Earrings: How Not to “Go Pear Shaped” Over Pear Shapes

The 2011 Primetime Emmy Awards—one of the most significant red carpet events on the celebrity calendar—does much to set the direction of jewelry style for the upcoming holiday season. Wonderful earrings are de rigueur at the Emmys every year, and this year one shape that had a significant presence on the red carpet was a large pear-shaped drop.

Among the celebrities who chose pear-shaped or nearly pear-shaped drop earrings for the Emmy Awards:

  • Julie Bowen from Modern Family, wearing Neil Lane black and white diamond and platinum earrings
  • Julia Stiles from Dexter, wearing Forevermark diamond earrings 
  • Claire Danes, wearing earrings of oxidized sterling silver and rose cut diamonds from Irit Design
  • Evan Rachel Wood from Mildred Pierce, in Fred Leighton earrings
  • Mayim Bialik from The Big Bang Theory, wearing Carrera y Carrera 18k white gold and diamond earrings
  • Shaun Robinson from Access Hollywood, wearing black and white diamond earrings with blue topaz from Farah Khan
  • Kelly Osbourne of E! Fashion Police, wearing Katerina Maxine earrings of 18k white gold, rubies, and diamonds 
  • Anna Torv of Fringe, wearing earrings from Lorraine Schwartz
  • Jenna Ushkowitz from Glee, wearing Brumani earrings
  • Aubrey Plaza from Parks & Recreation
  • Michelle Forbes from The Killing
  • Margo Martindale from Justified
  • two of the three new Charlie’s Angels stars

Along with coverage of Emmy fashions, the Sept. 19 issue of People includes a pictorial profile of Dame Helen Mirren. I was amused to read Mirren’s comments relating to the 1979 film Caligula, in which she appears. As she put it, the film “all went a bit pear-shaped when [producer] Bob Guccione cut these awful soft-porn scenes into it. But I don’t regret it at all.”

I’d never heard the use of the term pear-shaped in such a manner, and I consulted UrbanDictionary.com to find this definition:

“A British expression used to indicate that something has gone horribly wrong with a person’s plans, most commonly in the phrase ‘It’s all gone pear shaped.’ The origin is unclear, but one theory says that it is RAF slang relating to the difficulty of performing aerobatic loops, which were described as ‘pear shaped’ if executed imperfectly.”

Large pear-shaped drop earrings are ideal for women with face shapes with a narrow or tapered oval jawline and a long neck. For someone with a wide jawline, pear-shaped earrings can add to the visual impression of width at the bottom of the face; earrings that sit on the earlobes may be more flattering.

Large pear-shaped drop earrings do not suit everyone. As lovely as they might be, they might just cause one’s plans to look gorgeous to go pear-shaped.

And if the quirky British slang meaning of the term pear-shaped has you laughing or tied in a knot, you can always call the style teardrop, a term with its own set of semantic baggage.