Express your unique personal style with our definitive guide to the top 18 striking and meaningful earrings for men that slight edge of noble flair.
Table of Contents
Earrings have an extensive history of versatile function across cultures. Men adorned their ears not only for sheer ornamentation but also to signify social status, wealth, victories in battle, rites of passage into manhood, guild membership, and protection from spiritual forces.
This rich legacy has left its imprint on the evolutionary trajectory of men’s earrings through today. Let’s trace that continuum by exploring some key highlights in the fascinating historical record before analyzing current trends.
A Storied Past: Tracing the History
Among the ancient Sumerians in Mesopotamia, gold circular hoop earrings marked political elites. Kings donned larger hoop sizes up to five inches wide as a conspicuous display of influence. Royal bodyguards and attendants wore smaller hoops denoting their position.
Men of privilege in ancient Greece and Rome wore precious metal earrings engraved with images of their gods. Following military victories, soldiers had the god Mars carved into their earrings to pay tribute to the god of war.
Native American and First Nations tribes
Indigenous tribes utilized earrings as rites of passage, status symbols, and sacred talismans:
- Sioux warriors wore eagle feathers in their ears after completing coups of bravery battling tribal enemies.
- Among the Ojibwe, Ottawas, and Potawatomis peoples, adolescent boys getting their ears pierced marked their coming of age into manhood and eligibility as warriors.
- Tribes believed certain earring stones like turquoise possessed protective, regenerative, or prosperity-drawing energy.
- Chinese men donned jade earrings over eras as far back as the Ming dynasty not just for ornamentation but also because jade was thought to calm one’s nervous system and temper.
- Intricate gold earrings embedding rubies, diamonds, or sapphires signified nobility status throughout India’s history.
- Japanese samurai wore ear jewelry called magatama for courage, honor, and strength before battle.
Aristocratic men in England flaunted jeweled earrings in extravagant drops, rounds, and geometric shapes suspended from gold wires, ribbons, or chains. Only higher-class men maintained sufficient means to follow elaborate sumptuary laws dictating ostentatious collar ruffs and earring ensembles permissible according to rank.
Wealthy noblemen incorporated pearls and precious gems into earrings more sizable than the average servant’s entire annual compensation – a vulgar yet envy-inducing display of privilege.
After this ostentatious Elizabethan Era, negative Puritanical attitudes shamed decorative male adornments. But modern civilization has grown more progressive around issues of gender and self-expression.
- Hippie and glam rock influences promoted rejecting rigid societal mores through flamboyant fashion statements like men wearing sparkly hoop earrings or funky dangling feathered earrings.
- Body piercing also first surfaced commercially rather than tribally during the ’70s, giving young rebels access to professional piercing services instead of rudimentary needle implementations themselves.
Over subsequent decades, societal perceptions shifted as highly visible celebrities unapologetically sported men’s earrings from the elegant to the punk rock:
- Teen pop idols like Zac Efron and Justin Bieber made simple black studs feel age-appropriate.
- Johnny Depp’s signature embellishments run from sharp diamonds to hippie chic.
- Harry Styles constantly stuns combining massively wide black and cream gauges with pearls and intricate gems dripping down his lobes.
- Rappers like A$AP Rocky and Post Malone flaunt dense constellations of studs and hoops.
With male Gen Z youth today even wearing polish and rejecting gender labels altogether, earrings feel more ubiquitous for everyday guys rather than reserved to make rebellious statements.
Next, let’s run through today’s range of earring choices available to men across types and placement options.
Types of Men’s Earrings
While studs and hoops remain popular starter choices, modern men enjoy abundant earring styles:
Studs Men’s Earrings
- Studs mean ideal versatile essentials, suiting everything from job interviews to Lounging through Sunday brunch.
- Thriftier steel and silver studs blend affordably on office commutes or errand runs.
- Chunkier gemstones and diamond studs make refined statements at holiday parties or weddings.
Stud Styling Tips
- BALANCE lighter metals like white gold against darker outfit colors and vice versa to create appealing visual contrast.
- MIX varying stud sizes in each ear rather than precise matching pairs for eclectic cool.
- DISPLAY engraved symbols facing outward for personal meaning only special onlookers may decipher and appreciate.
Hoops Earrings for Men
Basic hoop sizes for men range from:
- Petite 3mm whisper hoops
- Midsized 8-10mm standards
- Daring oversized 25mm wide hoops
Bolder wood, bone, horn, or shell hoops make organic statements in natural hues.
Hoop Styling Guidance
- SMALLEST hoops blend discreetly into professional settings like client consultations or board meetings.
- MEDIUM silver, steel, or black hoops project casual laid-back weekend appeal.
- MASSIVE gold, rose gold or diamond hoops make audacious red carpet declarations.
- Consider HOOP LOCATION too – tragus hoops are more subtle than lower lobes.
- Shoulder-dusting statement danglers turn heads at music festivals.
- Modest single gemstone danglers work on date nights.
- Simple bead or shell danglers keep beach vacation looks beachy.
- LIMIT dangler length to keep executive polish during shareholder presentations.
- DISPLAY meaningful lucky charms as danglers solely during personal time to avoid distraction.
- ADD colorful ANGLED bar danglers to inject artistic verve into otherwise mundane outfits.
- Gauges remain exclusively youthful statements unsuitable for boardrooms.
- Ensure gradually increasing gauge jewelry diameters to responsibly expand lobes over time.
- Seek experienced guidance carefully monitoring gauge-stretching progression.
- Barbells are customized precisely to anatomy, unlike generalized commercial earring sizes.
- Opt for curved barbells over straight ones when possible to minimize rejection likelihood through constant pressure.
- Request bar length measurements suited specifically to one’s individual piercing depth and shape.
Now that we’ve covered the bases on earring types, let’s move on to ear parts and piercing placements.
Where to Wear Men’s Earrings
While the quintessential singular earlobe piercing suits every man, more adventurous locations beckon too.
- The central lower earlobe spot draws eyes directly to the face for ideal symmetrical facial framing.
- For double or triple piercings, evenly distribute studs across the lobe rather than crowd them too close together.
- Allow ample healing time between piercings to avoid irritation bumps.
- The inner ear cavity allows for discreet flat back studs hidden entirely behind the ridge of the outer ear.
- Conch piercing remains fully concealed and thus professionalism-friendly.
- However, the extra ear folding during healing risks prolonged inflammation and infection.
- Collar-brushers opt for stacked studs climbing the helix ridge for subtle peekaboo glints of an industrial edge when looking askance.
- Hoops or bars running across the helix cartilage make distinctive style statements.
- Tragus studs towards the face add delicate accent points.
Behind the Ear
- The area just behind the ear lobe allows for a vertical industrial barbell spanning two piercings for a payoff of punky finesse.
- Pros: edgier aesthetic, easier healing than traditional industrials.
- Con: Still unsuitable for vastly conservative environments.
Now let’s move on to choosing earrings with savvy consideration of lifestyle factors.
Choosing Men’s Earrings
Earring selection involves weighing individual factors like profession, activity level, goals, and maturity:
- Programmers in Silicon Valley subcultures enjoy nerd-chic gauges without scrutiny.
- But military personnel, oil rig workers, and emergency first responders require practical caution – a torn lobe from a trapped oversized gauge could cost them their livelihood.
Suit earring choice to circumstances:
- Lean into augmenting EVERYDAY CASUALNESS with simple silver hoops and stud accents rather than ornate shoulder grazers.
- For SPECIAL EVENTS, express individuality through YOUR UNIQUE STYLE STATEMENT pieces like teardrop onyx stones or antique family crest cufflinks transformed into danglers.
- Allow INEXPERTLY PIERCED irregular holes time to heal fully before weighting them down with elaborate hoops or bars setting up uneven force angles risking rejection.
- In mature piercings, SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE around safe maximum gauges suited to your anatomy and resilience.
- In CREATIVE FIELDS like design or music, push stylistic boundaries with funky geometrics.
- For CONSERVATIVE INDUSTRIES like law, finance, or academia, embed your nonconformist nature subtly into French cuff shirt studs only you know are dice or guitar motifs rather than plain rounds.
Metals & Materials of Earrings for Men
Choosing earring metals requires balancing aesthetics, value, and skin tolerability:
- Everyday stainless steel earrings maintain durability and shine on a budget.
- Classic brilliant precious platinum and white gold offer mirror sheens.
- Pure titanium makes ideal sensitive ear jewelry thanks to its supreme hypoallergenic and antimicrobial properties.
- Niobium satisfies eco-conscious minimalists as a sustainable grayish naturally hypoallergenic metal.
Turquoise and onyx bring cool vintage sophistication recalling Native American influence.
Vibrant luxurious rubies and emeralds enact confidence bordering on decadence.
Deep ocean blue sapphires and twilight purple amethysts tap rich regal energy.
- Sleek ebony wood makes organically elegant statements.
- Smooth cream bone hoops evoke tribal purity.
- Durable ear-safe plastics allow cheap short-term festival flair.
So in summary on metals and materials, tailor choices to your personal healing history, ethical priorities, and style personality.
Next, let’s explore associated financial factors so savvy shoppers avoid overspending or dangerous bargains.
Cost Considerations of Men’s Earrings
Thankfully, earrings appear in widely diverse price ranges suiting most budgets or extravagance appetites:
|Costume & Novelties||$2 – $15|
|Surgical Steel||$15 – $30|
|Sterling Silver||$30 – $60|
|14K+ Gold||$60 – $300+|
- Size of the central focal stone
- Total carat weight
- Gold Karat rating
- Design complexity
- Brand prestige
- Ethical sourcing certifications
- Select reliable METALS first within budget, then add ornamentation.
- Weigh COSTS against durability and lifespan per cost relative to wear rate.
- Tiny accent stones ADD SPARKLE without substantially elevating the overall price.
Making informed financial decisions upfront prevents painful buyer’s remorse later.
Only spend within reasonable means to avoid burdensome replacement when low-grade fast fashion pieces inevitably break or corrode after brief use. Plus ethically questionable origins haunt less discerning purchases.
Now let’s make sure those worthy investments withstand enjoyably long lifespans through proper care.
Caring for Ear Piercings
Protect pricey earring splurges and healed piercings through smart maintenance:
- Store earrings safely in SEALED CONTAINERS between uses rather than loosely scattering them.
- Gently scrub CRUSTY EARRING POSTS with a soft-bristled brush and antibacterial soap to re-shine before insertion.
- Use a saline spray on EARRINGS IN PLACE when needing quick Refreshing between wearings.
Avoid Risky DIY Solutions
Steer clear of home cleaning attempts without professional guidance:
- No more than 1⁄8 tsp sea salt per cup water to prevent DRYING OUT
- NEVER hydrogen peroxide
- NO not use rubbing alcohol
- Don’t even try weird Pinterest suggestions like chamomile tea or banana peel soak remedies!
- Hot sensation
- Severe swelling
- Prolonged itching/pain
Immediately contact the original piercer or doctor in case of infection requiring antibiotic treatment or surgical removal.
Aftercare Across Healing Stages
- Clean piercings TWICE DAILY without fail during the initial 6-9 months healing period.
- Then maintain ONCE DAILY cleansing habit even on healed piercings to prevent infections flaring drama.
So in summary, protect ear investments through conscientious cleaning and handling. Never hesitate to consult professionals promptly at the earliest sign of problems before conditions risk permanent damage.
Finally, let’s indulge our style muse by reviewing some current inspirational men’s earring trends.
Men’s Earring Trends & Inspiration
Gents today find no shortage of fashion idols pioneering appealing earring styles:
- Sharp gemstone studs project upward mobility and assertive urban power suits.
- Simple-shined silver hoops give off an aura of old money nonchalant noblesse oblige.
Gender Fluid Flamboyance
- New generation stars like Lil Nas X and Harry Styles embrace ostentatious ruby drops and triple pearls traditionally deemed ultra feminine.
- By sporting such unapologetically attention-grabbing statement pieces, they expand perceptual ranges of masculine expression.
- Young NBA stars nod to 90s hip-hop roots with thick gold nameplates or cross studs and hoops.
- Gen X heartthrobs like Jon Bon Jovi maintain their signature oversized black-and-white studs replacing the 1980s colorful plastic versions.
- Wood and bone organic shapes crafted into ear jewelry harmonize with natural earth-toned palettes.
- Turquoise stones carry spiritual meaning and protective energy according to Native American culture.
- Multiple accumulated hoops climbing helix ridges gain popular youth appeal.
- Gauges appeal to free spirits seeking to visibly rebel against mainstream uniformity dictates.
Overall the through-line remains men feeling increasingly LIBERATED mixing ultra-masculine staples like sharp-cut suits or biker jackets with touches of feminine energy through non-traditional danglers, gems, and pearls.
So use these fearless fashion trailblazers spanning classics to avant-garde as inspirations when curating your signature style.
The final step lies in finding ideal destinations for selecting stunning statement pieces or investment-worthy heirlooms.
Where to Shop Earrings for Men
Not all retailers meet standards around sustainability, ethics, or craftsmanship. Prioritize these factors while browsing favorite stores:
Online boutiques through Etsy allow selecting SPECIFIC DESIRED METALS, styles, and gemstones CUSTOMIZED then precision HANDCRAFTED to order.
Brick and mortars like piercing shops build trustworthy reputations around community word of mouth rather than just digital reviews. There are certified piercers HANDPICK APPROPRIATELY SIZED JEWELRY for each anatomically unique ear.
Mainstream mall chains like Claire’s only use risky piercing guns causing lasting cartilage trauma and exclusively sell lower-grade jewelry risking green ear and obliterated holes – hard pass.
However, fine jewelry retailers like Tiffany and Cartier provide exquisite top-tier gold and platinum pieces although with HAIR-RAISING FOUR FIGURE+ price tags only one-percenters can afford.
- Flea market stalls hawking $5 hoops likely harbor NICKEL heavy alloys irritating to unaccustomed skin.
- Random eBay or Amazon sellers ship UNREGULATED PRODUCTS of questionable material purity and durability.
So be judicious in assessing retailer limitations before handing over hard-earned dollars.
In the end, men’s earring options expand as exponentially as the male courage to unveil their inner peacocks shaking off outdated gender assumptions and expressing embodiment unapologetically.
Common Concerns About Men’s Earrings
Some social stigmas around men’s earrings linger, rooted in rigid assumptions. However, biases erode through open perspectives.
MYTH: Earrings indicate adolescent rebellion men should “grow out of.”
REALITY: Men of any age securely express individuality through non-permanent jewelry. Midlife crises manifest far more dramatically through sports cars or divorce. Simple earrings harm no one.
MYTH: Earrings detract from executive “seriousness” in client-facing roles.
REALITY: Well-selected modest earrings project polish and personality more approachable. Only the most traditionally bureaucratic fields still judge earrings as indicating immaturity.
MYTH: Earrings undermine masculinity.
REALITY: Outdated “fragile masculinity” clings to external symbols of status rather than self-assuredness. Earrings amplify masculine self-possession through bold accessorizing.
Overall, advance past superficial assumptions based on antiquated stereotypes. Support men’s jewelry against double standards still clouding cultural consciousness.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are earrings for men common now even in professional jobs?
Absolutely – nose rings to neck tattoos permeate diverse industries thanks to remote work dissolving old cubicle culture judgments. Lawyers to bartenders enjoy self-expression liberties in progressive environments focused on skills over appearances.
What metals best avoid skin irritation reactions?
Sensitive skin types fare best with pure titanium, platinum, or specialized alloys like implant-grade internal piercings metals. Certain folks may still react to nickel traces so know your history.
How do I clean new earrings and piercings properly?
Use sterile saline spray on fresh piercings twice daily without over-rotating jewelry unnecessarily. After healing, clean gold or silver earrings with soft toothbrushes and mild soap before wearing to remove any residue.
Can older men wear earrings stylishly or does that seem silly?
Age means nothing – punk rock elders from Johnny Depp to Iggy Pop still flawlessly showcase chin-grazing danglers alongside younger Gen Z. The key becomes selecting more refined metals, shapes, and stones conveying personal growth rather than chasing youthful trends unsuitably.
Is it ok for guys to wear diamond earrings or does that cross feminine lines?
Anyone can celebrate elegant gems. Styles leaning too glitzy feminine simply call for balancing with conventionally manlier juxtapositions like leather jackets, bold abstract designs, or strong angular facial hair. Keep shapes clean and modern rather than ornate filigrees.
I am a professional writer, fashion blogger, and owner of the site https://laoutaris.com. As a salesperson for more than 20 years, I have experience of 10 years in the fashion industry. I consider myself a true fashionista. I am writing daily blog articles about fashion, tools and converters, and everything you need to know about the current fashion trends.
Share this article
Our Latest Articles