Out of all the jewellery I own and wear, I probably love earrings the most. Maybe because wearing pierced earrings was hard won. I finally managed to convince my mother that pierced ears weren’t the devil’s work when I was around 12. Loads of girls (boys didn’t really do it back then) I knew had pierced ears. Somehow my liberal, imaginative mother had gotten it into her head that I’d get major infections if I got my ear lobes pierced (mind you, it also took until around age 13 before she would buy bikini underwear because she was convinced it would always fall down … don’t ask).
In any case, I was finally able to convince her (you needed [I think written] parental permission way back then) and went off with a friend to do the deed.
Over time, I added several more ear pierces (about 20 years ago I reverted to just using those first two, but I can still feel the other four, which remind me of my wilder being in the late 1980s into 1990s).
When I was younger every day I put in six earrings, and wore rings, various necklaces and sometimes even a couple of bracelets. I jangled. And I was very happy with my ritual. Now, the only thing that always gets worn is earrings. I don’t leave my bedroom without having put earrings in. I may pick a necklace as well, etc, but it’s always earrings. Can’t leave the house without earrings. Feel naked if I do.
So, I get my hair cut short. Low and behold, all of a sudden it makes much more of a difference which earrings I wear given whatever clothes I have put on that day. Whereas with longer hair my earrings were chosen based on a whim out of the jewellery box, with short hair frequently that doesn’t work.
So, choosing earrings has become much more like choosing perfume for a given day – I have to take more factors into consideration than just “oh, those look like they’ll do today”.
Some things I’ve noticed.
- Post or stud earrings work best now. I’ve also noticed that when I wear these I tend to reach for slightly more ‘refined’ or austere fragrances, such as Mitsouko and Shalimar. I tried my new beloved Masque Milano Madeleine and Lutens Arabie gourmand combo one day and it was just too … blousy, overdone, … I don’t know … but not appropriate. I’m still wearing that, but I have to think more about it.
- Whereas I used to wear dangling earrings a lot more, I now look more carefully at earring shape and the extent of dangle vs clothing choices. Dangle days work better with heavier, sweeter perfumes. NB: There is also the issue of stone colour in drop earrings now vs clothes colours which I’d never really paid much attention to in the past (I guess because the earrings were mostly hidden by hair and a poor choice didn’t really stand out).
- I have a pair of small gold hoop earrings which used to get lots of outings. No longer. I find much of the time now the hoops look dated and boring though with longer hair they looked chic.
I now really really want to try the Byredo Mumbai Noise Patty wrote about recently, as something so strange and out there might well work with things as they now are. I’ve got some samples of more out there, masculine leaning stuff coming and will report back at some point on how they fit with hair.
So, how about you? Are you into earrings? How many pierces (if you have pierced ears) per ear? Did you do it when you were younger or was it a later thing? What sorts of jewellery do you wear, and is there anything (beyond engagement/wedding rings) that almost never gets taken off?
I’ve only ever has a single piercing to each lobe. I did have my nose pierced but had to remove it when I started nursing & it healed up quickly.
Having metal allergies including being allergic to gold (yes I found that out in my dermatology patch tests) I can only wear platinum, titanium or silver so wear a pair of tiny platinum diamond studs or silver huggies that I can sleep in. I have others but I’m massively envious of your collection & choices!
Very interesting that the right earring choice influences your choice of perfume now the earrings are more visible.
I think it’s more that being able to see myself better, the choices regarding earrings & perfume have more of an impact. Do you mind the gold allergy, and why was it included in the patch test? Did you have to ask for it?
Also hads a No Pierced Policy at home. Due to observing up close the yuckiness of my sister’s post pierced ears I never did so myself. Haven’t been wearing earrings due to mask wearing so have been sticking to the odd necklace or bracelet. Rings are out too due to all the sanitizing. Ah one day…
I had a friend whose mother was very glam and insisted she get her ears pierced. She ended up letting them close up. I haven’t worn rings in a while — not that I have that many. I manage the ear straps of masks around the earrings. A couple of times they’ve gotten caught but mostly it’s been ok. Indeed, one day …
I’m laughing while reading this because I’m awash in earrings but usually only wear the same 2 or 3 styles. The chandelier earrings I adore seem to stay in the case because they make my face look drawn and tired. Booo!
I think I’m down to around a dozen pairs of earrings and it’s around six in regular rotation. The thing with the drop earrings with stones now is that if I choose the wrong colour I look really dour. It’s weird but it’s the truth.
My mom and ScentSpirit’s mom sound like they had similar takes on ear piercing. Mine said that ladies of the evening (her words) got their ears pierced, and I had to wear clips or ear screws! (Ouch)
Finally at 10 years old, I convinced her to let me pierce my ears. At 16 I had a second set done, and in college 3rd set on both and a 4th on one side. I had a cartilage piercing but it did not do well.
My work contract stipulates only one earring in each ear. It’s not enforced, but it’s silly. I wear earrings daily, mostly studs or small leverback. If you see me with all 7 earrings in, I’m either on vacation or in rebellion. Be well.
My mother, as well. I couldn’t get my ears pierced until I was 16!!!
Sigh. Don’t know where our mothers got these ideas. What kind of work do you do that makes these requirements on ear wear?
I wear earrings pretty much all the time…3 on the right, 2 on the left and 1 up higher that closed. I miss it and wouldn’t mind an alternative spot on the ear for another but all those take so long to heal so….idk. Necklaces and bracelets sit in my jewelry box…they are too dressy to wear for my job. My Fitbit and about 8 different Zox bracelets to choose from is about it nowadays!
I had one on the upper part of the ear for a short period. Got a massive infection. That ended ever doing that again. Zox bracelets?
Oh no! That’s too bad. I like that spot so may redo it. Wristbands I should say, made from recycled plastic and support a good cause. Soft and colorful, with supportive affirmations printed on reverse side. N/A
I have double pierced ears now, but like you had to wait until I was 12 to get the first holes done. I did the second set after I turned 18. I wear earrings every day, and usually a necklace, bracelet, wristwatch and 4 rings. I tend to wear one set for a couple of weeks and then rotate. Due to a bit of arthritis the rings get rotated less frequently as they are hard to get on and off.
Oh, and I had the same conservative Canadian mother that ScentSpirit did. ;-). Had to lobby hard to get those earrings at 12.
I wonder if there was a set of mothers who were just weirdly paranoid about ear piercing.
Earrings are a big deal for me too. It was not possible for me to get mine done till 1984 when I was invited to leave school by the Jesuit brothers. I think after my last day of school I went straight out and had one ear pierced each with my BFF in yet another angsty teenage act of rebellion and defiance. I have no idea what we were rebelling against or defying.
A year later I got the other side done and a second in my left.
As a drag queen earrings play an enormous part in my daily work routine. Over the years I’ve had hundreds of pairs from all sorts across the spectrum of sparkly junk. At one point there was a man on the Sydney scene who created jewellery for us. It was an unbelievable boon and I bought a LOT of sets from him. Sadly all are disintegrated and used in costumes and headdresses now.
When Jin proposed he bought a pair of rose gold pave diamond earrings from Tiffany and on our wedding day we got one each that we never remove. We went for earrings because electricians can’t wear a ring and a diamond would look weird against all my large faux diamonds. I put mine in the third hole and the other two get my drag wear, it’s just a little extra flash of glam.
Sorry for the novella.
I love that you both share a set of diamond ear rings as your symbol of love and commitment. Unique and special.
Yes, it was a really novel approach. Jin is a good left of field thinker. They are also 100% less trouble for us than rings.
Portia, that is such a wonderful story about Jin and the earrings. Imaginative and beautiful. I’ve never been big on costume jewellery. Not sure why. But it means I don’t own a lot of stuff. I used to know a woman who had loads of big costume necklaces which were her signature. Never a look I liked that much.
Yeah, I get that you may not like costume jewellery.
It was a real must-do in drag when I was coming up. It suits my style so I happily keep to it. The new queens coming through are much less glitzy jewellery oriented. They create other things much more interesting than bling.
I love jewelry and wear a bunch of silver every day. The things I never take off/always wear are my wedding band, engagement ring, anniversary band (all stacked), and my watch with a favorite slender silver cuff bracelet. Like you, I always wear earrings. I have dozens. I got mine pierced at age 13 in a shopping mall the same day I saw the first Star Wars film. The left earlobe was done by a store trainee, and it’s not centered correctly…something that has bugged me forever. I like dangle earrings best, but also studs and hoops. I also love necklaces, bracelets, and rings. I’m intrigued by your idea of scents that either match or don’t match your earrings. That’s fascinating!
So, was there a relationship between seeing Star Wars and the ear piercing? I have some necklaces that were my mother’s. Those are the ones I wear most frequently. When she died I inherited a set of clip back earrings and a ring one of her students had given her — from one of the former Soviet republics. I gave the set to one of her best friends, who then made the earrings into necklaces and gave me one of them. One of my favourite pieces of jewellery.
I think it was just a special mother-daughter day when I got to pick what I wanted to do, so I picked the brand new blockbuster movie everyone was talking about, and getting my ears pierced, which I had wanted forever. That’s neat about the jewelry you inherited from your mom. I’m a saver and have stories and memories behind many of my pieces, too.
Ahhh that’s such a lovely way to use inherited jewellery. I have to paint my gold wedding ring with clear nail polish due to my allergy. I now wear my late MiL rings & protect those the same way. One she had inherited from her MiL & is from the early 20th century. The stones are good in that but tiny.
I wore a very beautiful charm bracelet with a single heart charm for many years. It was a gift from a dear friend who was terminally ill. One day I flushed an old fashioned handled loo at speed & the bracelet catch opened & the whole thing fell into the bowl & disappeared forever ?
I’d feel badly dressed even if I’m only walking the dog and I’m not wearing earrings and perfume. I had them pierced in ’69 when I was 22. My faves are 1″ (25 mm.) gold hoops, though I’d wear pearl studs if someone gave them to me?.
I can do the dog without perfume — when I’m in a rush. Not earrings. I guess mine would have been done around ’73 or ’74. I have pearl drop earrings by a US company that I don’t think exists anymore (Pearl Puddles). Never ended up with pearl studs either.
My mother was also convinced that good, God-fearing Canadian girls did not have their ears pierced. I swear that my sister eloped at age 16 so she could get her ears pierced.
It certainly was a strangeness on the part of our mothers. Appears to have made a big impact on your sister’s life …
I love jewelry in general, and go through phases of wearing lots of it, or emphasizing one type (rings, stacked bracelets, etc.) When I’ve had short hair I am MUCH more conscious of what earrings I’ve chosen. The pandemic has me opting mostly for simple studs because hoops and danglies are hard with masks! I feel naked without earrings and a ring or two, and if I leave the house without them, it’s an accident.
I recall the necklace you wear that was made from things gifted to you by your mother in law. That thing is gorgeous. Yup, if somehow I’ve forgotten earrings and I touch my ear I feel all twitchy till I can get home and fix things.
Ear rings are also my favorite, I don’t feel dressed to go out without them, and they make me feel more finished. Otherwise I’m not really a jewelry person other than my wedding ring and one other ring. Hoop or stud ear rings only for me. I’ve never thought of matching with perfume, but my style is classic so mostly Chanel No 5 I think. One of my favorite perfumes.
I sometimes miss having earrings in all the pierces. It made me feel ‘done’.
It’s rings, brooches and bracelets for me 🙂 I collect vintage Taxco silver, Victorian garnet, and micro mosaic pieces. I hadn’t thought about it before but you are right, different pieces definitely need different perfume! Taxco needs my amberish perfumes like Neil Morris Prowl. Victorian garnets would go with classics like Shalimar. Micro mosaics – maybe something like Safran Troublant.
Wow on the collecting. I actually don’t wear that much silver any more. I have very cold colouring and most times silver just adds to that. I still recall a MAC makeup artist looking at me and saying ‘honey, you need warmth’.
Of all the jewelry I own (a lot, as I have had stints of making my own), earrings are the only thing I wear every day, with the exception of my wedding rings which almost never come off. I feel weird if I discover I’ve gone out without any. My brother pierced them for me when I was in my first year of university- one ear is slightly crooked as a result. Never had more than one piercing…. I match them to my clothing but my perfume choices are all over the place so I don’t see any connection there!
Hmmm … how is it that your brother did the deed? I don’t match my perfume with the earrings so much as I feel like what ‘works’ now is different than it might have been in the past.
I also feel naked without earrrings, and also feel naked without a watch, despite the fact that I can get the time on my phone.
Ha! I feel absolutely lost without a wristwatch (I have three I rotate, plus a Fitbit) even though I have a phone … but I’m not attached to my phone at the hip. This made somewhat more sense at work. Now I have a clock in every room but I still feel lost without a watch on!
Yes, agree, naked. I stopped wearing a watch at the beginning of the pandemic when there were concerns about catching covid everywhere. I haven’t returned to using it even though I love my watch, which was a gift from my father.