The average American girl gets her ears pierced at the tender age of nine. Most are taken to local piercing salons where the nearly painless procedure can be completed in seconds. Though it has been around for thousands of years, ear piercing is still considered a rite of passage for girls. At the very least, it marks the start of a lifelong relationship with jewelry.
A recent survey found that between 73 and 83 percent of American women have pierced ears. Most of these women also responded that they wear earrings on a regular basis, almost every day. It is no wonder then that earrings are arguably the most popular decorative accessory. Unlike rings, bracelets or necklaces, women are far more likely to own several pairs of earrings. After all, most have been collecting them since they were nine years old!
What is the appeal?
The modern Western man is free to wear any type of jewelry he chooses. He can and often will wear rings, bracelets, and necklaces. However, earrings are a different story. Fewer and fewer guys are getting their ears pierced these days, which makes the earring a distinctly feminine accessory, especially larger earrings. Some men do wear little hoop earrings, but few would be caught dead with giant gold hoop or pendant earrings.
Because they are such a versatile accessory, most women have several pairs of earrings. These may include stud, hoop or pendant earrings. Like most types of jewelry, women often separate their earrings into two distinct groups: everyday ornaments and those for special occasions. A woman will rarely wear a pair of sparkling diamond stud earrings to work or a pair of imitation gold hoop earrings to a formal ball. In other words, the accessory must match the dress in order to compliment it.
How to choose?
Earrings are generally easy to accessorize. They are available in a myriad of shapes, sizes, and styles and are made from nearly every imaginable material, from cheap to choice. The two basic types of earrings are clip-on and pierced. Since most females over the age of nine already have pierced ears, clip-on pairs are not particularly popular. Therefore, we will focus on the pierced type.
The two most important considerations when it comes to selecting the perfect pair of earrings are the outfit and the hairdo or coiffure. Of course, a woman should always ultimately wear whatever she feels comfortable with, but different types of earrings compliment different outfits and hairstyles.
There is also the question of face shape.
As a general rule of thumb, a woman with a round face should avoid wearing large hoop earrings, since they may make her face appear even larger than it is. Instead, she should wear line or drop earrings, which can create a slimming effect that may make her face look less plump. At the opposite extreme, women will skinny or thin faces should avoid wearing line or drop earrings. Larger accessories like hoops and pendants can create the illusion of fullness and symmetry. Finally, women with square-shaped faces can and should wear stud earrings to draw attention to their enviable proportions.
This might seem a bit strange, but many women wear earrings according to their complexions. It is said that girls with fair skin should steer clear of bright and vibrant accessories, since they tend to make them appear even paler than they are by comparison. Instead, they are often instructed to wear earrings that contain a silvery-white metal, like platinum, white gold or silver, of course. Pearls earrings are also quite complimentary to women with pale skin. All others should feel free to embrace warmer tones, especially yellow gold and colorful gemstones.
Some of the most popular earring style tips relate to hairdo. As a general rule, women with short hair should wear stud or smaller earrings, since large hoops, pendants or drop earrings will draw attention away from their faces. While women with long, flowing tresses are supposed to wear line or drop earrings to create the illusion of perfect symmetry. Finally, women with longer hair who choose to wear it in an updo should select small or medium-size earrings.