One of the most popular is hoop earrings. A classic for women of all ages, these earrings show popularity that stretched across the 60s through the 90s and is certainly stronger than ever before.
While hoop earrings are one of the lightest pieces of jewelry you can wear, they carry the weight of the world. As one of the oldest accessories in human existence, hoop earrings have significant meanings for different cultures.
While they were once worn by kings and queens to signify power and social status, hoop earrings are now considered a statement of unity and strength. Hoop earrings stand out, just like the strong women who sport them.
HISTORY OF HOOP EARRINGS
Hoops have been around almost as long as humans have. From ancient Egyptians to American style icons, both men and women have sported the famous look.
ORIGIN OF HOOP EARRINGS
Hoop earrings were worn by ancient Greeks, Romans, Asians, and Egyptians. What began as a way to identify tribal members turned into symbols of religion and power within societies.
The first hoop earrings originated around 2500 B.C.E. in Nubia, an African civilization located in what we now call Sudan. The ear jewelry was created in gold, silver, and bronze. In 1000 B.C.E., tapered hoop earrings spread to other cultures around the world.
In 1500 B.C.E., Egyptian men and women both flaunted gorgeous hoops on their ears. They believed earrings enhanced a person’s beauty and were made using twisted gold wire and beads. Royal Egyptians wore heavy and thick gold hoops to symbolize their wealth and power.
Ancient Roman and Greek art show that these cultures embraced hoop earrings as well. The jewelry was predominately worn by women, but men with high social status sometimes sported hoop earrings as well. In ancient Persia, carvings depict soldiers wearing a single hoop earring in each ear.
FAST FORWARD TO THE 1600S
Europe saw a decline in in-ear jewelry through the 1600s. This was largely due to elaborate hairstyles, headpieces, high collared clothing that covered the ears.
During the 1700s Century, small, pear-shaped pearl earrings were more popular throughout European cultures than hoops. This is also when men began cutting back on their earring usage and would instead only sport the jewelry in one ear.
During the 1820s, light hoop earrings were more popular than heavy-weight pendant jewelry. Fashion trends during this time replicated historical styles with heavy inspiration from Roman cultures that led to greater popularity in large, gold hoops.
HOOP EARRINGS IN THE 20TH CENTURY
In the United States in the 1900s, there was a mix of negativity around hoop earrings. Many people saw them as symbolizing Native American and Latino culture. Many American women stopped wearing earrings altogether so they would not be categorized as an immigrant.
The stigma surrounding ear piercings in the United States was short-lived. By 1910, simpler hairstyles, lower cut outfits, and updos that flaunted the ears instead of hiding them. This led to a rebirth of earring popularity among American women.
The early 1920s introduced exotic styles that brought the hoop earring back into the spotlight in America thanks to Spanish and Egyptian influences. The discovery of King Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922 rebirthed the notion of gold hoop earrings symbolizing power and high social status.
The updos and short hairstyles of the 1920s and 30s made earrings an essential finishing touch to outfits. Shoulders were being exposed with low-cut blouses, and a pair of gorgeous hoops matched perfectly. American entertainer Josephine Baker loved wearing gold hoops on stage.
Hoop earrings were the signature look of the 1960s as they matched with the clean, straight-hair trend of the decade. During the 1970s, hoops in silver, chrome, kinetic, and tribal designs were very popular. Cher and Diana Ross were notorious for flaunting large hoops with intricate designs.
The 1980s brought new jewelry designs with jagged shapes and drops. This pushed hoop earrings to the back burner temporarily, although the design never went out of style.
Hoops continued to be popular among women throughout the 1990s and early 2000s thanks to hip hop culture and Latino influence.
THE MEANING BEHIND THE HOOPS
Hoop earrings are worn by many people throughout the world today and continue to be one of the oldest fashion trends alive.
Hoops are empowering. They symbolize strength and international fashion. Being a circle, hoop earrings show unity, infinity, and wholeness.
Hoop earrings have been a staple of Latino culture. As minorities and immigrants in America and Europe, hoop earrings became a symbol of strength, identity, and resistance to discrimination. For young Latino girls, it is common to receive a pair of small hoop earrings at a young age from their mothers or grandmothers.
Hoop earrings are for the bold. With so many different designs and sizes, hoop jewelry stands out more than any other type of earring. Stud piercings blend in and can be easily overlooked while dangling hoops demand attention.
Jennifer Lopez, Michelle Obama, and Beyonce are just some of the influential women in today’s culture who love sporting hoops. They are seen as more than just fashion pieces, but respectful nods to the Dominican and African cultures where they originated from.
CHOOSE YOUR HOOPS IN WHATEVER COLOR YOU LIKE
It used to be that hoop earrings came in only gold or silver, with no other options. If you enjoy the look but want them to match your outfits, you can.
Hoops offer so many unique benefits that other earrings don’t such as:
BIG HOOP EARRINGS FOR GOING OUT, SMALL HOOPS FOR WORK
It used to be that hoops were only for going out or having a wild night somewhere. You certainly wouldn’t wear them to work.
Thankfully, those days have passed, and hoops are getting appreciation in just about any setting. The key to wearing hoops at work is to pick the right size so they are present, but don’t scream for attention when at work or in a professional setting.
Small hoops still highlight your face, without drawing a lot of attention. Choosing hoops that match your clothing color or feature a neutral look goes over well and doesn’t make you feel out of place when wearing them.
If you’re headed out and want to call more attention to your face, wear hoops in whatever size feels best for you. Larger hoops range from a medium that stands out more, to oversize, making you the center of focus.
Consider where you’re going, what the occasion is for, and how easy it is to maneuver around in them. In the end, it’s about what makes you feel your best when you’re enjoying a night on the town.
USE AS A KEYRING OR PICK A TEXTURED HOOP
Hoops commonly come in plain looks and a simple texture. This is a classic look when acquiring a pair of hoop earrings, but it might be too plain if you’re looking for something more.
Today, hoops feature textured looks that include ridges, charms, and even designs. Earrings that feature multiple hoops into one earring offer a classy look that is anything but plain. Although keyrings in hoop earrings aren’t new, it’s a fun look to wear when going out while completing your outfit at the same time.
So, if you’ve always wanted to try out the look of hoops but thought they were too plain on their own, consider the different kinds available today. You no longer have to get tired down to one look when wearing a fun twist on these classic earrings.
STACK HOOPS FOR A UNIQUE LOOK
Stacked hoop earrings aren’t something many people consider, but it’s certainly a fun look to try out if you enjoy playing around with different styles. If you have more than one ear piercing, you can wear a smaller hoop in one, and a larger in the other.
The effect is a hoop within a hoop, which stands out at a party or gathering, yet still looks well put together (as long as your hoops match). Getting more than one hoop isn’t difficult when you find a pair of hoop earrings that are stacked into one, creating a graceful ripple effect. Whatever type of look you’re trying to achieve, try it out at home and see how it feels to you. Confidence and hoops go hand in hand together, so make sure you like what you wear, first.
CHECK YOUR FACE SHAPE
Faces come in many different shapes, and not all are suited for the same type of hoop earrings. That means what looks great on your friend doesn’t always have the same effect on you.
Find out what your face shape is, and select the best type of earrings for you. Some women look good in tight hoops, whereas larger ones might be best for another face shape.
Knowing your face shape is a helpful guide when picking out any kind of earrings, so choose with confidence when buying your next pair of earrings.
LEARN MORE ABOUT OTHER JEWELRY TRENDS
Earrings have always been a popular way for women to dress up, accessorize, and complete their outfit. Hoop earrings are one style that always looks good and never goes out of fashion.
Thanks to updates in textures, styles, and colors, these beautiful earrings are more versatile than ever before. Make sure you play around to find the best look when it comes to working or going out before you commit to a particular type of style with your earrings.
STAY IN THE LOOP
Hoop earrings are a staple of many different cultures and continue to evolve as both a fashion accessory and symbol of strength. Understanding the vast history of hoop earrings should make you proud to flaunt the bold and beautiful apparel.