The ’90s called, and they want their skinny eyebrows and chunky highlights back—but the one thing they said we’re welcome to keep is the multiple-piercings trend. Every It girl we’ve seen on Pinterest lately has been rocking a cluster of hardware from her helix to her rook and her lobes to everywhere in between. And it’s giving us the itch to follow suit.
Here’s the difference though, and it’s a big one: The ’90s-inspired ear constellations of today have taken on a much more minimalist aesthetic—even more so than the layered fashion piercings we saw emerge on red carpets and runways in 2013. Thanks to the craftsmanship of bespoke piercers like J. Colby Smith (whose delicate handiwork can be seen on the likes of Zoë Kravitz and Emily Weiss), now it’s all about rock salt–sized studs, floss-thin gold hoops, and other teeny-weeny pieces.
We know, we know: You already let your half-dozen holes close up for the last time. Or did you?
Keep scrolling to check out the chic ear-piercing combos we’ve been obsessing over on Pinterest!
1. Metal Head
Earrings galore! This assemblage of streamlined gold hardware welcomes those clunky ’90s piercings to the present day. If you’re into wearing a lot of jewelry but don’t want to look too dated or extreme, this simple, urban aesthetic is your answer.
2. A Little Mix
Keep your collection from looking too crowded by alternating between hoops and studs. This might just be the chicest tragus piercing we’ve come across, Pinterest or otherwise.
Another super-contemporary look, this silver lineup of teensy geometric shapes has us jonesing to hit up the nearest piercing parlor.
4. Dainty Chains
These delicate pieces reinvent the thick gold chains of 1999. Interspersed with minimalist hoops, the look reads muy style-conscious.
5. Charmed Life
Who doesn’t love a little whimsy? These playful rings’ teeny-tiny size keeps them looking grown-up. Find these exact earrings and more from indie NYC brand Catbird.
6. Not Your Grandmother’s Pearls
Ever seen pearls look this alt? Juxtaposed with unique gold shapes, the look takes on punkier vibes.
7. Rocker Chic
The amalgam of staple studs, nail heads, and other subtly badass shapes bring this look an (understated) rock ’n’ roll twist. Sport this lineup with a leather jacket and greasy hair for maximum edge.
8. Hidden Gems
Are you into the multiple-piercings trend but don’t want it to be the first thing people see? We feel you. This coordinated trio of rhinestones and pearls nods to its radical origins while keeping things classy.
9. Skinny Love
It doesn’t get much more minimalist than these purposefully-placed gold pieces. The snugly fit hoops and microscopic studs evoke modern femininity.
10. Stone Fox
Dig an artsier aesthetic? This pairing of edgy drop earrings and onyx studs communicates that your collection of Taschen coffee table books is extensive.
11. Hoops on Hoops
We love the unique spacing of these tiny gold piercings. Throwing a delicate circle stud in the mix of hoops puts a distinctly contemporary spin on the look as well.
12. Itty Bitty Piercing Committee
The perfect way to keep an earful of piercings from looking too gothic or dated is to seriously downsize each piece of jewelry. Keeping the color scheme streamlined further emphasizes that chic, cool-girl aesthetic.
13. Mixed Metals
The fewer the piercings, the wilder you can get with the shape and finish of each one. This simple contrast of a yellow-gold star shape and white-gold hoop at the helix doesn’t go over the top.
14. Lower Half
No need to fill your entire ear up with bling. This look proves that restricting your jewelry placement to one section of the ear is another cool-girl way of keeping the multi-piercings trend minimal and modern.
15. Big Dipper
Piercings are cool. Outer space is cool. Put the two together, and you have a Pinterest goldmine. For a similar look, try SpringFineArt’s Cassiopeia Star Ear Crawler Earrings.
How do you begin curating an ear?
Consider what piercing would look good on its own and then continue building from there. It also might be helpful to think about whether you prefer a symmetric or asymmetric look. The former is the more classic style whereas the latter can be rather intriguing when done right. Talk to your piercer about the overall look you're going for and they'll be able to help you with a design—or at least guide you in the right direction.
If you are getting multiple ear piercings, how far apart should they be spaced?
They can be as close together or as far apart as you'd like. It really comes down to personal preference. However, with the earlobe, traditionally, the first hole tends to favor a larger stud than the second, third, etc. Your piercer should be placing the second piercing at a distance far enough away from the first one so that they don't touch.
How can you fix the position of an ear piercing that you no longer like?
In most cases, the right earring and its placement can help (This is much easier than re-piercing). For instance, you can adjust the posts on your earring—e.g. move it further to one side—to create better alignment with its neighbor piercing.