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Breaking the Misconceptions of Clip-on Earrings and Discovering the Benefits of Wearing Them

Aug 04, 2020 | Ileana Djujic

Did you know that between 10 and 20 percent of American women do not have their ears pierced? This was reported by Chicago Tribune in one of their 2005 issues.  For someone who has multiple ear piercings, I found this statistic surprising at first.  But on second thought, it made a lot of sense.  It is, after all, a matter of our personal choice; yet it is worth reminding ourselves that this was not always the case.

Not too long ago, during the Victorian Era, for a woman to pierce her ears was frowned upon and seen as unladylike.  Any type of body piercing was considered uncivilized.  And this is when clip-on earrings made their debut. The trend extended into the early and mid-20th century during the costume jewelry stardom, which is why many of us remember our grandmothers rocking some pretty authentic clip-ons.


So, why aren’t clip-ons as popular as they’ve once been?


Naturally, some of this is due to the stigma attached to them, such as that they are exclusively for older generations and too outdated for the contemporary jewelry world.  But nothing can be further away from the truth.

Clip-on earrings are not only versatile but practical as much as they are enticing.  This is evident in their



 recent and still evolving comeback.  They have gone through many alterations in design, conceptualization, and presentation, just like all other jewels. They can measure up to any earrings for the pierced ears at any given time, including dainty studs, big hoops, and the fanciest of chandelier earrings.   And speaking of older, who does not want to own a pair of magnificent vintage clip-ons?  Those things go up high on auctions and in antique stores.  Just saying…  Plus, practicality wise, they are an easy fix when experimenting with outfits in front of the mirror and changing looks at the speed of light.

But seeing clip-ons as old-fashioned is not the only misconception we hold on to.  One of them is also that they are unfriendly to our ears and cause pain.  While this is not entirely false when referring to the early designs, clip-ons have progressed in that aspect too.

Not only are there soft rubber pads that now come with certain clip-on earrings, but those are also available for purchase separately.  You can find them in almost any online store.  They provide relief for our ears and make clip-ons comfortable for all-day wear.  To be fair, this gives them an edge over earrings for pierced ears as the latter can drag our ear holes and sag ears altogether depending on their heaviness and size.



Another great thing about clip-ons is that they have different closures, which gives them an added level of appeal.  Having choices is not a bad thing, and clip-ons know it!


Different Clip-On Earring Closures


Paddle back


These earrings have a wide paddle-shaped hinge clip that folds up to attach securely to the earlobe. The tightness can be adjusted by loosening the center tab.  This type of closure is the most common in vintage clip-ons.



Simple clip


A U-shaped hinge clip that slides over the ear lobe that is adjusted to the correct tightness at the hinge, or otherwise may fall off.



Screw back


This closure must be screwed into place when wearing, but the advantage is that they are easily adjusted to the desired level of comfort and security.



Friction clips


Post-less Omega clips and the Monet clip are commonly referred to as “friction clips”. They are similar to the simple clip but incorporate a friction hinge as the mechanism. These are quite comfortable clips, but neither is used for large or heavy earrings.




In magnetic closures, the magnets are set into the front and the back of the earring using magnets with opposite polarity on either side of the earlobe.



So, now that we are aware of our options when it comes to clip-ons, we can feel free to explore and play with them regardless of our piercing status.  The beautiful thing about clip-ons is that they are accessible to anyone who has the curiosity and interest without any restrictions.  Pain is a thing of the past.  And so are the prejudices.

What is your take on the clip-on earrings?  Are you a fan?  If so, what is your favorite thing about clip-ons?

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