Trend Watch: Single Mingles–Mismatched Earrings

Here’s a trend with value far beyond style because it solves a problem facing many a jewelry lover-what to do when one loses an earring. For the fall season 2009, those lonely single earrings can be put to use again.

The solution is to find a different but related style of earring as a substitute for the lost one. The look is a bit sassy and very much right-now, extrapolating from a vignette in the October 2009 issue of Lucky magazine.


The three “sets” featured in Lucky include two of matched metals, one described as sterling silver with a single black diamond by Aesa, and one described as copper by Erica Weiner. The third “set” by Pequitobun is more of a stretch, matching a gold-filled brass cut-out with black spinel drop together with a double drop of aquamarine nuggets. I’m not sure why or how those two earrings are connected, from a style perspective. The gold-filled ear wires are the only features of the two earrings that match. I suppose it goes to show just how far away you can get from anything resembling a logically connected pair of designs. (As the old joke about mismatched shoes goes, and there’s a second pair at home, just like the first!)

And yet even Lucky takes a somewhat conservative view of mismatched sets, extolling “that fun,‘80s-style hit of irreverence,” but noting that the featured earrings are “also small and subtle enough that they don’t make too much of a statement.” It’s not like Lucky to rein in personal statements of style, so I’m surprised at the stated restraint.

I think what matters is less the size of the earrings but the apparent connection between the two individual designs. A pair of mismatched shoulder-dusters can be great fun.

Jewelry designers and retailers, now’s the perfect moment to hold a special event to invite singles in for a matchmaking session – single earrings, that is. And if the perfect match of an earring cannot be found or designed, maybe now’s the time to reset the stones or to turn the earring into a ring or pin or pendant so that it’s wearable again.

The fact that mismatched sets are now cool presents the perfect opportunity to fix up those singles and see them out on the town again.

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