Customer Watch: What Is Never Out, No Matter What They Say

There it is, on the last page of the December 2008 issue of Harper’s Bazaar magazine – the pronouncements as to What’s In and What’s Out. I like to take a peek at this feature in each issue to see what, by their reckoning, was a flash-in-the-pan fad, and in what direction they think style is really heading. I get a kick out of it as much as I enjoy Heidi Klum announcing the results of each episode of Project Runway (and here’s hoping it will soon return!), after reminding the competing designers that “one week you’re in, and the next, you’re out.”


One of the things that’s In this month, according to Bazaar,  is big earrings, more specifically dangling chandeliers. (No surprise there. I wrote about that trend based on the Daytime Emmy Awards back in September.) What’s Out? Dainty studs.


That’s all well and good until you look at real women. Not everyone can wear big dangling chandelier earrings, and look no farther than the cover of the December issue of Lucky magazine, featuring actress Keri Russell. She wears the tiniest earrings suspended on thin wires from her ears. Although I’m not personally a fan of such tiny jewelry, the earrings are entirely appropriate for her. And frankly, she would look ridiculous in large chandelier earrings.



For a customer like Russell, who is slender and fine-featured, massive earrings would overpower her natural loveliness and do her a disservice. If you have a fine-featured customer who abides by the pronouncements in Bazaar and wants trendy chandeliers, of course, you will want to work with her to find earrings that are the best possible choice. In this case, you would want to show her earrings that, while larger than you might like, have a lot of fine detail work that would have some relation to her fine features. And hopefully they are earrings that can be reworked into smaller, more flattering versions once chandeliers are back on the Out list.


Along with the fine-boned customer, another customer who will not do well with dangling chandeliers is the customer with a very short neck, especially if she has a relatively wide jaw line. Help all your customers identify the trends that work well for them and step aside from trends that don’t.


It’s amusing, of course, when the very same issue of Bazaar that made the pronouncement about chandelier earrings features actress Lindsay Lohan in a sequined halter dress on one of the inside front covers. Her earrings? Not chandeliers. Tiny hoops. She could easily have handled a pair of chandeliers.



As for stud earrings, they are almost always in perfect taste and work on just about everyone. The key is to find earrings that suit the ear lobes they are meant to adorn. As to whether that means they should be “dainty” studs depends entirely upon the physical features of the woman. Earrings that suit the woman who wears them are never Out.