As much as I (naturally) love all things fashion, there are certain areas that are definitely my bag. Regular readers might have noticed me waxing lyrical on them already: tailoring (blazers are my forte), jumpsuits, and gold jewellery, specifically hoop earrings.
I don’t discriminate, so I appreciate a teeny minimal huggie as much as I do a glam shoulder-grazing hoop, and my own collection spans from those smallest styles that I wear in cartilage piercings, to sparkly or oversized styles I reach for for Saturday nights. I own around 25 pairs now that I have in rotation, and since I shop for them discerningly, I’m best placed to advise on how you can build your collection, too.
How to find good quality gold hoop earrings
Mine are all completely different (believe it or not), and since I know I’ll wear them all the time, and the offering across the high street and jewellery brands is so vast, I refuse to settle on a pair that I don’t completely love. Here are my golden shopping rules if you’re in the market for a new pair of hoops…
Shopping rule 1: avoid heavy earrings
I’d advise you pass on too-heavy hoops. After returning from an appointment with a cosmetic nurse, an old boss warned me that the clinic had seen a rise in women coming in for Loboplasty – a procedure that reshapes droopy ears.
Cue me, who, a) regularly wore hoops so heavy I had to take them out at lunchtime for breaks, and b) has 12 ear piercings, (with hoops in each hole), completely reassessing my whole jewellery box.
There are so many fab hoops out there that there’s no need to settle for an unnecessarily weighty pair. Go for hollow hoops if you love the look of chunkier styles, but without the added weight. Where you can, shop for hoops in person so that you can hold them and get a feel for the weight.
Shopping rule 2: Consider the base material
My budget can’t stretch to solid gold, so I’ve long relied on plated options. Plating typically involves a super thin layer of gold being coated onto a cheaper material, most commonly, silver. Vermeil is another plating technique, but involves a much thicker coated gold layer. It means the latter is much more durable, but of course, will be slightly higher in price.
As well as the technical details, there’s the look to consider. Gold-plated silver looks a lot ‘cooler’ than gold-plated brass or copper, which looks pinkier, all thanks to the base.
Shopping rule 3: Invest in the hoops you will wear most often
I spend the most on my tiny huggies. I can wear them to bed, to swim, in the shower and when I wash my hair (I know, I know, I shouldn’t but life is easier when I do), which means that they’re worthy of more of an investment. I’ll go for vermeil options which will look nicer for longer, or track down a solid gold pair in the sale.
I spend the least on my out out pairs, which are typically glitzier and bigger, as I wear them them the least.
Shopping rule 4: Ear curation is key
If you’ve only got your lobes single-pierced, this’ll be a breeze for you. But for those of us who bought into the multiple ear piercing trend, the puzzle of which-hoops-look-best-where will be familiar.
My personal rule is that the bigger the hoop, the closer it should be to the first lobe piercing. Following that, I’d go smaller and lighter as they snake up the ear, mixing in sparkles and quirky details for added interest.
The best gold hoops to shop now
Best for: cult styles that are instantly recognisable
Best for: hoop shapes that aren’t boring
Best for: interesting shapes you won’t see on everyone else
Best for: huggies you won’t want to take off
Best for: timeless styles with a modern twist
Best for: designs that look more expensive than they are
Best for: classic lightweight hoops
Best for: quirky styles