Statement Earrings! The Lingerie of the Face

I once ran into a girl at Coachella who recognized me from a Yeah Yeah Yeahs show three months before purely because I was wearing the same fancy earrings. If that isn't making an impression, I don't know what is.
Publish date:
February 14, 2013
accessories, Daily Mail, earrings, nature jewelry, statement earrings, steampunk

According to the Daily Mail, fancy earrings are the lingerie of the face these days. Apparently, more stars than ever are taking the time to pin their hair up to show off their ears on the red carpet, which means that I can finally loathe a new body part that I can also do absolutely nothing about. (For the record, my ears are two markedly different sizes. Come on.)

Luckily, I've learned to distract people from my one elfin ear by bedecking it (and the other one) in giant earrings. Much like a pop of red lipstick, I find that putting on a fancy pair of earrings can effectively draw attention away from the fact that one is, say, wearing last night's cardigan and smells vaguely like a rotting grapefruit.

Greater fashiony folk than I persist in calling every non-stud earring a "statement piece," but let's be real: the only thing a spangly drop-chain is saying is "I wish I were at a Prom Party right now."

They're pretty and all, but if I'm going to dress myself around my accessories, which I frequently end up doing, I like to anchor my outfit on something a little zappier than "I'm cosplaying Anastasia from the 1997 Fox Animation film."

For example, I once ran into a girl at Coachella who recognized me from a Yeah Yeah Yeahs show three months before purely because I was wearing the same fancy earrings. If that isn't making an impression, I don't know what is.

If you want your ears to say something a little bit quirkier than "Homecoming Princess," try these on for size:

"I'm Stuck Here from the Future"

I will probably never be over steampunk aesthetic, no matter how overblown and top hat-saturated it becomes. And thus, I will never pass up the chance to make people think, even for a second, that I'm an eccentric inventor trapped here from the past/future, half-assedly trying to rebuild my time machine out of discarded mattresses and burrito foil.

Hence: gearrings.

I got my pair pictured at the top of the page from the Artillery Apparel Gallery in San Francisco, but you can get similar ones from Etsy or, somewhat hilariously, the Henry Ford museum.

If you want to go a little less dragons-in-monocles and a little more space-mechanic, there's always these mini-wrenches, functional levels or even a protractor and compass.

"I Have Recently Made Some Bad Breakfast Decisions"

Personally, I'm kind of back and forth about food earrings. I think they can be really cute, but it's easy to come off a little Ms. Frizzle in them, particularly if you wear them with a brightly colored top (and, yes, drive a Magic School Bus).

If that's your jam, great, but I like to wear my bacon earrings with simple button-downs and plain T-shirts to try and let them stand on their own. You can go for as realistic as possible and gross people out a little, or aim for a modicum of class and spring for glass ones.

Apparently the market for mini-cereal box earrings is kind of slow (with exceptions), but there's also always grapefruit halves, buttered toast or strangely ecstatic pancakes.

"Underneath This Human Skin I am a Fox"

I've always loved the idea of the whole rough-and-tumble twigs-in-hair look somehow becoming a trend, mostly because I spent approximately every day of my childhood fantasizing about being a Plucky Magical Girl who hung out in trees and spoke to animals.

Of course, even my relatively laid-back office job would probably draw the line if I came in covered in leaves, so wearing these nature earrings and looking determinedly off into the middle distance will have to do for now. They also look a bit like stag antlers, which pleases me in a hipster-Artemis-in-the-woods way.

"I Am A Plague Doctor"

As a vegan, maybe I should feel a little bad about these bird skull earrings that I picked up from Buffalo Exchange the other day. But they're so hilariously morbid that I couldn't resist -- plus, there's the whole crow...thing.

My ideal skull earrings are small enough that they don't veer too far into Emily-the-Strange territory, but still lend a touch of effortless creepiness to my morning commute.

Pair these pretty gold cameo earrings with something creamy and lacy for a more subtly terrifying presence, or just give up the ghost and wear my silver ones with a black T-shirt and combat boots. No one will dare hog the seats on the MUNI again!

"I'm a Mad Lib"

Listen, sometimes a girl has to have flapper earrings that bear a passing resemblance to David Tennant. Or earrings that look like sleeping bats. Or a daily reminder that the members of One Direction are barely legal. The sky's the limit, really.

Just be sure you try to avoid nickel, because that shit can itch.

Kate is seeking out Carly Rae Jepsen earrings on Twitter: @katchatters