Go Bold

By Sharon Naylor

March 4, 2011 5 min read

Earrings get big, bright and bold this season, with eye-catching effect achieved in a range of trends, from oversize simple hoops to big, chunky earrings that have multiple pieces and movement. Right off the runways of Paris and New York, here are the top trends in this season's looks for the No. 1 accessory type, worn by both fashion-forward and conservative-style women:

--The big, bold hoop earring. Jewelry designers have taken the simple 2-inch silver or gold hoop earrings and doubled or tripled it in size. The result is a large hoop earring, sometimes the size of a tea saucer (if not larger), providing a city-chic or polished look, especially when partnered with a sleek, slicked-back ponytail. When your hair is off your face, earrings make the statement, and big hoops provide effect without worry as your go-to earring style this spring.

On the runway, superstar designer Tory Burch showed huge gold hoops in her ponytail-wearing models' style, and the trend took off with 2- to 4-inch hoops in gold and silver, either unadorned or accented with rhinestones for sparkle.

--'70s glam earrings. The editors of Harper's Bazaar spotted shoulder-length earrings on the runway, again with the signature slicked-back hair look and sleek, chic geometric-shaped earrings, such as a trio of triangles in bright colors. Recent runway shows have featured blocky white Lucite earrings as an homage to the roller disco era of the '70s.

--Vibrant colors. Whether you're wearing hoops, dangles, drops or studs, spring is all about bright candy colors. Fashions and accessories take their inspiration from such vibrant shades as coral and sea blue, two of the shades from Pantone's report on the hottest colors of the season. Fashion bloggers point to a Brazilian influence in accessories, with bright yellows, oranges, blues and greens leading the jewelry trends in earrings, as well as bangles and necklaces.

--Gemstone studs and then a fall. For a bit of sparkle in your spring and summer look, check out the new collections of romantic, sophisticated pastel gemstones, such as light purples and pinks in the stud with a fall of silver extending from it.

--Opulent drop earrings. In this twist on the above concept, the sparkle extends all through the dangle earring design. Charlotte Russe designs show plenty of rhinestones within the dangle, as well as on the stud, and even in affordable jewelry lines created by celebrity designers, such as Betsey Johnson for Dillards, you'll see plenty of rhinestone drop earrings.

--Heavy metals. In designer Nicole Miller's spring runway collections, she showed metallics in her "runway rock" look, and metals continue in several different forms. The editors of Refinery29.com say that geometric metallics, such as a dangle of triangles in brass or a flattering hammered bar of brass, gives that futuristic look. Because tassels are all the rage in fashion, tassels in silver and brass are popping up as 2-inch or longer accessories in high-fashion lines, as well as at Ann Taylor and in budget-friendly stores, such as Target. Designers from New York to Europe to Australia say that earrings with tassels are must-haves, ranging from oversize styles that reach your shoulders to a minimum fringe.

--Nature-inspired earrings. Express your eco-friendly values in your earrings with this season's leaf shapes, such as those in Heather Gardner's Tiger Lily Collections. Other nature elements showing in earring styles include feathers and even shark tooth earrings, plus 2-inch slices of colorful geodes in cobalt blue and emerald green. Gardner says that these stone earrings are light and provide a blend of natural stone and sparkle. "I love to wear bold statement earrings because I prefer to clothe myself in neutral tones and simple chic styles and let the jewelry I wear make my color statement for my wardrobe," she says. The geode or turquoise stone earrings, chandelier crystal earrings that shimmer, and bohemian feather earrings are her personal favorites to wear for any occasion.

"I recommend wearing bold but elegant statement earrings with informal or formal attire, with a tank and jeans out shopping with the girls or with a cocktail dress out on the town with your special someone," says the nature-inspired jewelry designer, whose pieces have been worn by Kourtney Kardashian.

"No matter what the trends are, a woman who chooses to adorn herself in this style must have the confidence to wear it," Gardner says. "Even if she does not consider herself a 'big-earring woman,' she should push the envelope on her style restrictions and go for it."

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