Mulling: Over the Ear Cuffs, Earrings and Earrites

 

The last time I experimented with ear cuffs was most likely sometime in the mid-90’s right about when I was dying my hair blue-black, wearing oversized plaid flannel shirts and forest green Doc Martins.  Before those who were born in the 90’s pass judgement, I’ll have you know that everyone was wearing flannel and Doc Martins, even Liz Hurley.  I digress.  Ear cuffs have always in my mind, been associated with an edgy biker/goth/alternative/indie demographic–basically any demographic that would wear black lipstick without even the faintest whiff of irony.  Well, it behooves me to set the record straight.  A certain type of over the ear cuffs that were made popular in the 1950’s were extremely dainty and ladylike.

Enter the over the ear earring, over the ear cuff or as costume jewelry designer, Marcel Boucher named it in 1950, the Earrite.  I sometimes wonder whether this item of jewelry would have gained in popularity if it had a catchier name.  Earrites are earrings that are worn hooked over the ear and do not require any piercing.  I find it amazing that Boucher patented the Earrite in 1950–what a renaissance man.

Mulling: Over the Ear Cuffs, Earrings and Earrites

Marcel Boucher advertisement featuring the Earrite.

Mulling: Over the Ear Cuffs, Earrings and Earrites

Vintage Boucher rhinestone Earrite.

Earrites are sold individually and are meant to be worn alone, not as a pair.  Modern versions are a bit funkier–usually incorporating spikes, feathers and winged shapes.

Mulling: Over the Ear Cuffs, Earrings and Earrites

Estonian designer, Anni Jürgenson’s ear cuffs with rose gold spikes; available here.

Mulling: Over the Ear Cuffs, Earrings and EarritesOASAP, leaves shaped single ear cuff; available here.

Mulling: Over the Ear Cuffs, Earrings and Earrites

ASOS, navette stone ear cuff; available here.

Mulling: Over the Ear Cuffs, Earrings and Earrites

Etro, rhodium-plated Swarovski crystal ear cuff; available here.

 I firmly love the vintage Boucher Earrites but I suspect modern versions may still be a touch outside the purview of my aesthetic.  I would, however, love to design a diamond-studded ear cuff inspired by Boucher’s Earrites.  Now that is something to mull over. . .

What are your thoughts?

Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,

JZP

Comments

  1. Robyn Hawk says:

    Interesting – love that Boucher Earite – I’ve never seen those before. I have some Bollywood style earrings with a comb that goes in the hair to balance the weight of the earring….

    1. Bollywood jewelry is so fun! My Bollywood collection could use some beefing up for sure. Love the idea of using a comb to distribute weight. So hard core.

  2. Toral says:

    Indian ‘earrites’ are amazing..although you wear them on both ears (if you only wore one, my mum would tell you off for having lost the other one). I always think the nicest earrites are made from clusters of uncut diamonds and rubies/ emeralds. The comb thing more frequently is a couple of strands of tiny pearls attached from your earring loosely to your hair, very elegant. Could i request a post on uncut diamond jewellery?!

  3. […] ago.  In the 1950′s, costume jewelry designer, Marcel Boucher, coined the term “earrite” for another type of ear cuff which wraps around the […]