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The 411 on Earrings

The 411 on Earrings

Earrings are an essential part of almost every woman’s jewelry wardrobe. They complete a look and frame a face.


Earrings come in every type of metal, including stainless steel, but we’re starting here because it’s the one thing people can be allergic to. The most common metal allergy is nickel, which can cause itching, rash, swelling and blisters.

If you have a nickel allergy, choose nickel-free metals, such as 18K yellow gold, platinum, titanium, copper and sterling silver. White gold is a no-no — it usually contains nickel. If you already have a pair of earrings with nickel, you can purchase plastic covers to protect your ears, but these only work with certain types, such as studs. If you don’t have a nickel allergy, all metals work for you.

Also, consider your complexion when making a metal choice. Fair skin tends to look better with white or silver metals. Darker skin tones glow with the warmth of yellow gold.



The world pretty much went pierced in the 1970s, so clip-ons aren’t very popular anymore. Clip-ons are held in place literally with a hinged pressure clip on the back of the ear or with a screw that tightens onto your earlobe. It’s rare that you’ll find a comfortable pair of clip-ons, but, like certain shoes, certain pairs are worth it.


Studs are probably the most popular form of earring. Diamond studs are popular because a single, beautiful gem stands alone with no other distraction on the ear surface. Studs with or without gemstones in them look great on a narrow face, and can be worn to dress up jeans and a tee, or finish a night-on-the-town look.



The classic hoop is a piece of metal that circles the ear from front to back, leaving room between the bottom of the earring and the earlobe. Thin, large hoops are young and trendy, while smaller hoops are more sedate and elegant. Hoops can be simple, clean metal, garnished simply with a gem or two, or encrusted with diamonds. There are asymmetrical hoops for a more adventurous look. Super-versatile, hoops are a classic business or weekend look for many women, and look great on a square face.

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