The Art of Wearing Earrings

Only two pairs of earrings from Simone's collection of roughly sixty.

With around sixty pairs in my repertoire, I have a pair of earrings for almost every look. A good pair of earrings can set off other accessories in your outfit, focus a look, and often act as great conversation starters. While collecting special pairs of earrings can add character to your wardrobe, with even just a few pairs of earrings, and the know-how to wear them properly, you can turn even the simplest outfit into something that looks put together and even turns heads.

Earrings for every occasion: an owl, a bright yellow flower, and a cheetah print design.

Tips for collecting the right earrings, even for a small collection
Make your earring collection work from the start with a solid base—these are pairs I wear all the time; plus, they’re perfect to pack for vacations.

Simone's standbys: fake pearls and silver hoops.
My standbys include:
  • Fake pearls (Claire’s). They’re business-y, sophisticated, and they work for an evening out or with jeans and a t-shirt when I’m at home on a Sunday.
  • Silver hoops (set of three plus studs, Wet Seal). I know these were super fashionable in middle school and kind of died out after that, but you need them. The right sized silver hoops are the best earrings to wear when nothing else in your collection works because they match everything. Everything! (As a plus, they’re incredibly sexy.)
Simone's standbys: something blue and something in her most common color.
  • Something blue (Mom’s hand-me-down). I’ll hazard a guess that there’s blue in most pieces of your wardrobe and that when there’s not it goes well with blue anyways. Blue earrings not only take a jeans outfit from “eh” to pulled together, but can also be worn with a surprising number of cute tops and dresses.
  • Something in your most common color (gift from a friend). I own a lot of green and so while of course I mix it up a lot, green earrings can always be a fall back. If you make sure to have a pair of earrings that matches the majority of your clothing, you’ll have something to wear with even the most unique outfits.
Simone's standbys: the conversation piece.
  • Conversation piece with lots of colors (friend, from Greece). These earrings match almost everything I own and turn anything into an outfit. I always get compliments when I wear them and I’ve made friends too; find a pair of multi-colored earrings that can act as a conversation starter to start feeling like an earring connoisseur right away.
Tips for picking out the right earrings for any outfit
  1. Pick something that matches other accessories in your outfit (rather than the main piece). Wearing vintage rings? Opt for vintage style earrings. Rocking a top with blue accents? Blue earrings can bring your look together. By matching your earrings to an outfit’s detail you can help tie your look together and allow these details to work into your look’s main stage, instead of detracting from it.
  2. Don’t mix and match metals. If your belt buckle is silver, gold earrings will put your outfit off kilter and when your necklace is gold, silver earrings will confuse the eye and leave you looking mismatched. If you’re intention is to mismatch, this rule can be broken to achieve your look, but always be aware of the various metals you’re wearing.
  3. Use earrings to give a simple outfit a theme. If you want an outfit that’s pretty and delicate, or modern and edgy, the appropriate earrings can help mold any clothing to the look you’re going for. Earrings, located so close to your face, can really set the tone for any outfit, so be sure that your earrings are synonymous with the look you are going for.
  4. Pick the right sized earrings for the occasion. Just think, the louder or more unusual the event, the more you’ll find that large and distracting earrings are likely to be appropriate. Long, dangling, or especially shiny earrings are perfect for a night out, but are too distracting for work or an interview. If you’ve done your hair especially nicely, consider simpler earrings that let your hair shine.
Tips for storing your earrings
The key to storing earrings is being able to see them all—this way you can see immediately which earrings will match today’s outfit the best.

Simone's DIY earring holder made from a frame and some mesh material.

You can buy earrings holders that accomplish this, but a DIY one is perfect. I used an old photo frame and mesh screen material from the hardware store and tacked them together to make my holder. I hang it on the wall with a pushpin and it’s like I’ve turned my earrings into art and framed them! I almost never lose an earring, and when I need help figuring out which earrings match an outfit, I can hold up the shirt, sweater or dress and do a quick scan to see what matches best.

Detail shots of Simone's earring holder. All photography by Simone Anne Lang.

I love earrings, wear them with everything, and I honestly believe a good pair of earrings can make or break an entire outfit. What are your favorite earrings? I’d love to see photos!

Simone Anne Lang
BARE Photographer

1 comment:

  1. Great breakdown of your approach, very interesting!

    Love the home-made holder; I have an old, tragic-hipster t-shirt with tiny holes all over that I use - must post picture!