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A Phalanx Of Earrings To Rescue A Very, Very, Very Casual Wardrobe


Warning. This post has way too many pictures of my ears.

Remember how I thought retirement-wear meant hunting down fancy sweatpants? Hey, turned out to be a big trend, but not for me. I make my way through this new world in jeans and more jeans, in the company of their friends, tees and sweatshirts. All the while yearning for a little shine on the side.

Earrings to the rescue. To be specific, danglers. A trick I will forever credit to Alyson at That’s Not My Age. Thanks!

I’ve posted everything in my collection before (hence the large collection of auracular* images) but I thought it might be interesting to show them all together, with some similar options,  in case anyone else was as lazy but demanding as I.

For example, we shall not soon forget these Beladora chandeliers. (Although I have to move on quickly otherwise I’ll start thinking about this Chanel bracelet again and that way lies danger.)


Or these gold hoops, worn hereHandmade-Gold-Hoops

I’ve owned the antique Swedish danglers below for decades. That’s the best thing about being in my late 50’s. I can refer to “decades” in the plural. Sounds so authoritative.


These little turquoise guys are from Barneys, and still available, but I’m no longer recommending you run out and buy them since I lost one for the second time, in London. Boo. I know, I should have worn a plastic back as you advised but that lazy business got in my way.


How about some indie flowers?


Or optical quartz?


My collection works, for me, because:

  • All but the quartz are very lightweight. At 57, almost 58, heavy earrings are too hard on my poor flesh.
  • Color bases all checked, with neutrals – silver, black, gold – and turquoise, my talisman shade. And I can’t overemphasize the value of clear as a color.
  • All the earrings are just visible enough to elevate my jeans and tee, and none so visible as to overwhelm, or demand that I dress up
  • Shapes vary, from danglers, to drops, to full chandelier

Hang on a sec. My somewhat gaudy jewelery roll is demanding a glamor closeup. Well, after all it’s done for me, OK then. Turn and turn about.


And here are a few options you might like, these available from online jewelry merchant, Max & Chloe. Dangle on my wayward friends. And that just might be the perfect song for a raucous Tuesday staff meeting, if you’ve got one on the agenda.

*Made-up word meaning prophetically ear-related, see, lazy:).

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55 Responses

  1. Haha! As a 58 yr old stay at home mom of wayward teenagers (got a late start on the kid thing) jeans and tees are also my friends although I seldom do sweatshirts. But jewelry is always a constant and definitely elevates the look.
    My favorites are large pearls dangling from tiny silver hoops worn with a pearl and leather choker (keeps it from being too precious) and turquoise dangles worn with everything. Those two seem to get me through about 98% of my days looking dressed as a opposed to thrown together.
    It’s a splendid concept.

  2. There can never be too many pictures of your ears. It’s simply not possible. My favorites are the giant gold hoops. Very Captain Hook.

    This is one of those moments when I regret not having been able to get my ears pierced. I’ll have to elevate my t-shirts and travel pants some other way. Scarves in the cooler months and maybe necklaces when it’s warm?

    1. @Wendy Bird, Hahahaha. I’ll try not to abuse my auracular privilege;). I like scarves – of the long and muffler sort vs. the rectangular silks. Just got one of these – good for our climate in California, I thought. (that one’s sold out, others are available, use code SUMMERSALE for 20% off) No commercial relationship, but one of the owners painted a picture I own.

  3. Love your ears! Love all the earrings, especially the indie flowers; more info on those beauties, please! But what I’m really coveting is that jewelry roll! Where can I get one!
    As a work from home part-time travel agent and community volunteer, I too live in jeans. I find a great top or sweater and fab accessories and shoes elevates the whole look! One time when I brought my jeans to my dry cleaner for a tweak of the waist and length, she told me that I was ” very fancy”! I took it as a compliment!
    Love your posts and look forward to reading even though I don’t always have time to comment!

    1. @Christi, Thank you for your volunteering! And thanks for reading. The earrings are from Claudia Kussano, in San Francisco. Don’t see the exact ones on her site, but she does similar pieces.!type=earrings&material=&sort=

      The jewelry roll is from Amazon:). (That’s an affiliate link.) I get a kick out of the shiny, a departure from my public style but super fun to have in my bag when I travel.

  4. I envy anyone who can rock a shiny pair of what my mother referred to as “earbobs” (they aren’t earrings unless they’re circular). I just can’t; they get in my way and irritate my ears.

    Now, having said that, we’re attending a couple of events next month that require dressing far more formally than I am accustomed to. I’ve bought not one, but TWO necklaces. Yes, I have! I don’t have anywhere to keep them, but I bought them.

  5. What a gorgeous earring wardrobe. They all look lovely on you. I particularly like the Swedish danglers. They are so intricate and quite striking.
    I am rather dull when it comes to earrings. I almost always wear either simple diamond studs or nothing at all. I think I need to up my fancy earring game!

  6. Well, it used to be that you could “tell a person” from their shoes or handbag. In these days of casual dress, well-chosen earrings make perfect sense to feel that, despite the flip flops, not all style is abandoned.

    PS: crushing on the gold loops.

  7. Thanks for mentioning that you favor earrings that are light in weight. Dangling earrings that seem to be on the verge of cutting through the earlobes are uncomfortable to look at and indeed one or two of my friends have actually experienced this.
    I’ve avoided heavy earrings all my life but occasionally come across a representational fun pair (such as a dangling ice skates or a bunch of grapes) and wear them for very limited periods of time, always wondering why a lighter weight material couldn’t have been used.

    1. @Naomi, So often designers choose style over comfort – and maybe some women don’t have the same issue. I always wonder that myself.

  8. Maybe you can marry your lost earring to another misfit and have a pair. I have a “pair” of white and black pearl studs that came into existence when they lost a partner.

  9. This is the way to do it right…dress down, shine up! Great post, Lisa. And you have NO idea how much I needed to laugh today (Upcoming surgery at a hospital 2 hrs away, medical runaround, blah, blah, blah…Nightmare!!!). :-)

  10. Lisa, if you contact the designer of the turquoise earrings (Finn) directly (or ask Barney’s to do it) they may well sell you a single earring.

    1. @Patsy, :(

      They did that the first time. But at $250/pop, I got mad and started to feel like they shouldn’t have sold the earrings without the backs. Had I known they were needed I wouldn’t have been so quick to purchase. I haven’t inquired this time, since I’d really want them to send me one for free, and I sense that’s highly, highly unlikely.

  11. Perfectly timed post as I’ve been meaning to add some earrings to my wardrobe for ages! I ladies those gold hoops and the little turquoise drops. Despite have had my ears pierced since I was 13, I just can’t get the hang of them. But alas with a new baby and a very casual wardrobe jewelry is the way to liven it up. I’ve been considering an ear cuff, maybe like this….?

    1. @Laura, Those ear cuffs are gorgeous, and much more practical than dangling earrings, with a baby. All that wonderful grabbing would be lethal.

  12. I am rather lazy when it comes to earrings as I usually wear two pairs of diamond studs in my ears…I have some hoops and several pairs of pearl earrings.
    It is so frustratng when one loses an earring and it’s great news hearing that you can replace the lost one.
    I am particularly drawn to your gold hoops…I like the finish and the design. Where did you find them?

  13. I love your earrings, but particularly love the Swedish pair. Really fabulous. I’ve been wearing the same pair daily because they have the plastic backs so I don’t lose one. I’m very lazy too, in fact my birthday falls on National Lazy Day, which explains a lot.

  14. Your hand-forged gold hoops look very similar to a pair I have. I don’t remember the brand of mine either, but I got them from Sundance some years ago. I think they may be Ed Levin–I see he has them in what look to me to be the same or very similar style, except that mine don’t have the extra little piece that sticks up at the closure, which looks like a nice feature as I find mine a little hard to fasten. They come in 3 sizes.

  15. I am not much of a “one upper” but I am actually too lazy to change my earrings more than once a year. I dress up my jeans with a linen tunic if I am feeling above a T-shirt.

  16. Earrings are my favorite form of jewelry. In the last 5 years, forever, I have lost too many, including an heirloom pair I inherited and cannot think about or I begin to cry.

    My rule now is no earrings over $100 and they must self close. Even with the plastic backs or round saucer backs, I seem to lose them.

    1. @Loretta, Saucer backs are not secure, the holes wear bigger till they are useless. Plug stoppers work better and you can double them. Any earring with a post back can be changed to accommodate a screw (versus butterfy). They are far more secure and I recommend them for anyone with precious stones or earrings they could not bear to lose.

  17. Ah, earrings! I love my danglers, but I do require each new pair that I buy now that they have proper backs. I have lost a number of earrings (without backs) and now I have only ‘singles’ of these.

  18. I like Rose AGs idea, or have the lone turquoise made into a charm to wear on a gold chain or bracelet. As a tall woman with very short hair, I long ago learned that earrings were essential, or at least twice a year someone called me “sir”.

  19. Three comments: First, Lisa, your links to the jewelers (Denovo and Claudia, both) are going to put me into some serious coveting danger!
    Second, where are those gorgeous earrings you bought and modified for your brother’s wedding…I recall they were supremely lovely. Do you save those for rotation when you want to wear something special (and the dailies you have here are quite special as well)?
    And to the other commenters, including Duchesse: those cheap little plugs (bought at Claire’s by the bulk) are great for ear wires and for posts alike. I have a pair of pearl studs that get really loose when I’m on the phone, and until I can decide whether to have screwbacks put on, or add another stone or such to the posts, the rubber plug helps keep it safe, and centered on the earlobe.

    1. @Gretchen, Both De Novo and Kussano are, IMO, places where you can find real artisan style without absolutely breaking the bank. Second, the Etsy ones for my brother’s wedding! I am so impressed you remember them. They are largely brown, and right now that isn’t working with my wardrobe:(. I’m waiting to see if that changes.

  20. This post is packed with fun info and beautiful photos. It was very interesting to read. I am glad you had a great time in London. What a fabulous city to visit!

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