I had my ears pierced when I was around 7 years old. I don’t know if I requested it or if my Mom felt it was “time” but she and I headed down to the local Claire’s shop in the mall where I’m sure some 15-year old who had no business sticking sharp objects into children, sat me down and got my ears pierced with those gross piercing guns.
In high school, I went down to a rad boutique in the ~cool~ part of Pittsburgh (Southside, if you’re a yinzer) and handed the store owner a $20 because she’d pierce ears at $5 a pop and I wanted upper cartilage piercings. She popped two in on either side and sent me on my way. Sometime in that timeline, I also got second holes in my lobe, though I don’t remember the circumstances.
I’ve had a mixed relationship at best with wearing earrings. Also, I had my giant silver hoop phase in college (which my husband just does NOT get), and I’ve tried being fancy and wearing simple elegant gemstone studs. But eventually, I end up removing them and considering it a failed experiment.
I’m someone who could be considered lazy when it comes to jewelry maintenance.
I wear two rings. One on each ring finger, my Fitbit, my nose ring, and will rotate some version of a sterling silver pendant necklace on a small chain. The only thing that comes off with any regularity is my Fitbit, and that’s because it’s not waterproof. Needless to say, I am someone who doesn’t think too much about her jewelry. And consequently, I need pieces that can handle being used for the long haul and pierced earrings just never work for me.
When I started getting into selling vintage jewelry, I would stumble across these amazing pairs of earrings that would make me excited and then immediately disappointed as I realized they were clip-on earrings and not pierced. I likened clip-on earrings to the ones I’d find in my Gram’s jewelry box; relics from a different time.
But you know what? Eff that. As I’ve gotten older and had to go to more formal events (weddings and such, I’m not heading to the Emmy’s or anything like that) where accessorizing is almost a requirement, I’ve noticed myself leaning towards pairs of clip-ons instead of my pierced earrings.
So let me break it down for you as to why I’ve been heading towards forgetting my ears were ever pierced in the first place.
Why Clip-On Earrings are Amazing
- They don’t bother sensitive ears. Sterling, 14kt gold, surgical steel, it rarely mattered what the earring was made of as it would eventually irritate my lobe and cause me to have burning sensations. Clip-on earrings just don’t do that to me, at all.
- They don’t weigh down my ear as much. This might be anecdotal, but I feel like the clips don’t pull my lobes down as much as a hook piercing on a dangle earring or shoulder-duster does. Maybe that means I won’t have droopy ears when I’m 80.
- These are the ultimate showstoppers. I love a rhinestone, I can’t help it. The vintage clip-on earrings I’ve run across are rarely demure or subtle, and I love the big statements a pair of rhinestone cluster earrings made by Weiss or DeLizza & Elster can make. Put my hair up, pop on a pair of clip-on earrings: ready to go.
- I can actually answer the phone (if I really wanted to, which I don’t). You ever see those old movies of a woman removing her clip-on earring to answer a telephone call? That is 100% me now. I don’t have to navigate around my earrings or worry about them causing scratching noises as the phone rubs against them.
- I can hold babies. The horror stories of adults having earrings yanked by babies is a pain that I’ll never know! My niece can be as fascinated with my earrings as she likes, they’ll simply just slide off.
- They can be repurposed. I have an amazing vintage Chanel clip-on earring, but it’s only a single. I refuse to give it up, though, so I use it in a lot of ways I do with vintage brooches (it’s absolutely stunning at the end of a braid!)
Tips for Clip-On Earrings
- Use rubbing alcohol to clean the rhinestones. It will help bring back the luster
- If the clips are too tight, there are clip-on covers. You can also try loosening the clip a little, though I think that might be more advanced. In the long run, it’s just easier to get a pair of clip-on covers.
- If the clips get too loose, tighten them with pliers. There are tons of videos on YouTube about how to do this, but it’s a quick fix to adjust the tension of the clip with needle-nose pliers.
- It’s really easy to convert them to pierced. If you decide that clip-on earrings just aren’t your thing, but you still love the design, they’re way easy to convert to pierced by simply pulling off the clip-on, using a bit of E-6000 glue, and adding a pierced back (you can get these on Amazon for super cheap)