Apart from their obvious good looks and undeniable swag, what do Johnny Depp, Will Smith, David Beckham, and Michael Jordan all have in common? These guys all sport a little sparkle in their ears. And why shouldn’t they? Historically, earrings were predominantly male accessories; they were symbols of wealth, status, and power. In the 13th century, the Catholic Church prohibited the piercing of ears because it altered the body that God gave us. Since then, earrings alternated between being trendy and out of style. Here’s how you can bring them back without raising too many eyebrows.
Types of earrings
Most men’s earrings are less intricate than women’s. If this is something you’re new at, err on the side of caution, and go for studs or hoop earrings.
A stud is made up of a rod that penetrates your earlobe with a symbol or gemstone in the front. They’re simple and subtle, perfect for those who don’t want to look too risqué.
Like hoops, barbells look exactly how they sound like, although they aren’t always straight. While straight barbells are usually used for body piercings, smaller gauged barbells are done on ears. The three main kinds of barbell earrings are straight, curved, and horseshoe.
As the name suggests, hoop earrings are hollow circles that go through the ear with a post or wire. To make your life easier, pick hoop earrings that have clickers—trust us, they’re easier to wear.
Magnetic and clip-on earrings
If you’re not ready to commit to an actual piercing, you can always buy magnetic earrings or clip-on earrings instead. These let you experiment with how you look painlessly.
Spacers or plugs
These are cylindrical earrings that go into the piercing; sometimes, they’re hollow in the middle. Other people ‘em “flesh tunnels” or “bullet holes.” Men who get spacers increase the gauge gradually so the earlobes can stretch more.
How to wear
Unlike with women’s accessories, there’s no significant difference between formal and casual earrings for men. Still, we can’t deny that some designs look more elegant than others. Funky earrings that stand out have a more laid-back vibe; and gold, silver, or diamond earrings give off a more polished look. This said, pairing a diamond stud with a formal suit might not be the best idea, either. Because earrings are currently predominantly female (unfortunately), wearing them at a formal affair might be more distracting than complementary. After all, accessories should only support your outfit—they shouldn't steal focus.
Jewelry designer Christopher Munar says that guys have been leaning more towards tribal designs: “[These earrings] come in gunmetal black to grey, metallic silver and gold, and even surgical stainless.” However, the majority of men who wear earrings still go for small hoops or tiny studs with clear cubic zirconia. Christopher asserts that earrings have to be worn appropriately and minimally.
Where to get them
Surprisingly, most guys still go to Silverworks, so it might be the perfect place to start if you’re just looking to browse. Models and singers also drop by Vatican Fashion Museum. Makeup artist Omar Ermita suggests checking out silver stores in Baguio!
So, should men wear earrings?
In the early 2000s, people thought that wearing earrings, or donning an earring on a specific side was code for one’s sexuality. But that’s no longer relevant today. Some people think guys should only wear one earring, while others get both ears pierced. Some even have more than one in a single ear.
It doesn’t really matter anymore—your style, your say.