The right pair of hoop earrings elevate any outfit. They are glamorous without being gauche; cool without trying too hard; confident without having to say a word. And while hoops per se are not new — the earliest recorded pair being Sumerian from around 2,500 BC, as catalogued by the Metropolitan Museum of Art — they are trending in an especially big way right now, be it ’90s-style ovals, classic creoles, chunky round pieces, thread-fine numbers, textured, oversize, or even charm-adorned hoops.
So we’ve asked ten cool people, from an artist to a cellist, a skin chemist to a photographer, via a flock of fashion insiders, to give us their recommendations. Read on for the best statement hoops, the best for stacking and the best vintage pairs, among others.
Best overall hoops
Two of our experts not only recommended UK-based jewellery brand Monica Vinader for hoop earrings (Vinader, incidentally, also topped our story about the best brands for stud earrings) but also the exact same collection — the Deia range, which features everything from organically shaped huggies to larger statement hoops. “It’s always got to be gold for me, and for earrings that I wear every day, I really love these Deia Huggies,” says Jessica Barrett, assistant editor at Grazia magazine. “I wear them to death so if they are gold-plated, they have to be really good quality.” Monica Vinader uses a high-spec 18k-gold vermeil (which is five times thicker and more durable than standard gold plating) to plate all her sterling-silver pieces. Cellist and Three in a Bar podcast host Verity Simmons (hoop enthusiast to the point where she once got hers hooked on her cello mid musical, and now only wears a single hoop when performing) is also a huge fan: “I love a big hoop, and these slick and highly polished Deia Chamfered Hoops tick every box for me … in fact, I love this whole collection.”
Best (slightly less expensive) overall hoops
Again, two of our experts not only both recommended London-based collaborative jewellery brand Missoma, but specifically the brand’s collection with Lucy Williams. “Honestly, I wear Missoma jewellery daily because I find their pieces wearable, chic, and sensibly priced,” says fashion stylist Thea Lewis-Yates. “I particularly love the collaboration with Lucy Williams; these Ridge Hoop Earrings are one of my favourite designs, because they have the perfect amount of chunkiness to balance pretty summer dresses, and I like to layer them with tiny ear cuffs too.”
Barrett agrees and is a fan of the bigger styles. “My favourite of all my hoops are these Snake Chain Hoop Earrings by Lucy Williams for Missoma. They’re the perfect gold hoops: not too heavy, not too big, but not so small they’re hard to spot (they’re there to make a statement, after all). I feel these hoops will see me through life with some added sass.”
[Editor’s note: Whilst Barrett’s favoured style is sold out, we spotted this almost identical pair.]
Best statement hoops
“I’m a huge lover of Art Deco,” says photographer Chantel King, “so the beautiful lines, bold colours, and general intricacies of Chalk’s designs, like these Ayah Hoops, drew me in and now I’m hooked! I also love that some of the pieces look like stained-glass windows — it feels like you’re wearing a bit of history.” The designer and maker of Chalk jewellery, Malaika, is a practising architect who fuses her two passions for some amazingly original, geometric designs, all of which she hand-makes in her London studio.
[Editor’s note: The Ayah Hoops are currently out of stock.]
Skin-care influencer and cosmetic chemist Esther Olu had almost the exact same sentiment about Jam + Rico: “I feel, when I wear these Zon Earrings, that I’m not only making a statement, but that I’m also wearing a little piece of culture,” she says. Lisette Scott, founder of Jam + Rico, bases all of her designs on cultural inspirations from her dual Jamaican and Puerto Rican heritage, in which food and music feature heavily, making for pieces that are full of colour, movement, and joy.
Best chunky hoops
“I wear Otiumberg’s Mini Chunky Twist hoops every single day, to the point where I don’t feel dressed without them,” says Billie Bhatia, fashion features editor and columnist at Stylist magazine. “They are weighty in the best way possible, and I feel like the twisted finish gives them a luxurious feel. My favourite part of these hoops is that they are made from sterling-silver plated in 18k-gold vermeil, which means you can get away with rarely taking them off.” Otiumberg specialises in non-seasonal, non-fast-fashion, so its pieces are as versatile as they are long lasting. The brand also designs earrings in solid gold as well as gold plate.
“I have the Oval Hoops from Cali Tiger, which were a birthday present from a friend, and I LOVE them. Unfortunately one came to grief in the sea, so I will be reordering them because I need them in my life,” says Simmons. Established by two Australian entrepreneurs, sea, sunshine, and gold-hued warmth is what Cali Tiger is all about, and the brand — whose selection of chunky hoops is pretty wide — is currently offering free shipping on all orders.
[Editor’s note: Unfortunately, Simmons’s chosen hoops are out of stock, but we did find these slightly chunkier versions.]
Omolola Jewellery creates modern, Afrocentric jewellery inspired by West African art, and has a great selection of original, chunky hoops. “As a Black owned, UK-based, family business, I was drawn to this brand and then I came across these Ugozie hoops and now I’m a fan for life!” explains King. “I love that the sisters behind Omolola have fun with their designs; they are bold pieces that play with unusual shapes.”
[Editor’s note: The Ugozie hoops were sold out, but we found these equally chunky alternatives. If you have sensitive skin, note: these hoops are not gold-plated.]
Best fine hoops
Catbird — a New York stalwart that started out life in Williamsburg in 2006, and was one of the original “stacking” brands — makes its jewellery by hand (ethically) in its New York workshop, and now ships to the UK for a flat fee of around £18 (duties and taxes are added during checkout). “Catbird is one of my favourite shops in New York,” enthuses illustrator and artist Jessica May Underwood, “and these Filament Hoops are true to the brand’s signature delicate style that’s discreet enough (and high quality enough) to never take off.”
“After seeing these thread-fine hoops glinting on a friend’s ear, I had to have them,” says Bhatia. “I love the elegant simplicity of these earrings; they’ve become my easy-glamour holiday accessory of choice.” Accessorize currently offers a huge range of fine, stackable hoops — particularly ones with cute charms hanging off them — and its options also include great value gold vermeil and gold-plated pieces.
Best recycled and upcycled hoops
“I bought these Liberté Recycled Silver Earrings last year and I’m obsessed with them,” says Vanessa Lolade Jones, founder of soon-to-launch sustainable lifestyle brand Sl’eau. “They’re slightly avant-garde but not so off the wall that you feel silly; it feels like wearing a small piece of art in your ears.” The brand favours recycling existing silver in order to reduce the demand for mining the precious metal, which has an environmental impact.
The duo that founded Venner are painstaking when it comes to checking the credentials of their suppliers — they must pass rigorous checks for ethical practises, as close-to-zero waste as possible, recyclability, and craftsmanship. “This is one of the main reasons I love their jewellery,” says Simmons, “because you know you’re buying something made with conscience, and made to last. I also love the fact that all their designs — like these hoops — combine simplicity with little contemporary flourishes.” All the hoops at Venner are made using either recycled silver or brass.
Adele Dejak’s jewellery is either upcycled or recycled, and all the brand’s raw materials vetted for ethics and traceability; this Kenyan brand’s sustainability cred is pretty spotless. “I discovered Adele Dejak through Instagram and fell in love with the jewellery, particularly these hoops,” says King. “Every single item is sustainably sourced and ethically made and I love that each design feels completely unique; the detailing is such that you’ll never get bored of them. Also, because they’re so bold, I instantly feel more confident when I’m wearing these earrings.” Adele Dejak currently ships to the UK for a flat fee of around £18, but this doesn’t include taxes and customs fees.
Central Saint Martins graphic-design graduate Zelda Cave uses recycled materials and practises slow fashion within her jewellery brand, which focuses on pattern-led designs. “If you have a larger budget I recommend her for really beautifully made investment pieces,” says perfumer Maya Njie. “Her Radiant Hoop Earrings are just that — hand-carved in her London studio. For me, these are the perfect elegant-but-edgy twist on the classic hoop.”
Best solid gold hoops
“For so many reasons, I love these hoops by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co. — they’re on my ultimate wish list,” says Jessica Diamond, jewellery director at the Times and the Sunday Times. “Peretti has taken a much-used symbol, the heart, and put her signature stamp on it so that it’s soft and organic and asymmetric. That’s what she was so brilliant at, creating precious jewels out of informal shapes. There’s a sculptural quality to these hoops and yet their size (quite small) makes them very wearable, even for every day.”
Best for vintage hoops
“Wolf & Gypsy is a gem of a store in Brighton, and some of my favourite things that I own have come from there,” says Njie. Alongside restoring and selling pre-loved vintage pieces, Wolf & Gypsy designs its own collections which founder, Tori Shay, describes as “forever jewellery.” “I have a great pair of their 1990 Collection hoops, which are stylish and understated and work perfectly as an everyday staple, either on their own or combined with other earrings.”
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