Men's earrings are increasing in popularity all the time.

We'll help you find and buy the best, whether you're shopping for yourself, or for a friend, partner or relative.

Historically, men have always worn jewellery. And that includes earrings in pierced ears.

Like a lot of things we consider long-standing traditions, the idea that men should dress more conservatively and quietly than women is a relatively modern convention.

Ancient Egyptians would have laughed at the idea; Regency dandies would have split their brocaded waistcoats.

And so should you. Recent survey evidence suggests that as many as 30% of piercings in a 12 month period were performed on men.

Let's take you through shopping for fabulous men's earrings from superb designers with great new ideas.

Earrings for men: a beginner's guide

There are some mechanics to consider when you're buying earrings for men.

Earrings are sold either for pierced or unpierced ears. Anyone can wear rings and cuffs for unpierced ears, but some rings and studs can only be worn with a piercing.

Here in the UK, piercing is a licensed activity. Local authorities carry out some checks and you should not use a studio that doesn't show up-to-date paperwork. Please follow regulations where you are as there are some risks.

Beyond that there's not much to know. Anyone carrying out a piercing should ask some basic medical questions - about allergies for example - and follow some health and safety and hygiene requirements.

Ear piercings put a hole in the ear. This allows you to wear earrings with a post that goes through the hole. The fix is completed by attaching a back - in a variety of styles - to the post.

Some people have allergic reactions, usually mild, to metal alloys used in jewellery. Exposure to allergens through a piercing may cause a stronger reaction than skin contact.

The purer the precious metal, the less likely it is to produce an allergic reaction (though some people are allergic to gold, for example).

However, alloys added to precious metals like gold and silver aren't simply there to adulterate the metal. They usually add functionality - shine, hardness - to the metal.

Good options for allergy sufferers are purer precious metals (with a price tag), or surgical stainless steel. Platinum is very non-reactive. Plastic and ceramic are also less likely to cause allergies reactions.

Anecdotal evidence is that nickel alloys are the most common cause of allergic reactions in earring wearers.

Men with unpierced ears have a variety of options. Some earrings clip on, at the lobe or higher up the ear, using a gentler version of a butterfly clip.

Cuffs are designed to fix around the ear.

Smart designers have few limits on how they fasten - or balance - jewellery though.

Earrings for men: style tips

This is personal.

And like anything personal, it is best handled by the individual in question.

Buy and wear what you like. Give what you think the recipient will wear and like.

Jewellery is an adornment. It's extra. You don't need to rein it in.

However, it's very easy to find more understated earrings for men if that is your style.

Many of these pieces are designed to be beautiful, whoever is wearing them. A piece of metal has no gender, and you should wear what you love.

Here are 5 examples from the independent designers of JewelStreet that we think you - or your partner or buddy - will love.

5: Men's earrings: gears gear

9kt gold & white diamond little cog stud earrings

9kt gold & white diamond little cog stud earrings handmade for you and shipped direct by A Jewel

Traditionally masculine or just modernist? These cogs are smart and relatively low key. Gold and diamond gives them more than enough glamour and glitter though. 

4: Men's earrings: wood you? 

Star Stud Earring - Wood & Gold Leaf
Star Stud Earring - Wood & Gold Leaf by Ark Jewellery by Kristina Smith

These stunning studs celebrate the natural world and reward closer study. The detailling is tremendous, the finish superb. These were originally designed with Christmas in mind, but their rustic, earthy feel works all year round.

3: Men's earrings: double stud

18kt Gold Duo Diamond Unisex Piercing Stud Earring Handmade for you and shipped direct by Lena Cohen London

18kt Gold Duo Diamond Unisex Piercing Stud Earring by Lena Cohen London

You always look handsome in gold and diamonds. When they're presented in this simple, smart, elegant setting you know you can wear them anywhere, any time. 

2: Men's earrings: so simple, so pure, so different

Concrete Circle Stud Earrings

Concrete Circle Stud Earrings by anjacapuzzimati

Concrete studs. What a great, powerful, simple design in an interesting material. These classic shapes come with talking points guaranteed. 

1: Men's earrings: fluidity is beautiful

X O earrings by Mission Atelier

XO Limited Edition 14kt Yellow Gold Stud Earrings by Mission Atelier

Situate yourself on the cutting edge with these beautiful studs by Mission Atelier. From San Francisco, their XO series (check out silver option at JewelStreet too) is aimed at guys and girls and is equally elegant for either. 

We hope this short guide has introduced you to earrings for men. There's so much choice. And if you look for independent jewellery designers - like those you'll find at JewelStreet - then you have more options. You'll find pieces no-one else will have, and higher ethical and sustainability standards. 

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