“Teardrop”: a globular form at the bottom, tapering to a point at the top, says one dictionary definition. Something suggesting a tear, that clear salty solution secreted by the lacrymal glands, says a second. My view of the word: an unfortunate term for a design that can be both graceful and lovely.
The current popularity of teardrop design earrings is highlighted in a full-page spread in the June 2008 issue of Allure magazine. The article features a nice variety of designs, from a simple teardrop shape on a wire to elaborate designs that range from disco to Art Deco in inspiration. Some designs feature a teardrop suspended at the bottom of a line of other design elements. Some teardrops are wide; others, narrow and elongated.
Because the teardrop is a design that draws the eye downward, the teardrop is a design that should be approached with some caution for anyone for whom sagging and drooping of her physical features is a concern. This is especially true if the earrings hit at the jawline or lower. The teardrop itself is heaviest in appearance at its base, and worn next to jowls or a saggy neck can be reminiscent of these physical features. This is not usually what a woman wants to highlight.
The teardrop is also difficult for a woman with a wide rounded jawline, even if her skin shows no signs of aging. Narrow teardrops, in particular, can make her face look wider, and the emphasis at the bottom can highlight her wide jawline. A teardrop suspended from a large element of approximately the same width as the bottom of the teardrop, such as the Kara Ross or Ippolita examples pictured in Allure, may be better choices for her because there is not as much emphasis on the sense of direction downward that comes with some of the other choices.
For a woman with a narrow jawline, especially if she has a long neck, the teardrop or suspended teardrop can be an exceptionally beautiful choice. The weight of a drop at the end of a long drop earring can cause the earrings to move and sway most enticingly. A gift of any of the beautiful designs featured may well result in the happiest type of teardrops: tears of joy.