By Isabelle Krupnick
It is a sad, but inevitable truth that as we mature, our earlobes lose collagen and get a bit flappy. Years of wearing heavy earrings takes its toll. For some of us, the holes in our ears are so stretched that pierced earrings make us look like cocker spaniels.
I've worked in luxury costume jewelry for over 20 years and have met women who've had their earlobes sewn back by plastic surgeons, and for the majority of them, it didn't work. The latest trend apparently involves injecting the lobes with collagen--I myself would rather choose other parts of my body for this.
One of the biggest mistakes women of any age can make is closing their minds when it comes to fashion. Which brings us to clip earrings. For most of us, clip-on earrings represent something our grandmothers wore with pearls, red lipstick and a mink stole. But if today, you were in a top Paris boutique on the rue Saint-Honoré, you would be hard pressed to find anything but clip-on earrings that are elegant and stylish.
Why is that?
The French are invested in looking good at every age. Chic is not something enjoyed solely by the youth. French women don’t give up because they’ve matured, instead they find ways to stay fabulous and make fashion work for them. Que clip earrings! Clip earrings fit better, are more flattering to the face, and most importantly they hide your earlobes. As someone who grew up in Paris and wears clip earrings exclusively, I can tell you this much, I know what I'm talking about. So, lend an ear because now it's time for your clip-on lesson.
Choose the right type of clip.
You can find two sorts of clips on the market. Some have a small metal bar with a ball at the end and others have a wide metal flap. The former tends to hurt because there aren't good pads available to cover them and they are difficult to adjust. Stay away! The clips with a wide metal flap are the best. Not only can you put a pad on them, but they cover your lobe fully.
Size (and shape) do matter.
Earlobe shape and size should always be considered when buying clip earrings. A smaller lobe requires a smaller clip, (the part of the earring that actually covers the front of the earlobe) even if it has a drop. An “average” size earlobe can support a clip of almost any size, while a larger earlobe needs the larger clip to help restore balance to the face.
Try on clip earrings the way you try on shoes.
Trying on clips is just like trying on shoes-- if it's not comfortable right away, it's only going to get worse as the night wears on. If you just HAVE to have them, do what I do. Throw them on right before you get out of the car for dinner (you'd do the same with your 4" Louboutins, right?).
Keep in mind: clip earrings can be adjusted.
If the issue is tightness rather than weight, do not fret. Clip earrings can be made both tighter and looser and all you have to do is ask the salesperson to adjust them to your liking. If you don't have a trusted fine jeweler, you should be able to drop by a costume jewelry store, most people in the business know how to adjust clips.
Invest in some padding.
It's possible to purchase a "clip sleeve" of sorts to slide onto the back of your clip. It is essentially a pillow for your lobe and it makes just about any earring comfortable. They can be found at JewelrySupply.com
. At IsabelleK.com
, we include these with every pair of clip earrings we sell. Thank me later.
Remove your clip earrings the right way.
The best way to keep your clips fitting the way you like is to stop yanking them down when you take them off. Open the back when removing, they'll last longer.
Position your earrings correctly.
When putting on your earrings, you always want to position the earring right up against your face, where the lobe meets the cheek -- unless you have hanging lobes, in which case you center the clip on the fleshy part of your earlobe, and let it hang. Also, if you've fallen for a pair of clip hoops, please, put them on straight because they have a tendency to hang sideways and can cause what I lovingly call "elephant ear."
Click through the slideshow below to see Isabelle's favorite clip earrings to splurge on (for all lobe sizes), and the fabulous "save" versions we found that are almost dead-ringers for Isabelle's splurge picks.