illustration by liz riccardi


how to have an ear party

with earrings!

Women everywhere have been in a tizzy since we were first introduced to the arm party by Man Repeller. This flashy haze of embroidered metal friendship bracelets was a challenge for the mind and the body as we took care to evenly distribute weight so as not to end up with one lonely Madonna-like arm. But now it appears as if Millennials are taking it upon themselves to adorn another bodily appendage: ears. 

While this new wave of body parties is nothing new—humans have been piercing themselves for at least the past 5,000 or so years—it has certainly taken on a new meaning in this post-Y2K culture. No longer is a punk-rock aesthetic a pre-requisite for driving a needle through one's entire ear 20 or so times, as women of all different styles have decided to partake: You can easily find a row of delicate gold hoops on the lobe of a British socialite, a mixed-metal assortment on a fashion industry insider, and, of course, a river of cheap Claire's studs on your local teenage mall rat.

But how exactly does one perfect this so-called "ear party"? Well, it's an art in and of itself. Click through the gallery to see how we like to party.


Whether it be a long, dangling earring, a large, embellished stud, or this delicate bar-and-chain pick, you should use your "original" piercing to showcase a statement earring.

Catbird, ballerina earrings in 14k rose gold, $168, available at Catbird.

SECOND HOLEGo for something that's still design-centric, but not too heavy. A simple gold hook seems just about right.

Everli Jewelry, simple hook earrings, $24, available at Etsy.

THIRD HOLEUse your third hole to wear a small, graphic stud. It's a nice break from the understated second hole.

Minor Obsessions, gold and diamond star sparkle stud earrings, $245, available at Barneys.

FOURTH HOLEAs you near the end of your lobe, add a minimalist negative space stud. This is also a nice spot to bring back the same metal from your first hole (which, in our case, is rose gold).

Shashi, open circle stud earrings, $28, available at Shopbop.

FIFTH HOLEAs you arch up the ear, go for an almost-hoop that hugs your ear.

Melissa Joy Manning, small ear hugging hoops, $108, available at Free People.

HOOPSThe one rule every ear party must obey? Go wild and layer hoop after hoop after hoop.

Venus by Maria Tash, 3/16" plain ring, $105, available at Venus by Maria Tash.

FAUX HOOPSIt's not always the best decision to pierce all of your cartilage holes at once (it really, really hurts). In the interim, use a clip on hoop to get the same effect.

Elise Dray, cartilage clip earring, $465, available at Moda Operandi.

CARTILAGE STUDSEvery few hoops, add a graphic, textured stud. You can keep it cohesive by buying a set of matching earrings, or add whatever random studs your heart desires.

House of Harlow 1960, tessellation geometric stud earring set, $48, available at Lord & Taylor.

EAR CUFFIt's 2015 and therefore every ear party requires a cuff of some sort, whether it's plain or flashy like this rose gold diamond pick.

Vita Fede, Toni wide ear cuff, $550 for two, available at Vita Fede.