Are we living in a golden age of earrings? In the last few years, it’s gotten more and more fun to wear them, as all the rules have been broken: You don’t have to wear matching pairs; you don’t have to get extra piercings to look like you have more than one in each ear (try a “crawler” or a “twirl” hoop); you can wear one earring in two piercings; what hangs from the back of a stud can be just as important, and as beautiful, as the front (see: “jackets”); a hoop doesn’t have to sit like you thought it did. Moreover, you don’t have to look very hard to find earrings that are much less expensive than they look — even the biggest-box clothing brands have seriously stepped up their game (see the Cut’s recent dive into Mango’s wonderful options). And if you don’t want to bother looking at all, we’ve rounded up some of the very best options that you can buy online for under $50, from surprising studs to hoops of all shapes and sizes to big, bold, inspired statement pairs.
A sweet pair of mismatched, sterling-silver tinies (one featuring a white sapphire) from the jewelry start-up Mejuri.
Mejuri sells perfect, teensy, solid 14-karat-gold ball studs, too.
A simple, delicate pair of sterling-silver “through” earrings, whose curved posts hook around the underside of your earlobe.
Lovely gold-plated studs from the Turkish-inspired line Ottoman Hands.
Jackets inspired by the phases of the moon, from the Mallorcan Etsy designer Lunai.
The trapezoidal stud part of these beautiful geometric jackets, handmade in Kenya, are interesting enough to be worn alone; the dangling triangular hoop is an added bonus.
You’ll never guess who makes this surprisingly chic set of mix-and-match studs. Okay, fine, we’ll tell you: It’s Abercrombie & Fitch!
This pretty little everyday pair is handmade in New York City, with hammered 14-karat-gold plating and creamy glass moonstones.
A clever, unusual design, with sleek brass discs that split around the earlobe.
Gold-tone jackets with subtle blue crystals, from Nicole Richie’s ’60s-inspired line House of Harlow.
These little pave clusters from the New York–based brand Shashi are plated in 18-karat gold and come in lots of colors.
A sparkly set of gold-plated pave evil eyes from Rebecca Minkoff.
You can’t go wrong with a 14-karat-gold-filled initial stud, especially at $15 a pop.
Wear it with Catbird’s single, solid-gold “Little Secret” earring, which is like a bar stud but with extra-delicate tapered ends.
Or you could even pair it with this Marc Jacobs hand-giving-the-peace-sign; there are no rules!
These dainty Shashi circles come plated in 18-karat yellow or rose gold.
This pair — like much of the jewelry on the Amazon Handmade page of a Korean line called MJLuLu — features a stone called howlite, which, the designer writes, “can be used to release attachments, or cords, linking old emotional pain, from this life or a past life, to the present. Once these attachments are severed, it allows for processing those emotions and bringing peace in those areas.” We’ll take them.
Love the effect of multiple piercings in one ear, but not ready to commit? Try a pair of crawlers (a.k.a. climbers), like this supercute southwestern-inspired set — made with gold-plated brass and reconstituted turquoise — from BaubleBar.
Or these opal ones from the Israeli line Moonli Designs on Amazon Handmade.
Moonli makes a squiggly pair, too.
And, for anyone who actually has more than one piercing per lobe, a set of very cool double studs, designed to go in two holes.
Satisfyingly tiny 18-karat-gold-filled hoops with hidden closures.
An even thinner, almost-as-tiny pair, made with hammered solid 14-karat gold.
For a bigger hoop, Catbird makes super-simple, perfectly-sized silver pair with beveled edges.
A sleek, simple pair of “through” hoops, which hang from the ear like a horseshoe, in a rose-gold finish.
Sterling-silver “hug” hoops that end in a tiny ball, from Melissa Joy Manning.
MJM also makes hug hoops for a double piercing.
The hoop equivalent of a crawler? A “twirl” hoop like this little Maria Black number, which twists around the lobe to mimic a double piercing. (And is on sale for just a dollar over 50.)
Hoops with a bonus starburst charm, from & Other Stories.
Who says hoops need to be round? This “soft diamond” pair from Nisolo, made in Kenya from recycled brass, is lovely.
Hoops That Are Actually Studs
Simple, chic brass rounds that look like they’re floating on your earlobe, rather than dangling through it.
Wiry, sterling-silver semicircles that offer the same effect.
Gold-tone brass hoops from the British line Wolf & Moon descend from diamond-shaped wooden studs, painted millennial pink.
A similar concept, on a teeny-tiny scale, in sterling silver.
These tortoise-patterned numbers, made from resin, would look great with a black top.
Open-backed hoops from Lunai, ringed with tiny, soldered-on beads.
One earring, two hoops.
This gold-plated pair by the minimalist line Modern Citizen offer a satisfying unfolded-paper-clip effect.
Statements and Danglers
These are from Ann Taylor, but they sure don’t look it! They’ve got more of a Sophie Buhai vibe.
A similar, slightly more “directional” pair from Whistles.
These Isabel Marant beauties, made in France and more than half-off, are $54, but worth it.
Slightly insane, convincingly vintage-looking acrylic chandeliers.
Delicate chains dangle from rose-quartz studs and end in pretty rounded triangles.
Super-simple, elegant 18-karat-plated cubic zirconias with just a bit of a dangle.
Art Deco fringe that screams New Year’s Eve.
Pom-poms are having a real moment.
As are tassels, made with strands of beads, as above …
Or thread, as with this alluring Shashi pair.
Tassels that are also hoops, from Whistles.
Superchic, figurative tear drops from Mango to jazz up the simplest of outfits. (Here are some other Mango earrings we love.)
Get the best of The Strategist delivered to your inbox.
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best women’s jeans, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, ultra-flattering pants, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.
Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.