear men’s earrings?
Men’s earrings can be worn in a variety of ways, it’s all about matching your personal style and occasion.
For dressier instances, you may consider wearing a pair of hoops or a dangly earring to complement your outfit. For more low key events like everyday wear or the workplace, you may consider sticking with simple studs.
You can also try to match the metal of your earrings to the metal of your outfit. If you have a belt with a gold buckle, consider a pair of gold earrings.
It’s all about finding what works best for your personal style, but always remember to take out the dangly earrings at the gym and to keep them clean and sterilized to prevent infection.
When should you wear earrings for men?
Earrings for men can be worn at any time and for any occasion. If you want to make your outfit stand out, earrings can be a great way to accessorize and draw your style together. If you’d rather play things casual, a pair of silver or gold studs will suit you best and match pretty much anything you decide to throw on.
Are earrings for men professional?
If you’re wondering if male earrings can be worn in the work place, know that this boils down to the individual office you work in and the industry in general. Typically, most jobs won’t mind an ear piercing on men, so long as it’s subtle and simple. You may want to stay away from flashy or dangly earrings if you don’t want to draw attention to yourself wearing earrings in the workplace.