Hoop earrings have it all: they’re sassy, stylish and historic (that’s right). Hoops, the hero earring silhouette of the last several years, can be traced back to ancient times. While no one knows the origin story, there is a certain logic to the circular shape going from the front to the back of the lobe; think of it like the jewelry equivalent of the invention of the wheel.
What is known with certainty about the history of hoops is that diamonds made their sparkling entrance into the design during the 19th century. (Jewels from the classic era had mainly been composed of gold.) While it may seem surprising that the prim Victorians loved the sexy silhouette, one must consider their chosen style, that of the shape of hoop earrings worn by the Etruscans in ancient Italy. The design became popular during the neoclassical revival when hoop earrings were being unearthed during archeological digs. Women acquired them as extravagant souvenirs from their Grand Tours of Italy.
Since the 19th century diamond hoops have never gone out of favor, but they have ebbed and flowed in terms of popularity. Right now, it is not an overstatement to describe the popularity of hoops as a tidal wave.
During the last several years hoops transformed from a cool summer jewelry style to a year-round look. They have also evolved from daytime style staple to red carpet stunner. In fact, so many celebrities have worn diamond hoop earrings at major events that it would almost be easier to list who hasn’t worn the look.
One of many favorite celebrity hoop earring looks from the last several years includes Rihanna at the Clive Davis pre-Grammy party in 2014. She wore her diamond hoop earrings alongside layers of other diamond jewels and a sunshine yellow Alexandre Vauthier couture dress. The easy breezy styling set a tone for the way diamond hoops would be worn in the years to come.
The ever-stylish Julianne Moore looked radiant in large diamond hoop earrings at a premiere for her 2017 independent film Suburbicon. The jewels lit up her black and white Givenchy cocktail dress.
At Wimbledon in 2017, the Duchess of Cambridge, otherwise known as Kate Middleton, sparkled in her personal pair of small Asprey gold and diamond Oakleaf hoop earrings and a green Dolce & Gabbana dress.
The queen of hoops in Hollywood, Jennifer Lopez has worn diamond hoops countless times. In fact, hoops are such a signature style of hers that everyone understood when she poked fun at herself in an SNL skit titled simply “Hoops” on December 19, 2019.
Of all the iconic Jennifer Lopez hoop earrings looks, without a doubt the most glam moment was at the 2017 Met Gala when she complemented a turquoise blue Valentino gown with Harry Winston three-row hoops set with 42.54 carats of diamonds, plus a vintage bracelet set with 57.30 carats of diamonds, a Mrs. Winston Bracelet set with 45.05 carats of diamonds and four diamond and platinum rings.
Designers have responded to the demand for hoops today with an array of dynamic styles.