There are two types of women in this world: Those with pierced ears, and those without. But even if you fall in the latter camp, you don’t have to go without in the accessories department. Whether you simply never got around to piercing your ears or you’re the squeamish sort that can’t bear the thought of the needle, there are plenty of clip-on earrings out there for you that will look just as nice as a traditional pair.
What is a clip-on earring?
Chances are, if you’ve ever shopped vintage jewelry, you’re familiar with a clip-on earring. Originally designed for Victorian women who felt it was disgraceful to poke holes through their ears, they fastened to the ear through a screw back, and later, a simple paddle clip, which rose to prominence in the ‘50s.
Modern backs for these earrings include those with magnets or mini clips, which make it the less obvious that they’re clip-on.
Why wear clip-on earrings?
While clip-ons open up new jewelry possibilities to those with non-pierced ears, they work just as well for those that have had the procedure done.
We know what you’re thinking: “If I went through the trouble of piercing my ears, why wouldn’t I just go with the real deal?” Well, for starters, if you happen to be a fan of long, dangly earrings, damage to the lobe, including stretching or tearing, can occur when wearing styles with piercing closures.
When worn correctly, a clip-on earring offers up the same chandelier look with less risk. These earring closures may also help to keep certain styles, like flat earrings that tend to tip forward, in place.
Placing certain metals inside your ear hole, such as copper, may also cause a greater reaction in those with sensitive skin than a clip-on style might.
It’s important to note, however, that clip fixtures should not be worn too tightly. As a plastic surgeon explained to Argenteus, the tissue inside your earlobe can become soft if too much pressure is continuously placed on it from a clip-on, causing its structure and elasticity to deteriorate.
Where to Buy Clip-On Earrings
While clip-on earrings may not be as readily available as, say, a standard pair of hoops, you’d be surprised at the amount of retailers that carry them. Most department stores, including Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, and Neiman Marcus, had several pairs to peruse.
Designers (hello, Oscar de la Renta!) also cater to the non-pierced market, offering an upscale selection of goods you’ll be proud to show off. And, if you’re looking for a cheap pair to try things out, we’ve got those, too.
Keep reading to shop the best clip-on earrings we found on the market for pierced and non-pierced ears alike.
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Best Sterling Silver Clip On Earrings
Karine Sultan Drop Earrings
Where to buy: $38, Nordstrom
We love these handmade pewter accessories, which come plated with sterling silver or 24K gold. They have a 2-inch drop, making them just long enough to be noticed, but not long enough to hurt, and a hammered design that will reflect the light in any room.
Best Gold Clip On Earrings
Anne Klein Orbital Clip Earrings
Where to buy: $20.40 (Originally $24), Amazon
If you’re more partial to gold, check out these circular hoops from modern-day favorite, Anne Klein. They have a retro disc design and an easy paddle clip back that will make them your new go-to pair.
Best Clip on Teardrop Earrings
L&M Bling Floral Teardrop Earrings
Where to buy: $25, L&M Bling
It doesn’t get much prettier than these floral teardrop pieces from L&M, which measure 1-inch long and have a vibrant purple hue. They’re also equipped with an easy-on, easy-off clip closure that will make wearing them a breeze.
Best Clip On Wedding Earrings
Nadari Clip-On Earrings
Where to buy: $45, Bloomingdale’s
For a fancier take on the clip-on trend, check out these stunners from Nadari. We could easily see these floral-shaped earrings with shiny glass stones completing a bridal look, be it for a guest, a bridal party member, or the actual betrothed.
Best Clip On Tassel Earrings
Kendra Scott Sue Tassel Drop Clip-On Earrings
Where to buy: $68 (Originally $140), Neiman Marcus
Kendra Scott’s 14K gold tassel clip-ons are casual enough to wear to the office, yet offer up a dressy element in the form of their cubic zirconia accents that make them a great pick for an after-work dinner, too.
Best Clip On Stud Earrings
Charter Club Love Knot Earrings
Where to buy: $17.15 (Originally $24.50), Macy’s
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More of a minimalist? Why not opt for these simple Love Knot earrings from Charter Club? These everyday finds are set in gold or silver-tone mixed metal and clip on at the back to be worn by everyone, from your grandma without a piercing to her name to your niece, who has three.
Best Rhinestone Clip On Earrings
Carolee Rhinestone and Imitation Pearl Cluster Earrings
Where to buy: $32.97 (Originally $65), Nordstrom Rack
Add a little bling to your ensemble in the form of these rhinestone and imitation pearl cluster earrings, which measure roughly 1-inch long. They have a unique trapezoid cut and a subtle purple hue that will give your look that extra pop.
Most Colorful Clip On Earrings
Colorful Pom Pom Earrings
Where to buy: $43.50 (Originally $58), Etsy
If you love color, you can’t go wrong with these long, colorful tassel and pom pom earrings found on Etsy. Boasting an array of neon blue, green, orange, yellow, and hot pink, they make for a serious statement piece.
Best Cheap Clip On Earrings
Chico’s Silver-Tone Square Earrings
Where to buy: $6.99 (Originally $25), Chico’s
If you want to give clip-on earrings a go, but aren’t willing to spend an arm and a leg to do so, these silver-tone square pieces from Chico’s are for you. They’re less than $10(!) right now, making them affordable enough for any budget, and have a basic hammered stud design that will go with any outfit. They’re also made with nickel-free metal, so they're wearable for even those with sensitive skin.
Best Long Clip On Earrings
Sachin & Bibi Erin Earrings
Where to buy: $135, Anthropologie
Those with a penchant for fun and playful accessories will want to take note of these Sachin & Bibi glass-beaded hoop stunners. They come in two bright shades and bring the aesthetic of India, the company's native country, to life.
Best Clip On Pearl Earrings
Oscar de la Renta Classic Pearly Earrings
Where to buy: $190, Neiman Marcus
Leave it to style powerhouse Oscar de la Renta to take the clip-on earring and make it high-fashion. These dangly resin-pearls are set in polished yellow gold-tone pewter and feature crystal pavé accents.
Best Clip On Hoop Earrings
Liz Claiborne Gold-Tone Hoop Earrings
Where to buy: $10.80 (Originally $18), JCPenney
Hoops don’t have to be painful, and these on-trend Liz Claiborne gold-tone earrings are picture-proof. Made with an easy-wear back, they’ll slide right off your ears when you undo the paddle hinge.
Best Pavé Clip On Earrings
T Tahari Pavé Stud Clip-On Earrings
Where to buy: $21.37 (Originally $28), Amazon
Simple and stunning, T Tahari gives us a classic, wearable stud in the form of a clip-on. These have a silver-tone finish around large opal stones and a pavé frame that’s sure to wow.