What are Dangle Earrings?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

The term dangle earrings can be used to refer to any number of earrings that are affixed to the ear by a post or hook and include components of metal, stone, glass, resin, or plastic that dangle down from the earlobe. The length of dangle earrings can vary quite a bit. Some of them hang to a length that stops just below the bottom of the earlobes. Others are quite long and reach to the tops of the shoulders, or even past the shoulders. These very long kinds of dangle earrings are sometimes referred to as shoulder sweepers because they brush across the tops of the shoulders while the wearer moves.

Cubic zirconia, which is often used to make dangle earrings.
Cubic zirconia, which is often used to make dangle earrings.

Dangle earrings may have one or more strands that hang down from the earlobes. A very simple pair of dangle earrings may be made up of a simple metal chain that hangs down from a post that holds the jewelry onto the ears. In more complex examples, there may be multiple strands and theses strands may be quite embellished. The chains hanging from the lobes may be accented with rhinestones, beads, or enamel charms.

The cost of dangle earrings can vary quite a bit. Earrings that are designed by well-known fine jewelers that are made with precious stones and metals are far more expensive than earrings that are made of less valuable materials. In some cases, dangle earrings are made to look like fine jewelry but are made of inexpensive metal and inexpensive components made out of glass or cubic zirconia.

It is most common for women to pair dangle earrings with evening wear and gowns. This is because dangle earrings are often rather dramatic and are reserved for dramatic outfits, which are generally worn in the evening. If the dangle earrings are quite long, large, and embellished, they may be coupled with a very understated necklace. Alternatively, a woman may wear these kinds of earrings with no necklace at all.

In recent years, these kinds of earrings have been incorporated into day wear. This is especially true for edgy, modern, and urban looks. For this reason, a number of companies that specialize in trend fashion now sell long, dangling earrings as part of their seasonal lines. The colored components in the earrings usually correspond to the season with deep, moody tones in the fall and brighter colors in the spring.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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