The key ear piercing trends for 2021 you need to know about

Looking for ear-spiration? These are the ear piercing trends you need to know about

Robyn Rihanna Fenty and Linda Fargo celebrate the launch of FENTY at Bergdorf Goodman at Bergdorf Goodman on February 07, 2020 in New York City.
(Image credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Bergdorf Goodman)

There’s officially never been a better time to have pierced ears, with several standout earring trends emerging for autumn and winter 2020 and 2021.

From animal shapes to safety pins, supersized and colourful stones, plus pearl hoops (heart eye emoji!) - single earrings are currently enjoying the style spotlight again too. AW20 fashion month catwalk shows brought their earring A-game, with ear jewellery being a strong theme throughout. A wearable way of ticking trend boxes, cuffs, hoops, huggies, drop earrings and more are upping the style stakes this season. Plus, it’s a bonus point that we get to show them off in video calls - you know, just in case you’re not leaving the house a lot.

As celebrity stylist Donna McCulloch, aka Sulky Doll Styling, confirms: “I always say to clients, go big or go home with ear jewellery. If not in earring size, in number of piercings.”

Whether you love to be bold or are drawn towards multiple understated earrings, here are the top ear-piercing jewellery trends you need to know about:

1. Make a statement

Karina Ferreira Flores wearing cropped top, olive green jacket, denim jeans skirt, black sandals, mini sunglasses, statement earrings on August 13, 2018 in Berlin, Germany.

(Image credit: Christian Vierig/Getty Images)

Donna suggests using ear jewellery to easily dial up your style. She says: “Earrings are a brilliant way of adding personality and a little bit of drama to an otherwise neutral look.” And this autumn/winter, there are plenty of bold earring picks to choose between.

If you like to get ahead of the crowd, explore “rearing” earrings. Called this because of the main earring part hanging behind your lobe rather than in front, they create a reverse effect. So, for example, the classic earring hook is seen at the front of your lobe, with the piece of jewellery threading through to hang underneath. Winding animal shapes, like snakes, are a stunning rearing sort.

With oversized earrings another eye-catching AW20 buy, think elaborate crystals, crosses, chunky chains, bright shapes, animal motifs and big hoops. Basically, the more extra, the better.

2. Everyday objects

Safety pin earrings reign supreme for AW20 and early 2021, throwing it back to the punk era. True Rocks’ collection features earrings incorporating other household and everyday objects, including knives, razor blades and pill capsules. Subtle or standout, safety pin earrings in various sizes and styles bring an edgy and eclectic vibe to the ear party.

3. Off the cuff

Ear cuffs and ear climber earrings offer the option of maximum jewellery coverage with minimum piercings. Owner of Ffreckle. online jewellery store, Aimée Downey, says: “These can start in the lobe piercing and wrap around to the top cartilage of the ear. I’m seeing both understated ones pop up as well as those reaching the ear’s mid-point.”

Many ear cuffs don’t require any piercings and are an optional addition to update your existing ear jewellery. Similarly, single hoop-style cuffs can be worn as standalone pieces or stacked, culminating in a layered earring effect.

4. Pearl earrings

Oooh look at this summer #earparty. More is definitely more 🌈 💓 🐚 Edge of Ember

A photo posted by @edgeofember on Aug 13, 2020 at 9:55am PDT

Classic and timeless, pearl earrings are being given an updated twist this season. Marc Jacobs, Chanel, Jil Sander and Simone Rocha all focused on pearl jewellery and earrings for AW20 in their catwalk shows. Moschino showed a French Revolution look, pearl earrings being a pivotal feature. Pearl studs, pearl drop earrings and hoops or cuffs with pearls on, are all a stylish nod.

5. Splashes of colour

Colourful stones will be your go-to for brightening up a look, and rainbow huggies are a simple way of achieving this. Build up the bling wearing coloured crystal huggies in multiple piercings, seeking out bright shades such as turquoise opal stones too. With jewel tones a key theme for AW20 fashion in general, earrings ensure a wearable take without revamping your entire wardrobe.

6. Single earrings

A model walks the runway at the Prabal Gurung Ready to Wear Fall/Winter 2020-2021 during New York Fashion Week on February 11, 2020 in New York City.

(Image credit: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

As seen from Dior at AW20 fashion month, single earrings are back with a bang. Worn on one side only to dial up the dramatic impact, pair with a stud or leave your other lobe bare. The style of these jewellery singletons? Anything from the aforementioned-safety pins to long drop earrings which look like a sculpted work of art.

7. Double up

Diamonds big enough to catch the last of that summer sun #auratenewyork Aurate New York

A photo posted by @auratenewyork on Sep 6, 2020 at 3:05pm PDT

Keep an eye out for multi-layered hoops, a chunkier piece encompassing two or three hoops coming from the same piercing. Alternatively, placing a pair of mid-sized hoops beside each other on the same ear also earns double style points.