In Search Of The Perfect Stud

Brvtvs Large Vectis Earring
Lynn Ban Black Silver Cross Earrings
Erin Considine Arc Studs
Wendy Nichol Black Diamond Stud Earring
Grace Lee Petite Turquoise Crown Bezel Earrings

Studs: they’re not just the hot men we lust after (or, male horses, as it were). Most of us became acquainted with the delicate ear adornments early in life when we ventured to Claire’s, the doctor’s office, or the local Piercing Pagoda to have your virgin lobes gussied up with a metallic spike. (Or if you’re an employee of Into The Gloss, through an initiation ritual at NY Adorned. I kid, I kid…kind of.) But now that we’re older, we can change our earrings whenever we desire, and with our own incomes to (irresponsibly) spend as we please, perhaps it’s time to add some fresh studly flair.

But before you click "purchase," a little advice from a man who knows a thing or two about jewelry, J. Colby Smith:

"My advice with earrings—especially if you have multiple holes—is to have a good statement piece and let the other jewelry compliment it. Remember that just because it's 'pretty' doesn't mean it will necessarily look good. Let your jewelry tell a story. Also, find a friend to split the cost of a pair of studs; get over the idea that the right side and the left side have to be mirror images. Each hole is a chance to do something different, plus it's awesome to twin out with your bestie. Take your time, find the right pieces for the right spots, and invest in quality pieces that can be in your mix for years to come. If you keep everything delicate and subtle, it allows you to do more with out looking cluttered."

And with that, ladies, let's shop:

1. Brvtvs Large Vectis Earring: Break free from the constraints of the traditional small round stud with this delicate bar, a good edgy beginner earring for those not quite comfortable going full-on alternative on their lobes.

2. Lynn Ban Black Silver Cross Earrings: I might be somewhat alone in my appreciation for Billy Idol (I shouldn’t be, but, to each his or her own, I suppose), but we can all take a page out of his ‘80s punk book and invest in these dark diamond cross studs.

3. Erin Considine Arc Studs: Think of these earrings as tiny, minimalist armor—they perfectly follow the curve of your lower ear.

4. Wendy Nichol Black Diamond Stud Earring: Like Colby says, not all studs need to come in pairs. Maybe one ear wants to live a little more dangerously. If so, a small black diamond and a backside spike can take you from safe to a bit risky.

5. Grace Lee Petite Turquoise Crown Bezel Earrings: Maybe you’re not into the dark and ominous earring. Maybe you want to keep things feminine, delicate, and ladylike. Is there any better pairing than gold and turquoise? Well, chocolate and peanut butter, but it's is a close second.

—Elizabeth Brockway

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • amanda

    I have the small brvtvs vectis and wear it every day. my husband thinks it looks like a staple. ha.

  • Meital

    I feel like I've spent the last 4 months looking for classic but unique studs! This article has been so helpful in pointing me toward designers I wasn't familiar with, but I'd love even more recommendations! Anyone?

    • ITGElizabeth

      Some of Colby's favorites include Smith & Mara, Anna Sheffield (Bing Bang), Marrel Westhoff (MONOCRAFFT), and Sara Beltran (DEZSO). I'd also recommend checking out Hirotaka and Blanca Gomez, as well as Kathleen Whitaker mentioned in the comment below!

      • mara

        as one of the co-creators of SMITH+MARA i have to say we are a great option ;)

    • elle

      Try... Wendy Nichol, Manon, Satomi Kawakita, Suzannah Wainhouse, Better Late Than Never & Catbird! Or just empty the contents of your bank account in one visit to NY Adorned or their Nolita sister shop Love Adorned.

      So. Many. Studs.

    • Solange

      Upper Metal Class do really lovely ones!

  • Rachel

    A great selection of earrings! Love Wendy Nichol and Erin Considine!

    I have to admit that I'm surprised Kathleen Whitaker wasn't mentioned. I have a mismatched grouping of her studs in each ear that I legit never take out, not even to shower... (tsk tsk, I know)! For those with double piercings, her Double Post Stick Earring is seriously cool.

    • jennifer

      Yup, I agree! I also have a random grouping of Kathleen Whitaker studs as well as the Double Post Stick Earring. So unique, comfortable, and very cool.

  • Katy

    I have a great pair of square shaped studs that I got from Etsy. You can get studs in basically any shape you could possibly imagine, in whatever material you could possibly want on there!

  • bambi

    Any suggestions for delicate hoop earrings like Abbey Lee's nose piercing? I need to change my cartilage piercing and couldn't find one anywhere.

    • ITGElizabeth

      I would suggest just going to a local piercing shop-- they really have the best. I have my cartilage pierced as well and have kept the same small hoop that it was pierced with. If you're in NYC, NY Adorned is your best bet, in my humble opinion!

    • Inkygrl

      I get my beautiful delicate nose rings from a shop on etsy called Rock Your Nose. She makes beautiful earrings, nose rings, etc and will do custom orders too.

  • ITGElizabeth

    Check out some of the brands mentioned in my response to Meital (above). Also Catbird and Love Adorned are great shops to check out if (online or in person...though if you go to Catbird, I'd recommend a week day or very early on the weekend as it gets very crowded very quickly!)


  • haints

    Ladies, I recommend In God We Trust if you are looking for the perfect stud(s).

  • kelly

    any suggestions for clip on wearers? (don't say get a piercing, hilarious commenters)

  • Hanna V

    I have so much trouble finding cute studs for my non statement earrings, it's ridiculous. I mean the main piece is easy but the little ones are hard to find around here, these are a nice inspo tho

  • elle

    Love this post, and the selection of studs! Just got a fourth hole in my lobes from Colby when I was in NYC last week. I think it was my fifth or sixth visit to him. He really is the best.

  • Hannah

    These are so great! I love the first, especially. Do you have any recommendations for larger gauges? All my cartilage piercings were done at standard 16 gauge and it seems so hard to find delicate and subtle studs or hoops in that size.

  • ThoughtsofGlam

    I love the idea of keeping things delicate and subtle. I think studs are mean to be dainty and cute. I don't understand the chunky ones out there that take up have your ear and make it droop.

  • Alisia

    The cleverness of this post really kept me reading. I don't wear studs too often, but couldn't stop reading after that first paragraph. Too funny. Alisia | Some Writers

  • Lea_Ta

    Living in the 10th in Paris, in the Sri Lankan area, I'm very lucky to be able to buy wonderful Indian style jewelry for almost nothing. I usually buy fake nose rings for 0,30€, that I wear on my ear like piercings. They have a lot of different styles and I could not live without them now. As a stylist, they're also super nice to use on models in editorials, if the girls don't have their ears pierced.

  • Kurohana

    etsy has great studs

    • lucia

      it's about time you interview caroline ventura for top shelf!! pleaseeee

  • Olga Montserrat


    Queen of studs and bar earrings, in my opinion.

  • Alana

    Check out Line & Jo ( They have a beautiful selection of studs, most of which are meant to be worn individually.


Brvtvs Large Vectis Earring
Lynn Ban
Lynn Ban Black Silver Cross Earrings
Erin Considine
Erin Considine Arc Studs
Wendy Nichol
Wendy Nichol Black Diamond Stud Earring
Grace Lee Petite Turquoise Crown Bezel Earrings