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How to Stack Earrings for Multiple Piercings

Stacking earrings can be a lot more intricate than sliding on rings, bracelets, or necklaces. You still need an eye for balance, but it can also require piercing. In other words, a little more money, maintenance, and pain — though we have tips around that.

Here’s a few suggestions for where to best place earrings and how to draw attention to them, while having fun.

How do you wear earrings with multiple piercings?

As you move up the ear, stack earrings from biggest to smallest, or from statement pieces to simpler ones. Because you don’t have a ton of room to work with, avoid too many sizable pieces (an inch is enough) or showy details, like tassels.

That being said, the shape of your ear and the space available will determine which piercing placements are best for you; we’ll get into all of them later. But great news — retractable clasps and illusion earrings make it totally possible to create the impression of separate piercings without having them. So you can always experiment.

Branching outside of a singular style and/or texture is what’s going to get your earring stack noticed, if that’s what you want. You might pair plain earrings with pave, or danglers with huggies. It’s all about personality.

How to Stack Earrings for Multiple Piercings

1. Start With a Centerpiece

Typically, your biggest earring will be the bottom hole. The easiest way to visualize this is starting with hoops, then stacking studs and huggies. But your centerpiece could also be an ear crawler, which, as the name implies, would take up the side of your ear (it’s another sneaky way to get the look of multiple piercings while skipping the puncture). Your focal point could also be a personality piece, such as a name or star sign. When stacking earrings, you’re building out from your favorite.

When you have a showstopping earring, you’ll either want to avoid too many necklaces, bracelets, and rings, or match their aesthetic. That way, you’re either highlighting your earring or using it to create a cohesive look.

2. Cascading Rule

Drama should decrease the higher you ascend, but don’t limit your creativity. Basically, suspenders down low and snug up top for an effortless waterfall effect. A pairing that can best illustrate this is drop earrings and halo earrings, their names giving clues for which is top and bottom. You want your bolder, elongated pieces pulling the weight, while upper lobes and helix are safe bets for smaller players.

3. Abide by the 40/60 Rule

An earring stack is not just about the height and weight of your jewelry, it’s also about the balance of style. Because your ears are a smaller, more concentrated space, keep earrings 40% bold and 60% dainty. As with all of our advice, this is a suggestion, not a hard rule. But keep in mind that weight also impacts comfort.

Tips for Earring Stacks

Why We Love Earring Stacks

Kick Casual Up a Notch

Curating says “Yes, I take myself seriously and definitely meant to wear this,” or “Oh? Do these go together? I can pull anything off.” Either way, it reads confident, which is why stacking is a trend for every type of jewelry.

Showcase Your Style

Stacking is basically your earlobe’s wardrobe. The amount, placement, and types of earrings can be daring, flirty, elegant, quirky — because there’s more jewelry, there’s more opportunity to express who you are. The individual elements of each earring, combining with another, is all your own vs. a matching set. Upper or lower lobe, inner or outer ear, it’s a reflection of your unique design. You can even design your own diamond earrings (or lab diamond earrings) to make your stack truly one-of-a-kind.

Get More Out of Your Jewelry Box

The same earrings can be worn in different placements on different days with different companions. Hoops and studs, for example, can go back and forth between lobes and helix. So stacking earrings lets you play with your jewelry in new ways, making it multipurpose. You can customize, rather than choose between matching sets for an outfit.

Does the earring order matter in an earring stack?

Start with the first hole of your lower lobe. Then adorn upward, with either smaller or same-size pieces. Your first earring is usually your biggest and anchors the style.

Earring Types Perfect for Stacking

Common Ear-Piercing Placements

1. Helix

The thin edge of your upper ear closest to your head. Low-pain and perfect for studs or hoops.

2. Conch

Also called the cup or the dome, the conch is the cartilage along the inner curve of your ear. More pain, but more gain (aka surface area for jewelry, especially rings or barbells).

3. Tragus

The oval in front of your ear canal. Pretty painful, we won’t lie. But a bold place for studs or hoops (and barbells if you get an anti-tragus piercing on the outside).

4. Lobe

Old reliable. The lower lobe is usually everyone’s first and least painful home base. Anything goes — dangles, drops, etc. The upper lobe is the thinner part up top for earrings on the edge.

What ear piercings look good together?

While you can mix metals for an off the “cuff” look, match your earrings to your skin tone. Sterling silver earrings pair perfectly with cooler tones (blue veins). Gold earrings, especially yellow and rose gold, hang well with warmer tones (green veins). Vermeil earrings bind silver and gold together.

As you stack, you can complement the metal within its range of hues. Layer cool metals with gemstones in blue, green, and purple; warmer tones with pink and red gems.

You should also style earrings that share an aesthetic. Thinner, daintier pieces feel more chic, while cuffs, chains, and barbells have an edgy rocker vibe. An everyday stack is usually 3-5 earrings, with 5 being the most dramatic.

Earring Stack FAQs

What is a stacked ear piercing?

You have multiple piercings along your cartilage and your lobes, allowing for more jewelry to be worn.

How many ear piercings can I get at once?

Avoid more than 2-3 in one session, and keep spacing and position in mind for later additions. The thicker the cartilage, the more flexibility for styling.

How do you layer multiple earrings?

Your largest earrings go in the first hole of your lobe. Keep earrings consistent and vary one of the following elements: metal, gemstone, size, shape, type, texture, color.

Final Thoughts

Ready to start stacking? Shop all earrings at Brilliant Earth for jewelry with a conscience, including lab diamond earrings. You don’t have to sacrifice your values for value. Need guidance in finding your perfect earrings pairs? Talk to our experts to build gorgeous layers.

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