Quick Take: Earring Styles and Sizing

different types of earrings

It’s not something most of us usually think about, but there’s so much more to earrings these days than simply “pierced or clip.” Think about it for a second, and you’ll probably see what I mean.

Clip earrings for instance, have several different styles. There’s spring closures (used mostly for clip on hoops), regular clips, and screw-on clips. In vintage earrings, the standard clip is generally most popular, but for modern styles, screw-on backings have quickly caught up.

difference between classic and screw-on clips

Pierced earrings too have several different styles. There’s studs, posts, kidneys, fishhooks, leverbacks, and threaders, all of them lending themselves to different types of dangles, chains, charms, or decorations for the ear.

types of pierced earrings

Last but not least, there’s cheaters, which are special earrings that fake the look of a plug or taper. Standard ear piercings are normally 18 gauge, and cheater plugs usually come in 16 gauge, which is slightly larger. Basically, the item consists of two big ends that appear to be large gauge (usually around 0 gauge to 1/2″), and a smaller gauge bar through the middle that goes unseen. To find out what size you’re faking, measurements are done the same as with real plugs, by diameter in millimeters.

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faux plug cheater earrings

New earring styles, like hoops made specifically to be worn through tunnels, and dangle plugs that give the appearance of both a plug and an earring, are being developed all the time. So when it comes to ear jewelry, there’s just no telling what will be next.