The perfect hoops

Prawn cocktail, corduroy flares… some things are best left in the Seventies. Oversized hoop earrings aren’t one of them. Face-framing, flattering and above all fun, we’re celebrating the return of the larger-than-life hoop and hoping it’s here to stay. 

Three cheers for hoop earrings; they’ve finally shaken off their bad rep of the Nineties and Noughties – when they were more often associated with morally-dubious Hollyoaks characters – and have become a staple in the most stylish of jewellery boxes. That’s thanks in no small part to fashion’s penchant for all things Seventies – since hoops the size of dinner plates appeared on the catwalks of A/W14-15, jewellers have embraced the oversized and created evermore bright and beautiful variations on the theme.

“Hoops are like your best friend. An earring that can be worn with anything, anytime,” says Dinny Hall, the long-established British jeweller and self-proclaimed Queen of Hoops. “They can be reinvented in endless variations of form and style.” As proven in her extensive hoop portfolio: from classic simple styles in white, yellow or rose-gold to the gently asymmetric Wave design and fabulously Seventies Bamboo style.

There’s something undeniably sexy about large hoops, says Hall – and we’re not sure whether it’s their gypsy-princess associations or rebellious edge, but we agree. Pairing oversized hoops with their weekend wear and a healthy dose of attitude, stars like Beyonce and Rihanna cement the style’s street-appeal, while appearances on the red carpet prove that hoops can be glamourous too. At the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, model Lily Donaldson opted for simple gold hoops as a youthful alternative to traditional diamond chandeliers.

While they’re deceptively simple, a lot of thought goes into creating the perfect hoops – ones that draw attention to the jawline and cheekbones and dangle elegantly rather than sticking out at awkward angles.  Anita Ko’s Twisted earrings, with their off-kilter oval shape and cleverly set diamonds that are visible from any angle, and Delfina Delettrez’s Earclipse design, featuring two overlapping circles crafted using modern 3D-printing techniques, also add a sculptural edge to the classic hoop.

Of course, you can’t picture oversized hoops without thinking of their disco heyday; catching the light of the disco ball behind Farah Fawcett-flicks. When Cartier reissued its iconic Juste un Clou range from the 1970s, a pair of enormous hoops had to be in the line-up. There are plenty of modern styles which reference this era too: we love Robinson Pelham’s kaleidoscopic Circus earrings, which can be transformed with an interchangeable inner charm, and the sci-fi fantastic Electra hoops by Venyx: a fitting tribute to Ziggy Stardust.

For a more subtle take on the trend, look to Diane Kordas or Carolina Bucci, both of whom finish their elegant oversized hoops with a playful detail – a pop-art explosion or gem-studded star – at the lobe. “The wonderful thing about wearing hoop earrings is they make one feel playful and glamorous at the same time,” says Kordas. Jewellery designed to have a good time: welcome back oversized hoops, we have a feeling you’re here to stay.

Shop Hoops