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Slave Earrings

Wednesday, March 9th 2011. | Jewelry

Slave earrings, also known as multiple-piercing earrings, consist of a stud at the ear lobe and a chain that extends to the top of the ear via a cuff or second piercing. The second earring in the pair usually consists of a plain stud, or a similar design that carries the look to the other ear, without competing for attention.

The term “slave earring” comes from the notion of chaining two things together. In the case of earrings the lobe and ear cartilage are chained in a similar way that you might see in slave bracelets or slave anklets.

Popular during the height of the punk movement, this twist on the traditional earring saw a new boost in followers after it appeared in Star Trek, earning the nickname, “Bajoran earrings”. They are also commonly seen on traditional Indian brides, although are often far more heavily adorned than the western style. They occasionally extend to a nose ring, and the upper ear piece is often just hung in the crevice between the ear and the head, and not directly attached to the ear.

Some earrings are designed to cuff to either the left or right ear, and may not be easily converted. If you are unsure of which ear they were intended for, lay the slave earring out flat and remove all tangles. With the base stud at the bottom: if the cuff only comfortable extends to the upper right, it is intended for left ear; if the cuff only extends comfortably to the upper left, it is intended for the right ear. If you have a preference, be sure to ask your designer when you make your purchase. He or she will be able to direct you to designs that suit you, or may be able to adjust a pair for you.

Modern slave earrings still retain their punk roots, relying on chains and studded stones, but have mostly taken on a more refined quality. Anyone can wear slave earrings and they can look absolutely feminine when done right. Choose fine gemstones and metals, and go for delicate chains and smaller designs. Slave earrings can be found in sterling silver and gold, as well as plated metals for the budget-conscious shopper.

To wear slave earrings, first put on the plainer earring. Attach the lower stud of the slave earrings, being careful not to create new tangles. Grab the cuff or second stud, and pull it gently up toward the top of your ear cartilage. Hook on the cuff, or pin the stud. If it feels loose, tighten the earring stud, or gently pinch the cuff until it feels secure.

To keep this look feminine yet edgy, make your earrings the feature of your outfit. If you must add more jewelry, try rings or bangles, but avoid adding anything higher to avoid visual crowding. These accessories can dress up a t-shirt and jeans, and work perfectly with girlish dresses. A little hard-rock in your fashion can create a striking look, but beware of venturing into biker territory. Think of slave earrings as an alternative to regular earrings and use them to shake up your everyday style.

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