The Pair of Hoop Earrings These Latinas Can’t Live Without

Sandy Sánchez, editor, Novella

“My earliest memory of hoops was me getting ready for Pre-K. My mom had gotten me black patent shoes, a blue dress, and a pair of small gold hoops. I probably had hoops even before that, though. I got my ears pierced as a baby.

I wear my hoops almost every day. The medium hoop is my everyday hoop and it just completes every look. Hoops make me feel powerful and chic. I also think hoops are the quintessential Latinx jewelry piece. They make me think of the 80s and 90s pics of my mom wearing her big hoops, red lipstick, and high-waisted shorts.

My aunt comes to visit from El Salvador a couple of times a year and I love when she comes because she’ll bring all my favorite Salvadoran snacks and goodies. She also knows I love hoops, so she’ll always bring me some argollas. The earrings from El Salvador are also such good quality and much better than the overpriced ones I get in the U.S. My favorite pair that she’s brought me is my everyday pair–they’re gold, thin, and a medium-hoop. They remind me of when she came to visit us during Christmas time a couple of years ago and we all had tamales and pan dulce and were crowded around her luggage as she gave us each the gifts she brought for us.”

Natalia Medina, journalist

“I was a very weird teenager, in that emo phase, and was more into rings than earrings. So I would just wear dormilonas. I grew up in a family of mostly women but my grandmother and mom were somewhat reserved, and accessories were always small and ‘classy.’

But when I started college, and started to shape my identity more, I got into big and bold earrings. I started collecting different types, and always wanted a good pair of hoops but never found one that I liked, until I took the plunge one day in Forever21 and bought two 7-packs– one silver, one gold, in all sizes, and haven’t looked back since.

I have around 17 pairs of hoops. I have so many earrings (almost 60), but I have like 6-7 that I keep in my day-to-day rotation, and 4 of those are hoops. When I wear hoops, I feel súper cabrona, like I can take on anything while looking like a badass. Back home in Puerto Rico, it was a fashion statement. Here, in the US, it’s both a fashion statement and asserting myself as Puerto Rican.

So the pair that’s extra special is actually new. My mom gave them to me as a Christmas present last year and I’m just obsessed because they go with any outfit. They just remind me of my mom, who always tries to get us gifts that really go with our personalities, and she really nailed it with this one. Moving from home is really hard and having this pair makes me feel closer to her.”

-As told to the Emperifollá team.

Frances Solá-Santiago

Born in Puerto Rico, based in New York City. She is the editor-in-chief on Emperifollá. Her work has been published in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, NPR, Glamour Magazine, Numéro, Refinery29, Remezcla, and Bustle.

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