Earrings can overhaul an outfit, argues Lisa Armstrong
One of the great wisdoms that comes with experience is that you don’t need nearly as much as you thought you did. Never is this truer than with party wear. Honestly, unless you’re Beyoncé, a royal or Kate Moss, how many parties do you go to? Actually, even Kate Moss is more stay-at-home these days.
Another insight: party wear doesn’t date much. And the upshot of this? Invest in good stuff, because unless you can rely on all your friends’ vision being blurry by 8.30pm, cheap party frocks, on the whole, aren’t going to do you proud. Focus on colours that suit (nine out of 10 times that won’t be black; I really love white these days and, increasingly, nude pinks, which complement a lot of complexions), flattering shapes and luxurious fabrics. After that it’s down to accessories: shoes, a beautiful evening bag and earrings.
Earrings are the ultimate after-hours transformer, making the plainest sweater instantly look like a festive statement.
Earrings can make the plainest sweater instantly look like a festive statement
They’re also an excellent solution if you’re travelling and pushed for suitcase space.
The new generation of oversized earrings includes plenty of great sparklers. Check out Bibi Marini, which are handmade in Colombia, and Simone Rocha (both at Net-a-Porter) and Erdem (from Matches Fashion). Jennifer Behr makes delicate flora and fauna pairs, or try Alison Lou’s Lucite hoops (both Moda Operandi).
For stunning asymmetric designs try Peter Pilotto or Rachel Comey.
There are also plenty of good highstreet versions (avoid big stones though, which tend to look cheap).
And earrings are something I always have success with at vintage markets.
Weight is important – heavy danglers are painful and eventually lead to ear droop. Seriously. One cosmetic surgeon told me she can date women by their lobes. That’s one act of gravity we can easily defy.