Gold Hoop Earrings: A Meditation on Shopping

Classic yellow gold hoop earrings—ones with real size—are proving to be a trend with serious staying power.

As a result, they’ve cropped up in collections on every price tier; the classic look, slightly oversized, has become a reliable and consistent seller for brands and retailers alike.

I’ve personally been window-shopping the style for months (while filling the wardrobe void with a pair of cheapo gold-tone hoops I picked up at Forever 21).

I have the urge to invest in a “good” set of hoops. But—though I’m typically a decisive shopper—the plethora of available options and insanely wide range of price points for this style have resulted in me putting the purchase off for months.

The struggle, though wholly superficial, is most definitely real.

Here’s why: I’m in the market for gold-plated (not all-gold) hoops. But with plated hoops, I want to pay a price that’s significantly lower than that of the fine versions out there—and that’s not always the case. One can buy $300 solid 14k yellow gold hoops on Overstock.com and $700 14k gold-plated hoops at Neiman Marcus.

Then there’s the fact that everyone, and I mean everyone, is selling them right now. The choices are overwhelming. One recent “gold hoop” search in cyberspace delivered me to over 20 retailer sites, including Etsy, Barneys New York, Vrai & Oro, Walmart, and Macy’s.

And, as I said before, prices are all over the map. A sampling of this: Simone I. Smith’s Sister Love brand has huge, hollow gold-plated hoops priced at $199. Fashion brand Luv AJ has a set, also 14k gold-plated, for $55—but they’re significantly smaller. And Jennifer Fisher’s cult-favorite Samira hoops, which are plated in 10k yellow gold, go for a whopping $550.

Luv AJ Amalfi Tube Hoops earrings
Luv AJ’s 14k gold plated Amalfi Tube Hoops, $55, have sold out quickly and are currently on backorder.

In the e-commerce age, a jewelry shopper can find herself falling into countless virtual rabbit holes, each one lined with a single product spun out in every possible, maddeningly minuscule, variation. And once you start searching for a product online, Google’s algorithms start customizing your ads with similar styles. Oh goodie! More choices!

How then can a jewelry retailer successfully capture the attention—and dollars—of a shopper looking for a style that’s caught fire in fashion?

Price Fairly: Often it’s that simple. Source product wisely and stop triple-keying fashion (nonbridal) styles. The modern fashion jewelry consumer is too price-savvy to snowball anymore. If you’re not offering deals or at the very least value (social currency, the promise of a good resale price, etc.), she will walk away.

Seduce: Jennifer Fisher’s aforementioned Samira Hoops are a great example of how to sell something everyone has at twice the price. The Samiras are, at their core, basic hip-hop-inspired gold hoops—plated in a low-karat gold. But J. Lo and Selena Gomez wear them, and Fisher herself models them in cool and interesting ways on Instagram. Faced with these visuals, the consumer starts to see them as more than basic gold hoops. They fly off the shelf at $500 a pop because fashion fans want to be a part of that Samira tribe.

Offer Variations: In my quest for the perfect hoops, I often find myself considering hoop-like styles; not exactly hoops, but something close to hoops. Stocking designs that capture a trend’s general vibe, but offer a unique take on the actual design, is a smart way to capitalize on a bona fide fashion moment.

Top photo: Jennifer Fisher Samira hoops, $500 (courtesy of Jennifer Fisher)

JCK Magazine Editor