Earring Trends Over the Decades

It’s thanks to daring designers, celebrity influence, and even historical events that we’ve seen such diverse earring trends over the decades. To us, knowing the influence behind the styles of the past makes them that much more fun to wear!

Join us as we explore the most popular earring trends from the last 100 years. The following blasts from the past certainly gave us inspo to experiment and get creative with our looks. We hope you’ll feel the same!


1920s – Lavish, Art Deco Earrings

Decade earring trends 1920

After WW1, the American economy was booming. This was reflected in fashion through the adoption of luxurious looks that expressed wealth. Lavish jewelry, especially in an art deco style, was super popular. Geometric pendants, pearls, and diamonds became an earring staple. Designers who achieved this style trend, like Tiffany and Co., rose to popularity during this time.

Even in a booming economy, not everyone could afford authentic pearls and diamonds, so artificial versions of these rose to popularity. To this day, pearls and diamonds, both real and authentic, remain an essential in every fasionista’s jewelry box. Luckily, EarFleek’s subscription packages include a variety of such earrings that you can add to your collection!


1930s – Glamorous Earrings

Earring trends in 1930

The trends in the ‘30s were influenced by American Hollywood glamor. Hollywood stars donned bold vibrant pieces, so the desire to emulate this look grew.

However, the ‘30s were also the time of the Great Depression, so inexpensive materials like plastic or fake gems rose to popularity. These accessible materials achieved a glamorous look without breaking the bank! Using plastic in earrings was (and still is) a wonderful way to collect a variety of colorful and bold gem-lookalikes.


1940s – Diamond Earrings

 Earring trends in 1940s

A famous ad campaign ran by De Beers Diamond Company changed the diamond industry forever. Diamonds were popular in the ‘20s but fell out of demand in the ‘30s when they were replaced by more affordable materials. In an attempt to revive the dying diamond industry, the De Beers Diamond Company ran a highly impactful ad campaign and introduced America to the slogan “A Diamond is Forever”.

Diamonds became a symbol of everlasting love, especially in the engagement ring industry. This desire for diamonds trickled over into the earring market as well, as diamond earrings returned to the fashion scene. Marilyn Monroe’s “Diamonds Are Girl’s Best Friend” is an example of celebrity influence encouraging this trend in the public.


1950s – Feminine Pearl Earrings

Earring trends in 1950s

During the ‘40s, many women adopted new roles in society, taking over traditionally male jobs as many men were fighting abroad in WW2. The end of WW2 in the mid-‘40s meant that women were suddenly displaced from these jobs and expected to return to traditional roles. The contrast between these two decades could be seen in the rise of “ultra feminine glamor” – the main fashion trend of the ‘50s.

As part of this trend, matching jewelry sets and pearls became popular. Matching jewelry sets made it easy to achieve a more “put together” look, while pearl earrings created a look of simplicity and femininity.


1960s –Colorful Plastic Earrings

Earring trends in 1960s

Rebelling from the “ultra feminine glamor” look was a theme of the ‘60s. Functionality and practicality took its place, making room for plastic earrings to come back into fashion. Plastic was preferred because it made it easy to develop earrings of all sorts of shapes and colors. Its affordability also allowed women to stock up on fun earrings, leading to layered styles of big, bold jewelry.


1970s – Boho Earrings

Earring trends in 1970s

The cultural trends of the ‘70s (like hippie culture) were celebrated through boho fashion. Boho jewelry consisted of earthy, toned down colors. Earrings of this style often consisted of mixed materials, like beads or feathers. Here at EarFleek, we have a whole section of our online shop dedicated to boho styles! We love mimicking this look today through dangling tassel earrings.


1980s – Big Bold Earrings

Earring trends in 1980s

Fashion trends of the ‘80s were influenced by the desire to explore and express one’s individuality. In the world of earrings, this took shape in the form of anything that was big or bold: large, colorful hoops, fake gemstones, and neon colors were in.

Due to the large and sometimes heavy nature of this jewelry, clip-on earrings became very popular – they allowed women to get as bold as they liked without hurting their earlobes!


1990s – Pop and Punk Style Earrings

Earring trends in 1990s
Contributed by @melina_ann_vervane

The ‘90s fashion scene was strongly influenced by music and music videos. Many jewelry styles were inspired by pop or punk rock. Seeing these styles in music videos on TV helped to perpetuate them quickly throughout America.

Chokers, jelly bracelets, and mood rings were prime examples of what was popular in jewelry during this time. On the “pop” side of the earring game, anything that was colorful and fun was in. On the “punk rock” side, you were more likely to see chokers and darker colors. Male jewelry began to rise to popularity as well.


2000s – Gold and Hoop Earrings

Earring Decade Trends - 2000s
Contributed by @patyruiz16

Like in the ‘90s, music had a strong influence on fashion and earring trends. During this time, hip-hop took over both the music scene and the jewelry scene. Bold, gold jewelry such as large hoop earrings were an especially popular style one might see in hip-hop music videos. This earring style was quickly appropriated into mainstream culture and remains a popular choice of earring today!


2010s – Earring Styles Globalized

Earring Decade Trends - 2010s

With the rise of social media, styles from around the world were suddenly accessible to anyone, anywhere. As a result, fashion trends from different cultures made their way into the American fashion scene. Cute or dainty jewelry that was sometimes seen in trending J-Pop and K-Pop videos, for example, was also a popular style in America.

Dainty or minimalistic jewelry was (and still is) very popular amongst American celebrities, too. Seeing this style throughout social media made it easier than ever for this style to grow in popularity.


Try New Earring Trends With EarFleek

EarFleek Subscriptions

From pearl-style earrings reminiscent of the 1920s to hoops that harken back to the 2000s, our collections are sure to add blasts from the past to your wardrobe. Add some variety to your earring collection with a subscription to EarFleek’s monthly mailing service. Use code BLOG to get 50% off your first month when you subscribe here!


Written by Megan
Megan is a writer and digital marketer living in the Pacific Northwest who subsists mostly on coffee. As a lover of travel, cat fostering, and cocktail making, she has a hard time deciding how to spend her free time (and usually just ends up watching Netflix).


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