Though their popularity has waxed and waned over the years, hoop earrings have always been a fashion staple. The use of earrings is one of the earliest cases of body modification, and these earrings rank among the earliest kinds of earrings worn. Learn of their enduring popularity over the years as we cover hoop earrings.

The Earliest Hoop Earrings

Earrings were wildly popular in the ancient world. Their use can be traced back as far as the Sumerian culture of Mesopotamia in 2500 BC. Crescent shaped, and made of gold, they were worn by Sumerian women and represent the earliest physical evidence of hoop earrings.

Within a thousand years, they had spread throughout cultures situated around the Aegean Sea, such as Greece and Egypt. Since then, they have remained a fashion staple, always staying in style.

Hoop Earrings for Men

Hoops have been worn by both men and women throughout history. Earrings for women have consistently remained popular over the years, but hoop earrings for men have had greater ups and downs. Men’s earrings remained fairly popular until the Industrial Revolution, when changing style trends quickly squashed their popularity. Particularly within America, men wearing hoops, or any earrings for that matter, were associated with outsider cultures.

It wasn’t until the 1980’s that men reclaimed this fashion accessory as their own that attitudes towards those who wear any jewelry began to relax. Nowadays, it’s much more common to see men wear this, and other, jewelry styles.

Hoop Earrings Styles

The quintessential hoop takes the shape of a circular piece of wire, with a thin piece that inserts into the ear, held in place by a tension clip. Beyond this classic design, there are several varieties available for any preference.

  • Circular hoop earrings – the traditional hoop that creates a complete circle when worn.
  • J-hoop earrings – these hoops are a partial circle shape, forming a stylized “J” shape as implied by their name.
  • Inside-out hoop earrings – these typically appear as traditional hoops, but gemstones are placed along the outside and inside, giving the look of continuous gems.
  • Huggie hoop earrings – smaller, hinged versions, they are worn close to the ear.

These represent only some of the many available styles of hoop earrings. Besides the classic circle shape, hoops are also found as squares, triangles and more!

The Pirate Connection

There are several unsavory myths associated with hoops and piracy. Sailors and pirates are often depicted wearing hoop earrings, both in history and pop culture. Historically, there are accounts of sailors donning a hoop after crossing the equator or rounding Cape Horn. Also, there are several beliefs sailors and pirates associated with these earrings.

Many stories and tales suggest that having a pierced ear activates a pressure point that improves eyesight. Related myths told that an earring would prevent seasickness, and some even thought a hoop earring would prevent drowning! Obviously, these have long been proven false, but they will always be connected to the romance of the high seas.

Discover the full range of hoop earrings available from Shop LC.