Button Up!

Dangling earrings can be dramatic, highlighting a lovely neck. But stud earrings, especially those featuring simply set diamonds or other gemstones, can be brilliant accents to an ensemble. Sometimes dangling earrings can just be too much to wear, either because they don’t work with an ensemble or in proximity to other jewelry such as a necklace, or because they don’t suit the woman at all. And sometimes stud earrings don’t make quite enough of a statement.

Welcome back onto the style radar the style known as button earrings—earrings that perch on the wearer’s earlobes. Typically an inch to an inch and a half in diameter, these earrings draw the eye up to the face and are large enough to hold one’s attention. Most designs are polished enough for any professional environment. Others are dazzling enough for a black tie event.

Looking to inspiration from Oscar-winning actress Jane Fonda, the September 2011 issue of InStyle suggests polishing off the look with gold-toned clip-on earrings from Emitations.com along with bamboo-textured gold-plated bangles from Kenneth Jay Lane.

The same issue of InStyle pictures actress Jessica Chastain wearing diamond and lacquered earrings with 18kt white gold from Dior Fine Jewelry to accessorize her embroidered silk chiffon gown with silk belt and culottes form Gucci.

As if to emphasize the point that button earrings are seriously stylish again, the September 2011 issue of InStyle also features actress Blake Lively wearing a pair of button earrings in a feature on matte lipstick. The designer of the earrings is not identified.

Actress Kirsten Dunst is pictured in the Oct. 3 issue of People magazine wearing a pair of flower-shaped button earrings. The designer is not identified.

In a feature in rugged cold-weather dressing, the October 2011 issue of Elle features gold, platinum, and diamond acorn-shaped earrings from Verdura.

In her new jewelry line, Wildlife by Heidi Klum, the supermodel includes a pair of pave star button earrings, as pictured in the September 2011 issue of Glamour.

A current ad for Jimmy Choo pictures the model wearing gold knot-style button earrings.

A current ad for Giorgio Armani features huge faceted stones, like oversized stud earrings. Notice the equally oversized thick leather bracelets, and that the model carries her handbag as a clutch, ignoring the chain handle.

The July 2011 issue of Lucky features a pair of gold-plated chalcedony clip-on earrings form Juliecollection.com: “These modern flowers are a lively replacement for studs.”


Some creative types are taking the concept of button earrings literally. The August 2011 issue of InStyle provides instructions for how to make earrings from a pair of actual buttons.

Button earrings are an excellent choice to accompany one of this season’s substantial short necklaces or chokers, because stud earrings can appear too small in scale to balance strong necklace designs.

Button earrings are also a great choice for the cold months ahead, as they pose a much smaller chance of getting tangled up in scarves than dangling earrings. This fall and winter, when the cold winds blow and it’s time to choose earrings, button up.

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