Today I want to address a problem that gets discovered after you’ve left the house and you’re too far from home to fix it. The solution is as easy as choosing the right earring from the start.
Let’s add this earring solution chapter to your styling lesson plan that already includes something I spoke about recently: why it’s important to combine a nothing earring with a something necklace. (Need a refresher? Here’s that accessory tutorial.)
In this lesson I’ll show you the type of earring you need to wear when you’re wearing a collared shirt, collared jacket, or anything high on the neck like a lovely scarf wrapped a couple of times and tied just so. Artful Home generously gifted me the pieces for this two-part lesson so let’s get started!
Today’s jewelry lesson: Why you need an earring that will clear the collar
There’s a problem-o about wearing longer earrings when you’re wearing something with a prominent collar. Long earrings and tall collars knock into each other all day long. Likewise, when you wear an oh-so-lovely scarf around your neck, a long earring can get caught on the scarf and even pull at the fibers. Have you ever been wearing a scarf and all of a sudden you feel a tug and your head tilts? You try to pull the earring away from the scarf or you ask someone to help you get unstuck. Either way it’s not graceful and it can be avoided.
It might be easier to understand if I told you a story about a longtime client of mine who had this problem but was resisting the solution.
This client LOVES long and artful earrings. She wouldn’t even look at an earring that wasn’t longer than 2-1/2 inches. She does not have a long neck and many of the earrings would hit her shoulder. She needed smaller earrings but she wouldn’t even hear of it. It took many styling sessions and some gentle
proding coaching with her before I started making any headway.
Here’s what happens when I’m styling an outfit
When I style outfits for my clients I start with the clothing pieces and then do the accessorizing. If you saw me working in the closet I’d have chosen the garments and the shoes and the client has slipped into them. Then I figure out the best jewelry pieces and handbag to wear with that outfit. When the right combo of pieces comes together it’s super apparent. When the cheering and exclaiming dies down (we get excited) we write down all the details on a Wardrobe Chart so they never have to think about what to wear at a future date.
That cheering wasn’t happening when I had this client dressed in outfits that had dramatic collars. (Full disclosure: She purchased those collared garments on her own but needed my help styling them.) Her long earrings, which was pretty much all I had to choose from, were getting hung up on the collar. They never stayed put. They didn’t have a chance of hanging properly as the collar was in the way. I told her the solution but we were at an impasse. She’s a very artistic person and holds very strong opinions.
Me too. Over time, my advice was taken. What she was slow to realize was that she didn’t have to give up on artistic just because she was getting into a smaller earring!
We all have our styling sticking points and this one may not be yours. Or it could have been happening to you and you didn’t realize it was even a thing. Read on!
Great style comes in small packages
I wore a white shirt with a collar so I could demonstrate the solution I shared with this client and many more. Here’s an earring by designer Karin Jacobson. Her work is sold through Artful Home. She calls this earring Medium Anise Fold. It’s hand fabricated from recycled sterling silver and then formed by hand (!!) and oxidized black. It’s 1.5 inches long. They have 18k yellow gold posts and you can see they each have a little diamond on top. Clever? Yes. Artistic? Yes. Functional? Yes, especially for this purpose today.
Besides being the right length, this earring has movement. They gently swing and sway every which way. And because they’re not too long, they can sway to their heart’s content without hitting my collared shirt! See how dimensional they are?
Are you reflecting?
Are light bulbs going off in your head? Are you realizing the problems certain loved earrings have given you when you wore collars or a scarf around your neck? Are you remembering how people came up to you and repositioned your earring for you because it was tangled up in that luscious pashmina scarf or that fascinating collar?
Are you thinking about shorter earrings you have in your jewelry drawer that you could substitute for longer ones that wouldn’t run into your collar or your beautiful scarf? Their fashion stock value has just risen!
Accessory Lesson Part Two: No earring should have to face the world alone
Once I’ve chosen the earring, the next stage of styling an outfit is to choose an auxiliary piece or two to join forces with the earring in order to bring focus, balance, and continuity to the outfit. It’s as if I’m pairing jewelry pieces together so they have someone else to talk to, someone who understands their language.
The piece I chose to fortify the impact of the earring was this cuff by artist Tana Acton. It’s called the Oxidized Corset Cuff. Get this: It’s a single piece of wire tautly wrapped around a curved frame. Try that at home!
The things these two pieces share and why they’re a good match, without matching, is the metal work, their contemporary style and the fact that they’ve both gone through the oxidation process. They had instant rapport when I put them together. I mean, look at them! They’re newlyweds but they look like they could be celebrating their twenty-year anniversary already!
Final Outfit of the Day details
I had a great day wearing this outfit to the Village Shopping Center where Erin and I shopped with a client all afternoon. My clothing pieces were my Lafayette 148 black stretchy pant, my Chico’s white blouse, my J.Jill gray anorak jacket, and my sand colored Lucky booties. My accessory bases were covered by my Medium Anise Fold Earrings, my Corset Cuff, arty ring and gray and blue scarf.
I think I can hear Mother saying, “You look nice, Babe.” I felt nice.
So tell me dear friends, have you had trouble with earrings clanking into collars? Do you have some just-right earrings that can cure this problem? Do you need more variety in your earrings? Do share!
Artful Home is an online resource providing artist-made handcrafted jewelry and comfortable clothing that appeals to women of style. They sponsored this post and I am most grateful! Check out more of their jewelry selections here.