Hoop de DO! Big Hoop Earrings Are Big

Some version of hoop earrings is almost always in style, and perhaps it’s because they seem to be flattering to so many women. Unadorned, hoop earrings are classic in style; setting them with diamonds or other precious gemstones doesn’t eliminate the youthfulness and slightly carefree, casual style that hoops embody. In my view, hoop earrings are the American sportswear of earrings design.

This season, hoops have grown in size again, with hoops sized at three inches or more in diameter receiving quite a bit of attention in the fashion press.

Illustration: A current co-branded ad for Nicole Miller and JCPenney featuring a large, thin pair of hoop earrings.

Illustration: A recent co-branded ad for John Paul Gaultier at Target featured a large, thin pair of hoop earrings.

Illustration: A current ad for Lauren Ralph Lauren featuring a large, thin pair of hoop earrings.

Illustration: The cover of the May 2010 issue of Lucky magazine features
Hilary Duff wearing a pair of 14k gold pave diamond hoop earrings by Alexa Garner Sidaris Fine Jewelry.

Illustration: In the June 2010 issue of InStyle, embellished hoops are
recommended for dressing for a beach vacation.

Illustration: Also in the June 2010 issue of InStyle, plain sterling silver
hoops are recommended for dressing for a holiday in the city.

Yet large hoops are not for everyone all the time. The May 2010 issue of
InStyle magazine features a page of fashion tips from stylist Rob Zangardi, who was asked to create a unique outfit from pieces under $100 each. Among his tips:

When you’ve got a lot going on around your face—sunglasses, popped collar—don’t confuse things with big hoops. Keep bold pieces on your arms and hands.

Zangardi’s comment brings home this point: As much as a woman dresses for herself, she should be mindful of the image she presents to others. The viewer’s eye doesn’t want to be confused. Every well-designed ensemble, whatever the style, benefits from a sense of harmony when all the pieces work together.

For ensembles where there isn’t such an abundance of design details happening around the face, the simple, perfect circles of hoop earrings add a pleasing touch. The simpler the design of the hoops, the more versatility they have. No wonder a classic hoop earring is a wardrobe staple, if not an outright signature piece, for so many women.