Tips for Men's Earrings

Profile of smiling man with earring

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Men's earrings serve the purpose of ornamentation and self-expression. Throughout history men of many cultures adorned themselves with earrings. Among some peoples, such as the Canelas of South America, ear piercing stood as a rite of passage for boys. The pierced ears and large plugs symbolized a man's openness to the wisdom of the elder men and his attractiveness to women. In contemporary American culture a man's earring may indicate social affiliations, rebellion or style.


Man with earring

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The classic look for male earrings is a single post in one earlobe. Consider a post (also called a stud) for an earring a man can wear almost anywhere. A stud earring goes through the ear and fastens on the back of the earlobe. Choices include a metal post in silver, gold, white gold or platinum; a small diamond stud, or an onyx. Men can wear a single hoop, small and simple, as a classic earring in most settings. Andreas Kokkino, Men's fashion columnist for The New York Times Style Magazine" asserts that men's earrings are back, noting sightings on fashion runways and naming top male designers who wear earrings. The old rule of left for straight and right for gay seems to have been left behind in contemporary male earring style.


Portrait of man with earring

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According to the Men's Health website, a stylish earring won't cause a problem for a man in an office setting, but anything more attention-getting ought to be reserved for personal time. In an interview or at a new job, fitting in with the work culture takes precedence over self-expression. Some job settings offer more latitude for male style than others, yet learning where the lines are may take time. Early on, keep it simple to avoid creating distraction. It's better to have employers, co-workers and clients focus on your work and personality than your accessories.

Keep to a single earring for most professional situations. A stylish earring may incorporate a small gem stone such as a birthstone, ruby, emerald or sapphire; or a semiprecious stone: jade, tiger's eye, turquoise or mother of pearl. A single hoop, small to medium, in silver or gold works in some professional settings.Some men wear earrings in pairs or multiples, such as three earrings on one ear and one on the other, for clubbing or other events.

Outer Limits

Portrait of a Tattooed Man

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Large and unusual earrings for men came out of the body piercing trends that developed in America in the 1970s. These piercings may stretch out the earlobe over a series of piercings, using objects such as plugs that stretch the flesh. Sometimes these ear ornaments come in pairs, such as a fang in each earlobe, or in multiples, such as hoops or studs decorating the lobe and all the way up the ear. These practices may indicate goth, leather or subculture affiliations, though some wearers simply enjoy the look. Men who wear this style choose large ear plugs, grommets, bones, spikes and large-gauge (thick metal) barbells, horseshoes, hoops or bead rings. Some men opt for custom ornaments, often made of surgical steel, silver or gold. Acceptance of these looks varies by location and occupation.