Small Gold Hoops Are Worth It

Delicate huggies evoke a simple chic aesthetic when worn alone; layered, they pack an extra punch.

gold hoops
(Image credit: Tyler Joe)

Years ago, I had a boozed-filled night out on St. Marks Place in New York City's East Village—a street famous for its thrift stores and indie shops—that ended with six new piercings. It's one drunk purchase I will never regret; I've adorned my ears with a mix of hoops and studs every day since.

Lucky for me, delicate hoop earrings are a versatile jewelry staple that withstand the test of time. We sat down with jewelry expert, designer, and cofounder of DTC jewelry brand the Last Line, Shelley Sanders, to get her tips on how to layer earrings like a pro.

Marie Claire: How do you style tiny hoops?

Shelley Sanders: You can wear them symmetrically, one on each ear, or doubled on the same ear for a cool edge. Small huggies are typically best for a second hole piercing on the lobe; you’ll also see them in cartilage piercings. I love a graduated look: Start with your biggest hoop at the lobe and gradually go smaller up the ear.

MC: What should you look for when purchasing these earrings?

SS: I think everyone should own a pair of diamond huggies, as you will wear them forever. I would recommend your pair being fine (14 karat or above) and either yellow or white gold. Size is personal preference; some people prefer them to be snug to the ear, while others like a little space between for a drop. As someone with 17 piercings, I am almost always wearing a few different tiny hoops.

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A version of this article appears in the Fall 2020 issue of Marie Claire.


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(Image credit: Kathryn Wirsing)
Katie Attardo

Katie Attardo is the Accessories Editor at Marie Claire, covering all things fashion and jewelry-related.