The One Earring Trend for Fall 2014

Aug 20, 2014

I live in a college town, so I do see some of the more unusual fashion trends.  But there's one trend that big fashion magazines such as Vogue and Harper's Bazaar have been chattering about that I haven't see at all so far:  the single earring trend.

Ear thread with hoop for single earring trendJust like it sounds, the trend is to wear one earring instead of the usual pair.  (Some have dubbed it the "monoearring," which sounds to me more like a communicable disease than a fashion trend.)  Designers such as Louis Vuitton, Tory Burch, and Isabel Marant have all shown models wearing single earrings as they strut down the fashion runways.

This trend is great news if you're the type of jewelry maker who hates making that second identical earring.  It also means that if you've lost a few earrings over the years, you can dig out those singletons at the bottom of your jewelry box. 

Actress Emma Watson wears the single earring trend well.  In looking at her photos and those of major designers, I've come up with a list of tips:

10 Tips for Rocking the One Earring Trend

  • Fake It.  If you live in a town that's not fashion-forward, you might wear a tiny stud in one ear and a large earring in the other.  Otherwise, you might be stopped by overly helpful types letting you know that you've lost an earring.
  • Pendants.  Shop the necklace pendant section of your local bead shop for possible large earring parts.  The oversized filigree hearts I used years ago for my She Bop earrings were found in the pendant section at Michaels.
  • Geometric Shapes.  Chevrons or triangles are still popular motifs for jewelry.  Look for shapes that are longer than they are wide for the most face-flattering and comfortable look.
  • Chandeliers.  Go big or go home with a large teardrop chandelier covered with sparkly crystals (assuming diamonds aren't in your budget!).
  • Hoops.  Add a little extra oomph to a plain hoop.  Isabel Marant, for example, added a shark's tooth to a simple hoop.  What unusual item do you have in your stash that you could add that would make people take a second look?
  • Metals.  Most of the single earrings I've seen are standard gold or silver tones (or a mix) without much additional color.  Metals can be heavy, so chose ones that are thin or hollow.  Alternatively, consider joining several smaller pieces with large jump rings.   
  • Punk Rock.  An article in Vogue traced the history of this trend back to men's punk bands.  Check out old album covers for edgy single earring ideas.
  • Tassels.  Tassels are still popular.  A tassel made with chain makes a striking, but lightweight, option for a shoulder-length earring.  (See my post "10 Ways to Tackle the Tassel Trend" for more tassel ideas.)
  • Ear Cuff.  Your single earring does not have to be a traditional dangle or hoop.  An ear cuff that wraps around the full length of one ear is one of the more dramatic ways to wear this trend.
  • Chain.  Thin, long ear threads will give you the look of chain with minimal fuss. (The ear threads pictured here are from Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.)

What do you think of the one earring trend?  Have you seen it in your town?

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on Aug 20, 2014 10:43 AM

Some girls in our village do wear single earrings. Or as described above a stud in one ear and a long one in the other.

I have seen it a lot in the 80's. In fact me and a girlfriend would buy 2 pair of earrings and swap on part with each other. That way we both had 2 different single earrings.  :)

ctutt wrote
on Aug 23, 2014 11:32 AM

On the single-earring trend: "Arrrrrr, matey!"     ;-)

Maru6 wrote
on Aug 23, 2014 12:18 PM

Old trends become new again.  In the 80's single earrings were worn all the time.   Check out Madonna ( and others ) in her earlier years and see what you can identify as "en vogue" today :)  Very few original ideas,  just variations on a theme.

Maru6 wrote
on Aug 23, 2014 12:19 PM

I didn't read Violetmoons comment until after i posted shes right :)

EA Morris wrote
on Aug 23, 2014 1:51 PM

'Fess up girlfriends! Didn't we ALL start out wearing singletaries while practicing our 'Grown-Up' skills with the odds & ends of jewelry that found their way into the 'Play Dress Up' Box?

Fortunately, I've managed to escape 'Grown-Up'  for over 60 years & continue to wear coordinated but deliberately miss-matched earrings. ;)

'In'....'Out'....Does it really matter?....Kool, Groovy, Far Out!, Whatever Turns You On!?!!

lmleitner wrote
on Aug 23, 2014 3:39 PM

Did this in the 60's. What was old is new again. LOL

Kitty Girl wrote
on Aug 23, 2014 9:41 PM

I have been selling single guitar pick earrings for several years now!!! Rockers are always in fashion :-)

Eric C wrote
on Aug 23, 2014 11:47 PM

I also live in a college town, and I see all kinds of fashion trends here - and even a few fashion statements that just scream "Help me!" :-)  I've seen the singleton earring thing going on here too. It let's the girls with long hair keep it to one side and show off the earring on their uncovered ear.

amberleigh13 wrote
on Aug 24, 2014 3:29 AM

I see quite a few people in BC doing this or wearing one stud and one dangle. I do it myself sometimes. I make odd earrings that are a pair because they are on the same theme - i.e. Both ocean creatures or a beetle and the leaf he chewed.

on Aug 24, 2014 12:54 PM

People have been wearing a single earring since the first human attached a shell, bit of bone or feather to their ear. All cultures have worn the single earring!

Georgianna2 wrote
on Aug 24, 2014 1:01 PM

As a survivor of the 80's (even more happy to have survived the 60's) hehe I want to warn the younger women that wearing a single earring can result in a stretched out and flabby earlobe!   I did the One Breathtaking Earring deal for about three years, and loved how it set off my asymmetrical (please laugh, I am!) haircuts.  Supportive suggestions would be to avoid wearing anything heavy for more than a night out; change sides so that each ear gets equal wear, and don't wear the big earrings to bed!  Unless you neeeeed to!  

on Aug 24, 2014 11:43 PM

The single earring trend started in the mid 70s in the Midwest. I was 15 (born in '62) and had two piercing on one side, and two on the other, using the "self-piercers." I was constantly getting stopped by women telling me, "You lost an earring." I'd laugh and say, "There's only one on that side." You can imagine the looks I'd get. Being a rebel, I'd chuckle and walk

It was over a decade later, I started seeing multiple piercings. It brought a smile to my face. By then I already had three on one, and two on other lobe and one in the cartilage (takes forever to heal, hair gets caught in earring, pain in the ***, etc).

I have more "one earrings" than I care to count. As far as this trend is concerned, for's already "been there, done that." It's refreshing seeing an old trend come back to life.  ;-)

on Aug 30, 2014 5:34 PM

This brings back memories, for sure. I did the single earring thing in the sixties, eighties, and six or seven years ago, etc. It has been around for thousands of years -- based on historical books I have read. Anyway, by 1971, I was tired of people piercing two holes in each ear (because of course I thought it was MY idea!), and by 1975 I had 11 piercings total -- 5 on one ear and 6 on the other. That was fairly radical at that time. I am from Northern California, a grandmother, a tarot card reader and a bead artist. Wearing a single earring is much easier than wearing 11, no doubt about it!  Although I still do sometimes.  By the way, no other piercings and no tattoos!