When we think back to our 2000s shopping habits, we distinctly remember rolling up to the mall — collar of our brightly-colored polo popped and logo-emblazoned tote in-tow — with a singular purpose: to take our allowance to Claire's for a mix-and-match, five-for-$10 deal. We'd walk away with our purple plastic bags, fulfilled with a mix of cartoonish studs and one or two "fancy" sets of earrings. "Fancy," of course, was shorthand for dangly, chandelier options — the ones we always imagined saving for homecoming, but still found a way to wear with our Hollister tees and flared jeans.
We've come a long way since then — as has this particular category of jewelry. And now that our budget is a little more generous (not to say we don't miss the days of less-than-$10 earrings), we can open our eyes (ear lobes?) to the new wave of "fancy" baubles: They're less chandelier-like, instead skewing towards drop chains, geometric shapes, and sculptural hoops. Ahead, revisit this nostalgia-inducing, but very much forward-thinking style with 12 earrings that'll definitely make you want to step up your #earparty this summer. We even threw in a pair of cartoonish, cherry pieces in there for good measure — and because we're still not over that trend, either.