Woman wearing a large silver earring
BEAUTY
100 Years Of Piercings Evolution
By GEORGINA BEECH
1920-1929
Pearls and drop-style earrings in various metallic and boxy designs were popular during this time because they could be shown off with the short hairstyles and hats of the decade.
Having your ears pierced was a no-no, but earrings were a way to show off wealth. Wearing a clip-on signaled that you knew the trends without breaking societal standards and norms.
1930-1939
Clip-on earrings were influenced by art deco trends and favored sharp lines, darker colors, and rigid geometrics. Jewelry was a way to make a cheaper outfit look expensive.
The biggest change of the era was the shift of color. From dark blues to mustard yellows and the classic black and white, the earrings of the time favored a block color design.
1940-1949
You would still find clip-ons in the ‘40s, but they were now available in colorful, whimsical shapes, signaling the end of art deco and an optimistic look towards the future.
Popular designs included flowers, frogs, bows, and cherries. Earrings were made of copper or cheaper materials, which led to the rise of the style of jewelry known as “costume.”
1950-1959
Clip-on earrings were still the preferred style, with American women favoring clean, bright, and glizorous designs. Fruits and flowers were popular, but pearls reigned supreme.
Earrings began to be considered a more active participant in a woman’s outfit. Not only should your earrings match your outfit, but they should complement your complexion as well.
1960-1969
With actual ear piercings becoming mainstream, most people would pierce their ears at home since professional piercers were not common, but some doctors did perform the procedure.
There was a preference for resin and plastic earrings with flowers, longer styles, and bright colors. There was also an influx of Indian and Southeast Asia-inspired earrings.