Women have gone through great lengths throughout the centuries, all for the sake of fashion! From wearing tight corsets, painful high-heeled shoes, tons of sticky make-up, and painful earrings, it hasn't been easy to look good!
Earrings are a simple and unique way to brighten up your facial features and wardrobe. However, sometimes vintage earrings can be PAINFUL.
LET'S EXPLORE THE HISTORY OF EARRINGS
According to Wikipedia:
- Archaeologists first discovered that mankind have been wearing earrings since 2600 BCE when digging up an ancient burial site from the Early Dynasty period in Ur, which is now Iraq
- Man adorned their pierced ears with gold, brass and the blue lapis lazuli
- Ear piercing is one of the oldest known forms of body modification
- Earrings did not appear in Europe until the 16th century and this accessory is now the norm for current times.
FAST FORWARD TO THE 1901-1929 TIMELINE
- 1901: Genteel women considered ear piercing uncivilized and it was deemed as self-mutilation
- Many woman ceased wearing earrings or else they longed for an alternative option that didn't exist
- The 1920s flapper style emphasized dangle earrings to accent the ear and the neckline
- 1924: The faux pearl was invented, creating an affordable jewelry popularity
- Late 1920s: A mechanism that gently 'screwed' onto the back of the earlobe skin was invented
Here's a photo of a flapper from Glamour Daze. Short hair and dangled earrings that were still probably pierced was the fashion in The Roaring 20s.
THE 1930s - SCREWBACK AND CLIP-ON EARRINGS TIMELINE
- 1929: the screw-back earring trend gained momentum over pierced earrings and it was the new norm in the mid-1930s
- 1934: the clip-on, paddle back earring was invented and marketed
- Pierced earrings sales faded into the background as clip-on or screw back earrings dominated the market
Here's a pair of 1930s earrings with the first type of clip-on backings, available for sale on our site. They are gorgeous green rhinestone with faux gold. I love the easy clip - it's less bulky than other designs.
THE 1940-1970s EARRING TRENDS
- Hollywood designers Joseff of Hollywood (designer to Hollywood stars), popularized his designs used in films featuring Hedy Lamarr and Joan Crawford
- Monet, Bogoff, Coro and Trifari were also major players who popularized the clip-on and screw back earrings in department stores
Even when wearing simple, pale Lucite earrings, young Lauren Bacall in the 1940s - she looks fantastic as it brought out the colour of her eyes (Source: Google images)
A 1950s model is wearing white cluster, faux pearl clip-ons. (Source: Get Frocked on Facebook)
This 1956 model, Lucinda Hollingsworth, is wearing a stunning pair of gold and blue earrings. (Source: Pinterest)
These blue Serpentine earrings in Trifari's 1960s advertisement are so bold! (Source: Pinterest.)
Here's a wide array of earrings from my personal collection that aren't for sale. I truly believe these are works of art. The collection includes:
- Intricately crafted earrings with delicate floral arrangements, plastic and lucite beads, or tiny glass or crystal rhinestones
- Many pairs were manually assembled with simple machines and molds, then glued or stitched to metals, gold or silver filigree backings
- Most sets are from the 1940s-1960s and were made by hand in Japan, the US, Hong Kong or Western Germany. Some are CORO, Trifari or unbranded.
- Coined Fruit salads, or cluster beaded earrings in many colours - orange, red and yellow and green
Also, these gorgeous 1950s clip-on earrings were made in West Germany. They were handmade with care by gluing petals and beads to form a perfect bouquet of orange and greens.
Eventually mass production occurred even in the 1950s-1960s because department store demand was very high so Coro, Trifari, Weiss, Sarah Coventry, etc. had to keep up with the department store sales for faux pearl, beads or rhinestone jewelry. (Photo: Pinterest)
Also, clip-on earrings aren't just for your ears! They can also make great shoe, lapel, purse and dress clips, as seen in this advertisement. And we actually have this exact set of earrings for sale..
TIPS FOR WEARING VINTAGE EARRINGS:
Wear the earrings in the center of your ear
Gently push the paddle back or screw back
Clean them with rubbing alcohol to take away dirt, sweat
Store them in a jewelry box for long-lasting life
**USE COMFORT PADS OR CLIPS FOR LONG TIME WEAR**
I won't deny that the biggest issue with screw-back or clip-on backings is that they can be uncomfortable or not secure for long wear. But this depends on the designer, quality and style. I myself lost single earring and cringed for days.
Luckily, someone (unknown?) realized that these earrings were not as secure or comfortable! And luckily for us, fabric and silicone pads are made available!
I personally tested these clips by wearing both clip-on and screw back earrings for 8 hours straight with comfort pads and low and behold, I felt NO pain!!
To me, every pair of vintage clip-on or screw back earrings should be sold with these silicone pads that costs less than $2/pair. NOTE: When you purchase earrings from peppermint-twist-vintage.com, we always include a free pair of comfort clips for clip-on and screw back earrings.
Alternately, you convert your clip-on earrings to pierced backings by purchasing kits but if you don't want to mess around with glue, and want to keep it original, I recommend you don't do this. I myself never like to alter vintage pieces for originality and historical purposes. But to each is own.
1970s - 1980s - THE RETURN OF PIERCED EARRINGS
In the 1970s, pierced ears made a comeback as woman were more liberated and they pushed the boundaries on what was socially acceptable, including ear piercing. Clip-on and screw-back earring sales plummeted as people opted for pierced earrings and the styles were a lot simplier.
The below photo is a 1970's MONET advertisement for simple gold pierced earrings. (Source: Pinterest)
In addition, men commonly began to wear earrings especially in the 1970s, with the punk movement. Then in the 1980s to current, it is still a unisex trend today.
Whatever your style or favourite decade - we carry so many styles of earrings - in different colours, patterns, sizes and shades. In this latest decade of 2020, it's also popular to wear one earrings again, as it was in the 1970s - 1980s. Feel free to browse and shop our catalogue. We have many styles to chose from. We hope you enjoy our collection! If you use code: NEWSLETTER-WELOVEYOU at check-out, you will save 15% and most items ship FREE.
Until next time.
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