Earrings Buying Guide

From casual chic to black-tie formal, earrings are the perfect accessory for any occasion. This earring buying guide will help you find the right earrings for every ensemble.

Earrings 101

Earrings are a versatile, fun and extremely useful fashion accessory. Whether you’re dressing for an elegant cocktail party or an everyday affair, earrings are the crowning touch that brings polish and perfection to your ensemble. From funky fashion hoops to delicate diamond clusters, earrings come in an endless variety of shapes, stones, metals and mountings. Earrings are also an ideal gift for a mom, sister or daughter celebrating a special milestone like a birthday or anniversary. When shopping for earrings, choose shapes that flatter your face shape and colours that compliment your skin tone. 

Earring Styles


Stud Earrings

Small and simple in design, stud earrings consist of a diamond, gemstone, pearl or metal ball attached to a post. The post goes through the ear and is held in place with a screw or slip-on backing. This classic, versatile design flatters any face shape and can be worn for just about any occasion. A beautifully cut diamond or pearl stud can brighten your face for a cocktail party or wedding, while a simple gold or silver stud can perk up a pair of jeans and a tee for casual daytime wear. Stud earrings are worn by both men and women. Studs are also perfect for the newly pierced ears of babies and toddlers as they're less susceptible to pulling and tugging.

Hoop Earrings

Hoop earrings come in dozens of different sizes, styles and thicknesses to suit any outfit. Made of solid metal or set with diamonds for added impact, hoop earrings loop through the lobes and hook or hinge on the back. They come in a range of shapes, including round, oval, square, star and heart.  Large, thin hoops lend a youthful, trendy vibe, while small hoops and huggies — small, thick hoops that “hug” the earlobe — make a more sophisticated statement. Gold and silver hoop earrings are fashionable for a casual lunch, while diamond-encrusted designs add elegance for an evening out. 

Drop Earrings

From dazzling diamond chandelier earrings that dangle at different lengths to classic cascading designs that make an elegant entrance, drop earrings add dramatic flair to any outfit. This style of earring ranges from an inch long to shoulder length. Choose a dangling drop earring to visually elongate the neck and flatter round faces. You can find drop earrings in an array of designs and colours, including elegant curved gold and silver drop styles and diamond-encrusted danglers that add brilliant sparkle to your look.

Earring Materials


Cubic Zirconia Earrings

Every girl wants to light up a room, and cubic zirconia earrings are your best bet for brilliance when you choose not to wear diamonds. Cubic zirconia is a manmade gemstone that ranks high in colour, carat, cut and clarity. These stones aren’t as durable as diamonds, but they're a more affordable option. You can find cubic zirconia stones in an array of colours and shapes. They reflect light beautifully and make stunning accessories for cocktail parties and holiday soirees. 

Diamond Earrings

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and an elegant, eye-catching way accessorize an outfit. When choosing diamonds, consider the 4 Cs: cut, carat weight, clarity and colour. Cut refers to a diamond’s facets, and a well-cut diamond brings maximum brilliance to your face. Carats refer to a diamond’s weight, which affects its value. Clarity refers to its quality, with the best diamonds being flawless. Colour refers to a stone’s lack of colour; the clearer the diamond, the more valuable it is. 

Fashion Earrings

Fashion earrings come in an endless array of designs, colours and styles to suit every mood, personality and style. The materials used to create these arty fashion accessories include synthetic stones, tinted glass, beads, ceramic and even paper. Fashion earrings inject colour into your ensemble and lend a youthful vibe for fun, fashion-forward looks. Consider building a collection of fashion earrings that you can mix and match with all your outfits, from your casualwear to your professional work outfits. 

Gemstone & Birthstone Earrings

Gemstone and birthstone earrings add colour to your jewellery collection, greatly expanding your ability to match your earrings with your outfits. Popular coloured gemstones used for earrings include emeralds (green), rubies (red) and sapphires (blue). Gemstone and birthstone earrings are also a wonderful personalized keepsake to give to your daughter, sister or best friend. Appropriate gifting occasions for this type of present include baptisms, communions and graduations. Choose clear, intense and saturated colours for these special stones and remember, the brighter, the better. 

Gold Earrings

The ratio of alloy to gold content determines the carat weight, value and durability of gold jewellery. Higher carats are more valuable, but lower carats are mixed with base metals for strength and durability. Plated or filled gold jewellery, in which a gold coating is applied to a base metal, looks great when new but nicks and scratches easily. Go for solid gold for everyday earrings and plated or filled gold for occasional earrings. Also, choose gold that complements your skin tone: white or rose gold earrings look best on cool complexions, while yellow gold flatters warm complexions. 

Pearl Earrings

Pearls have a natural beauty that goes as well with an evening gown as a pair of jeans and a tee. Freshwater and cultured are the most popular variety and make heirloom-quality gifts for a cherished niece or daughter. Cultured pearls vary in quality and are graded from A to AAA based on their size, shape, lustre, surface quality and nacre quality. Look for pearl earrings with few flaws and pair them with a pearl necklace or bracelet. 

Silver Earrings

Silver is an affordable alternative to gold when you're looking for an attractive accessory for everyday wear. The soft, malleable nature of silver allows silversmiths to create beautiful earrings in many different styles. Pure silver is too soft for everyday wear. When shopping, stick to sterling silver (92.5% silver and 7.5% copper) for earrings that will stand up to regular use and resist tarnishing. Silver jewellery requires proper cleaning and care to keep it looking lovely. Look for “ster” or “sterling” stamped on the silver earrings to ensure their authenticity. 

Earring Buying Tips:

• Choose earrings that suit your skin colour: white metals enhance cool skin tones, while yellow metals enhance warm skin tones
• Choose earrings that flatter your face shape: longer earrings elongate round faces, while studs suit all face shapes
• Look for lightweight earrings for maximum comfort
• Choose high-quality, surgical-grade alloys and hypoallergenic metals over low-grade substitutes to avoid allergic reactions and irritation 
• Look for certificates of authenticity to ensure quality
• Choose stainless steel, platinum, titanium and 14K gold stud earrings and posts for kids

Earring Features

Sizes +

Earrings come in a variety of sizes, and though you should choose earrings you love, balance and proportion are key to a good fit. If you’re petite, you’ll look best in studs or smaller earrings that flatter your delicate features, instead of chunky earrings that overwhelm your face. If you have a larger build, longer earrings add height without adding width. If you’re tall, big earrings can help bring balance to your look. If you’re giving earrings as a gift, consider the recipients face shape and size and choose a pair that will flatter their features.

Shapes +

Your earrings should flatter your face shape and balance your curves and angles. If you have a round face, drops, dangles, teardrops and chandelier earrings can lengthen and slim your face. If you have an oval face, hoops and teardrop earrings will create symmetry, while sharp, geometric angles can balance your curves. If you have a square or rectangular face, hoops can soften your sharp angles. If you have a narrow face, pearls, clusters and dangles add softness and minimize length. Studs have the advantage of looking good on every face shape.

Metals +

Earring metals range from classics like gold, silver and platinum to modern materials like chrome, titanium, tungsten and stainless steel. You’ll want to select earrings that not only suit your style but also look best with your skin tone. White metals, such as sterling silver, white gold and platinum, enhance cooler skin tones. Yellow metals, such as yellow gold, enhance warmer skin tones. If you have sensitive ears, look for hypoallergenic metals, such as stainless steel, platinum and titanium, or surgical grade alloys, which are safe for all ear piercings. Be sure to avoid low-quality jewellery to prevent irritation and infection.

Backings +

Backings hold earrings in place. They should provide a comfortable fit while also keeping your gemstones secure. Hook backings (a long, bent post that fits through the lobe) are comfortable but not as secure as clasp styles. Screw-backs (a grooved end that screws onto the post) hold metal and gemstone earrings securely in place. Push-back or butterfly backs (a small metal piece behind the ear connects to the post) are interchangeable and easily replaced. French, hinge or omega backs (a hinge behind the ear that latches over the post) are secure and comfortable but not as durable as other styles.

Clip-ons and Cuffs +

Whether your ears are pierced or not, you can enjoy wearing earrings with clip-ons, cuffs or magnetized attachments. Clip-ons and cuffs come in different designs, from studs to drops to hoops, so you don’t have to compromise on style. Clip-on earrings have hinged clasps instead of posts and snap securely against the ear. Ear cuffs fit comfortably over the ear lobes. Magnetized earrings have strong magnetic backs that secure the earring to the lobe and are easier for young women and kids to wear. Clip-ons and cuffs are perfect for anyone — kids especially — who likes the look of pierced lobes but isn't ready to commit.

Shop Accessories & Related Products:

Earring Care Tips:

• Store earrings, especially pearls, in separate pouches or slots in a jewellery box to prevent scratches
• Clean metal, diamond and gemstone earrings with a soft cloth dipped in mild soap and water and dry with a soft cloth
• Keep pearls and gems away from perfume, cosmetics, hairspray and lotions to protect their lustre
• Brush earrings with a soft toothbrush regularly to remove dirt
• Use a bowl (not the sink) for cleaning and remove earrings before bed, showers and swimming
• Soak fashion earrings in peroxide for 15 minutes and let air-dry
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



Store details