A Complete Guide To Earrings For Modern Men

Image Credit: Thomas Sabo

Fancy a pair of men’s earrings but put off by the apparent social stigma? Newsflash: men have been decorating their earlobes since before recorded history began and there’s no reason you shouldn’t follow in their footsteps.

Besides, nowadays that stigma only exists in your own mind… and possibly your grandmother’s. In reality, men’s earrings have a long history as symbols of status, good health and even as a means of protecting the wearer from evil spirits. While we can’t guarantee the latter, we will say this: George Michael, Shakespeare, David Beckham and Harrison Ford all got their ears pierced and, as far as we can tell, none of them were, or are currently, possessed by demons.

Jokes aside, if you are thinking about dabbling in the world of men’s earrings there are a few things to know going in. From the key styles and brands to the things you need to consider before getting pierced, this guide aims to arm you with the knowledge you need to make an earring work for you.

Keep reading and discover a new way to inject some personality into your look.

Men’s Earring Purchasing Considerations

Buying an earring isn’t as simple as merely, well, buying an earring. If you want to wind up with one that suits you, matches your style and doesn’t bankrupt you or cause any unpleasant allergic reactions, there are a few things to keep in mind while shopping.


Beyond whether it looks gold or silver, you might not have given much thought to the material of an earring, but it’s a very important factor. Cheap metals can tarnish and leave green stains on the skin. It’s a clear giveaway that you cheaped out, and is something well worth avoiding. Brass and sterling silver are two of the main offenders here.

Additionally, some low-cost metals can cause skin irritation due to underlying allergies you may not even know you have. Nickel allergy is particularly common so it’s worth avoiding anything that may contain it.

Play it safe by opting for gold, silver, platinum, titanium or stainless steel.


While the social stigma around men’s earrings is very much outdated, wearing a pair of 15cm hoops is still bound to raise some eyebrows. Don’t get us wrong, you do you. But it would be remiss of us not to mention that, when it comes to men’s earrings at least, size does matter.

We’d suggest sticking to smaller studs and hoops if you’re unsure. That said, if you simply love the way huge earrings look and want to rock them, feel free to disregard this advice. The last thing we want to do is to stifle your personal style.


There are lots of different types of men’s earrings. We’ll go into them in more detail very shortly but just consider things like your personal style and work environment before deciding which is right for you.

An eye-catching, dangly statement earring might go down a treat if you’re an art student or creative professional. Corporate executive though? Not so much.


Remember, this isn’t the Met Gala. Don’t skimp on your earrings but don’t bankrupt yourself either. It’s entirely possible to get a nice earring made from a non-tarnishing, hypoallergenic metal for under £50, so don’t go thinking you have to spend a fortune.

Of course, a lot of men’s earrings cost more than this, but if you’re staring down the barrel of a £500 online purchase, you’re probably getting a bit too carried away.

Key Men’s Earring Styles

The word ‘earring’ is a bit misleading because they’re not all rings. Some are, sure, but there are lots of different styles to consider, not all of them hooped in shape. These are the only styles you should be considering (we’d never advocate plugs or tunnels).


David Yurman

Consisting of a straight bar, a decorative end and a fastener, studs are the simplest form or earrings for men. They can feature anything from diamonds to engravings and can even be completely plain. If you’re unsure of where to start, a stud is probably a good entry point to the look.


Le Gramme

Hoops and cuffs are earrings in the most literal sense of the word. They’re round, ring-shaped and encircle the earlobe. Cuffs are still hoops but they’re slightly thicker in width and a popular choice for men as they’re a bit more substantial and, arguably, less feminine.


This type of earring isn’t really a ring at all; it’s more of a bar. It’s used to connect two piercing holes, usually in the upper cartilage of the ear as opposed to the lobe.

Statement Earrings

Emanuele Bicocchi

From the dangly to the diamond-encrusted, statement earrings are those which are designed to stand out and say something. They can become something of a signature if you choose the right one and are a great way to spice up your everyday style if you’re bold enough to wear one.

The Best Men’s Earrings Brands

People tend not to think of brands when it comes to men’s earrings, but they do exist and they’re an important part of picking the right piece. Below are a few of our favourites, covering a good spread of price points and styles.

Le Gramme

This French jewellery brand designs earrings for men, with each product named after its metric weight. The earrings themselves are all simple hoop designs, varying in size and thickness. If you’re after something simple and subtle, this is the brand for you.

Shop now at MR PORTER

Hatton Labs

Based in Hatton Gardens, London’s historic jewellery district, Hatton Labs is an emerging brand with some excellent jewellery options for men, including earrings. Designs take their cues from contemporary pop culture and are made exclusively using recycled scrap metal.

Shop now at SSENSE

Tom Wood

Norwegian jewellery brand Tom Wood is best known for its signet rings, but it makes some excellent earrings too. There are loads of great styles to be had but we’re particularly fond of the simple gold and silver hoops, which are understated and timelessly stylish.

Shop now at Farfetch

Maria Black

Maria Black is a UK jewellery brand offering some excellent unisex earring options, ranging from hoops and cuffs to showier statement styles. What’s more, if you go to a store you can have your ears pierced on site, making the whole process as streamlined as possible.

Shop now at MR PORTER

Emanuele Bicocchi

Handcrafted in Italy, Emanuele Bicocchi’s jewellery fuses traditional artisanal craftsmanship with a masculine rock ‘n’ roll energy. Think skulls, crosses, that sort of thing. There are plenty of quirky statement options if you want to turn some heads but also plenty of subtle pieces too for something a bit less bold and brash.

Shop now at SSENSE

Thomas Sabo

Perhaps your masculinity still feels a little fragile for wearing an earring. That’s fine, because Thomas Sabo can help you out with enough skills and swords to keep things suitably ‘manly’. The brand’s instantly recognisable, edgy, statement jewellery may not be for everyone. But if you’re the type of guy who likes his beard bushy and his knuckles tattooed then you’re probably going to love the intricately detailed medieval, nautical and mythical-inspired designs.

Shop now at Thomas Sabo

Paddy Maddison

Paddy Maddison is Ape's Style Editor. His work has been published in Esquire, Men’s Health, ShortList, The Independent and more. An outerwear and sneaker fanatic, his finger is firmly on the pulse for the latest trends, while always maintaining an interest in classic style.