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How to Buy and Wear Mismatched Earrings

August 23, 2022 3 min read

How to Buy and Wear Mismatched Earrings

Lost one of your favorite earrings and miss wearing the pair? Great news. It’s completely OK — we’ll even say it’s stylish — to wear mismatched or different earrings.

However, when it comes to playing with earring asymmetry there are a few easy rules to follow for a successful look.

To avoid looking like you got ready in the dark, make sure there's some sort of correlation between the two earrings. Whether it’s color palette, size and shape, or metal combination — choose your mismatched “pair” with a little thought and you’ll be sure to turn heads. 


While there’s no “right” way to pair mismatched earrings (feels like the oxymoron “jumbo shrimp”), I wanted to share some successful ways to create mismatched earring masterpieces.

1. Play with Lengths

One of the easiest ways to wear mismatched earrings is to wear a stud earring on one ear and a drop earring on the other ear. This long/short effect gives an extended life to earrings missing a partner and lifts the focus to your face. Let your creativity shine as you pair non traditional earrings with more traditional ones, or the set can match in style but differ in length.

2. Mix-up Geometrical Shapes

Geometrical Shaped Earrings

Mix and match your piercings with several different single earrings, whether they're hoops, charms, studs, or pendants. This is especially fun when you have multiple piercings in your ear(s), and may have 2 holes on one side and only 1 hole on the other. Three mismatched earrings becomes a perfect trio, or four single earrings become a conversation starter.

3. Opt for Contrasting Colors

Creating mismatched pairs in the same color palette is on-trend, but equally interesting is contrasting the colors you pair together. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at the classic color wheel which shows the complementary colors that give you the most “pop”. You can choose earrings that contrast with your outfit, or create your own asymmetrical pair with contrasting colored earrings. Contrasting jewelry works particularly well with lighter colored clothing.

Along the same line, you can also mix metals. Two contrasting earrings may have different backing metals or accents, and that’s absolutely fine.

4. Experiment with a Series of Different Sizes

Multiple sized earrings in one ear

Putting together multiple earrings sizes can create a statement look. A good rule of thumb is to work up the ear from biggest earrings to smallest. The longest or largest earring will be worn closest to your face, or in the first hole on your earlobe. Use smaller earrings or studs to fill the holes farther up the ear..

5. Wear a Single Statement Earring

14k gold ruby and blue topaz earrings

There is so much elegance — and potential - in wearing a single statement earring. Let’s face it, your jewelry box probably has several options - favorite earrings that no longer have a partner, or those special occasion earrings you rarely wear.

Statement earrings draw attention up to your face, so you’ll want a small stud in the opposite ear, and be sure to keep the rest of your jewelry simple. For added focus on the earring, wear your hair up off your neck or pulled back from your ears (think low wispy bun, a curly updo, a slick side part, etc.).


In 2020, Q challenged herself to create one pair of asymmetrical earrings for every day of the year. 365 pairs of asymmetrical — or “mismatched” — earrings.

Here are a few of Q’s favorite 2020 one of a kind challenge designs.

Asymmetrical Opal, Carnelian & Multi-Stone Gold Earrings


Sterling Silver Spinel & Pearl Earrings

Asymmetrical Sterling Silver Spinel and Pearl Earrings

14k Gold Asymmetrical Mixed Gemstone Earrings

14k gold mixed gemstone asymmetrical earrings

Asymmetrical Silver Earrings with Mixed Gemstones

Asymmetrical Silver Earring with Carnelian Smoky Quartz and Gemstones

14k Gold Asymmetrical Aquamarine Earrings

14k gold asymmetrical earrings with aquamarine

So, to confirm: is it ok to wear mismatched or asymmetrical earrings, and if so when? The answer is: yes and anytime!

The beauty of personal style is that there are no rules!

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