Weekdays I pair them with simple cotton or knit dresses and during Proper Football season I traipse myself down to the local ex-pat bar in jeans, well-fitted jersey of my preferred team, with my hair pulled back babushka-style in a coordinating Hermes scarf and always always always, eye-catching earrings.
Astute readers will spot this immediately as a high-low look. When it comes to accessorizing, especially with jewelry, you’ll have the most success with capital F Fashion if you pair high –something more appropriate for evening or more formal occasions– with pieces that clock in on the casual side.
Not bad, but boring and rarely chic.
A good pair of earrings is the easiest –and often least expensive– way to glam up an outfit.
My love for big jewelry is as well-documented as my affection for muscular Latin thighs and easily concealed hip flasks but earrings are my favorite.
They act as spotlights, drawing the attention to where I want it to be; my eyes and face. It’s easy for people, particularly of the male persuasion, to get lost in the visual Bermuda Triangle that is my chestal area so great earring work as lighthouses to rescue those potentially lost at sea (or double D).
Clip earrings –not to be confused with clip-ons — are like larger versions of studs, they sit on the earlobe.
Pendant earrings, or dangles, may have a clip element to them, but are usually en tremblant (not like I need to explain to you what dangle earrings are.)
Hoops are well, hoops. Still hate ’em.
Cuffs are clip earrings that hug the earlobe and ascend past the lobe onto the rim of your ear.
I know we mostly think of cuff earrings as something one buys at the head shop that grips the rim of the ear like a hoop, but since presumably none of you just got back from the Phish concert in 1995, we’ll skip that usage.
Far and away my most often used style, partially because it was the mid-century trend but also because they’re almost universally flattering. Round faces, square faces, long necks, short necks, a clip always works. It’s like champagne and potato chips. There’s never a bad time for champagne and potato chips.
Well, possibly DURING a funeral, but maybe you could just chew quietly.
Oval and heart-shaped faces can pretty much wear whatever sort of clip their hearts desire, while round faces might do well to avoid button earrings. Not that buttons earrings are bad, but it’s just the least flattering shape.
You won’t have to worry about people gasping in horror if you’re of the spheroid persuasion and decide to don some perfectly round earbobs. Go for a figural –maybe flower shaped– instead. They’re more fun anyway.
I like a good pendant earring, and usually wear them with more casual outfits.
Here you want to be a little more thoughtful about the shape and the length of the earring as it pertains to your face shape and neck length.
My face is heart-shaped so I try to avoid earrings that are wider on top than at the bottom for the sake of balance. An elongated teardrop shape looks especially nice and balances out my pointy pointy chin.
Extremely round faces should look for pieces significantly longer than they are wide, and you gals with the strong jaws but not so strong foreheads take the advice I gave about heart-shaped faces and flip it.
I generally recommend earrings end no longer than the middle of the neck.
All others are to be approached with fear and trembling. It can be done, but it requires a good deal of Advanced Fashion know-how. (Aha, you think I’m totally going to complain about my short neck here, aren’t you? Well I’m NOT. So there!)
I LOVE cuff earrings like the House of Harlow 1960 ones I’ve featured on this page.
You get the ease of a clip, the drama of a pendant and it’s so unexpected and fresh. These are often clip-ons.
Speaking of clip-ons. I highly recommend converting your big earrings from pierced to clip. If you’re the handy sort you can do it yourself, but if not get a jeweler to do it. Worth every penny on earhole wear and tear.
Obviously it’s most important to have your hair away from the face when rocking the cuffs. There’s no point in wearing fabulous earrings if they’re going to be obscured by your silken tresses and since these climb up the ear, there’s a higher chance of them being hidden.
Nope, still hate ’em. I’m not going to show you how to shoot up heroin either. It’s just socially irresponsible. I know that’ll get a bunch of you to start grabbing your shouty pitchforks. Don’t care. Put it on your own blog. I don’t often deploy the Orson Welles method of group management but since this will be our third or fourth go ’round on the hoops thing, I am putting my stompy foot down in the I’m-the-editor-and-I-said-so position from whence it shall not be moved.
Okay lambkins, remember to clicky click on the images for links to the earrings. You can also see how big they are in proportion to an “average” face and neck. Enjoy and be sure to tell me about your favorite earrings. Either from this group or your private collection. If you’ve got a question on how to deploy a particular pair, put it in the comments and I’ll do my darndest to answer.