There are few pieces of jewelry that can simultaneously signify femininity and authority like the hoop earring. The style can be traced back to Ancient Egyptian and Sumerian cultures, and in the 1990s and early aughts was seen on everyone from Janet Jackson in her (unforgettable) movie debut, Poetic Justice, to Gwen Stefani in the video for No Doubt's "Ex-Girlfriend." Currently Rihanna is the standard-bearer for hoops: an endorsement that's more than good enough for us.
Our go-to provider for tough and sweet hoops is Sorelle. The New York City-based label is the brainchild of Francesca Grosso, whose obsession with jewelry dates back to her teenage years, when she used to take her younger sister to the bead store so that they could make their own bracelets. The name Sorelle, which means "sister" in Italian, was inspired by those early forays into jewelry-making, and Grosso pays homage to all of the women who have made an impact on her life, naming each piece in the collection after a family member or friend.
Her signature designs come in varying sizes and styles, from the simple Alexandra Hoops to the statement-making Mara Earring (so badass, you only need to wear one). "Hoops are one of those heirloom symbols that reminds me of growing up," says Grosso. "The simplicity of layering your hoops just like you would an outfit is what inspires me to keep reworking them."
Alexandra hoops, $160; Celine hoops, $100; Mara earring, $120; all sorellenyc.com.