In Jewellery on March 11, 2011 at 6:00 pm


I own these earrings. They dangle right down to my shoulders and I’m mad about them.* (see me wearing them at the link below..)

They were purchased in one of those most satisfying fashion moments when you suddenly realise you want a particular thing and shazam! there it is, a la mode and on sale.

In this case designed by Oscar de la Renta and bought from Net-a-Porter, which has the most fantastic selection of the big, bold, bad earrings I suddenly want to wear again. (All the pictures on this post are taken from there.)

There were two separate events that led me to buying these ear decorations worthy of a Masai queen. The first was I lost my forever ear bobs.

That has been my ‘thing’ for the past – eek – twenty plus years. I would have one pair of simple gold earrings, always something small and gold dangling from shepherd’s hooks, which I would wear absolutely every day with everything. They were as much a part of me as my wedding ring.

The only time I would wear something else was big dress ups. The simplicity of the forever earrings meant they went with everything and in that time I had four pairs of them. I’d wear them for years and then the terrible day would come when I lost one of them.

I particularly remember losing one of my ‘vita’ earrings (it was written on the little gold blobs). It was September 2000 and I was running up George Street, Sydney desperate to see Dawn Fraser do her stint of the Olympic Torch Marathon. I got so hot, I stopped to tear off my jumper and my earring must have pinged out. Shame, but it was worth it. I did see her.

Bijoux Heart

And I must say it still makes me well to remember that time. The scope of the Aussie torch relay was truly magnificent. It travelled over 27,000 kms, passed within an hour’s drive of 85 per cent of the Australian population, and was carried by 11, 000 torchbearers, in the longest torch relay in Olympic history.

I can only hope the London Olympics next year can come up with something equally inspiring.

Anyway, back to my earrings. Whenever I lost one like that, it became a quest to find the next Forever Earrings. The pair I had after those were my all-time favourites, but sadly I can’t remember who they were by, so when I lost them, last October, leaving them in the hair and make up room at the ABC Studios, Sydney, I couldn’t just replace them.


The odd thing about my earring shifts, was that they always seemed to coincide with big changes in my life. Almost like each pair marked a particular era for me. I lost the last pair just as my column in Good Weekend ended, which seemed very significant.

So for the past five months I’ve been searching for the new ones, but nothing is right. The only pair that came close cost nearly £1000 – reflecting the current price of gold – and I just couldn’t commit that much money to something I know I’m going to lose eventually.

In the meantime, I’ve been wearing different earrings every day, until I suddenly realised, that the search for a Forever pair is off. Different every day is my new earring mode. Just as it was back in the 1980s, when I would choose from my collection of enormous clip ons for every outfit, as an integral part of my look.

Oscar de la Renta

Then having re-embraced the feature earring, I realised I wanted to go large. Massive. Outrageous. Ideally touching the shoulder.

I’m loving it. When I decided to go to Paris last week, to see Collette Dinnigan’s show, that gave me the excuse to buy my outrageous red earrings.


I knew they would be my outfit. They were all I needed to add to a simple black dress, ankle boots and a me-vintage red Prada bag, I already had. The earrings made it pop.

And best of all, this new earring era has given me an ongoing shopping quest. Now which of these pairs shall I get next…?

Oscar de la Renta


* You can see me wearing them here on my friend Paula Joye’s fabulous new website LifeStyled. We caught up at Collette Dinnigan’s show in Paris last week and had a right old laugh.
Take a look at

Paula Joye, me and my earrings at Collette's show, taken from Paula's fab website Lifestyled.

  1. What wonderful, wonderful earrings! I shall be visiting Net A Porter very soon. It was also good to read the memories that certain earrings had for you.


  2. I’ve always worn simple platinum diamond studs until a year or so ago when I really craved some little danglies. Husband came through with Elsa Peretti silver hearts. Then every few months, bigger and biggerer! My current faves are Mimco pearl and paua shell shoulder-grazing chandeliers. Love ’em!

  3. Buy ’em all I say! I’ve been wearing simple gold or silver hoops for years and recently (with my *ahem* increase in size post baby) have resorted to ever bigger earrings to draw the eye away from my enormous chest. Current favourites are some massive silver dangly hoops with turquoise thingys dangling inside the hoop. Love the Isharya ones above. Going to Net-a-porter RIGHT NOW.

    • Yes, it does balance out generous areas below, that’s my thinking too. Bought another pair in Paris. Will post pic if I get a moment (unlikely – your a mother, you understand…) x

  4. This is spookily relevant to me this week (as always!), on Monday night I lost one of the pearl earrings I bought to celebrate the end of my first year in my job, and I have worn them almost every day for five years. I wonder if the same thing will happen to me as to you, signaling the start of a new stage in life?! I haven’t decided whether to replace it yet, or to try to wear more variety!

    • You are the second person who has said they have this connection with jewellery – I think it is quite ‘talismanic’ for us, just as it was for Egyptians etc. Has power. But I think only when it’s real gold, pearl etc. I don’t think it quite works for costume jewellery! I think you should see if the next FOREVER pair come along. It just didn’t for me and I decided that was the message. Let me know what happens. x

  5. I love the,m, went through a period of wearing plain pearls, including a beautiful pair of black pearl earings my family gave me. But now love to mix n matxh and lately like you the more outrageous the better, love the Oscar e De La Renta ones at the end, sort of upmarket hippyish

  6. Red seems to be popular this year and I love your earrings. That particular red is great with all colours.
    OHHHH Im so happy to be reading you again and have honestly missed your articles in the G.W. In fact, was just getting around to writing them to say Saturday wasn’t quite the same anymore!!!!
    Glad I have found you again,Maggie.

    • Thanks, Robyn. Please do me a HUGE favour and tell anyone who you think might be interested that they can still have Style Notes every Saturday if they subscribe on here? x

  7. those bijoux heart ones are beautiful but the turquoise and gold hoops would look great with blue jeans and a white top.
    off now to assess my earring collection – i suspect i may have a few gaps to fill …

  8. Oh my, the big Oscar de la Renta ones, those, please, and post a picture of the entire outfit! As ‘popping’ goes, those things are an explosion. I just love red!

    I have so many dangly earrings, boyfriend has made me a large rack out of an old picture frame to store and display them. It took MONTHS to find a frame big enough! My current favourites are colourful origami swans, extra-dangly silver ones (that light silver stuff from Mexico, so it doesn’t pull the ears), and I have so many vintage pairs in aqua, beads and shell that I couldn’t name them all.

    Not only do they dress up little black dresses, they also lend a glam-hippy edge to simple black harem pants or the worn denim mini and slouchy black top I rely on for busy mornings. My boyfriend has bought me gorgeous diamond earrings, and simple white gold hoops which serve as “forever” earrings, but only if I’m working. Otherwise, I like earrings to brush my neck when I move.

    Great post.

  9. Really? Long, dangly earrings? I haven’t worn those since my hippy early 20’s. I wear small silver , forever earrings you would call them, for work as a teacher with, suity, corporate looks.
    Do I dare wear my collection of big earrings still on my mannequin stand? Could I? Should I? With a hat? Would I? With glasses? Can I ?With my new Mob hair do? May I?
    Will I look ridiculous as a 40 something mother of two with long, dangly earrings? Please advise.

    • What’s a Mob hair do? Will only work with the glasses if they are as BIG and BAD as the earrings. Did you see my Rules column this week? will be on here next Wednesday and will be revealed…

      • A Mob is a Messy Bob, as worn by Scar Jo. A close relative of the Pob!

      • aha! yes, I think your Mob will be fine with GIGANTOR earrings, mine is a longer version of same and I thought I looked rather the go (ahem…) with them peeping out from under. Just beware the glasses earrings combo. You can have too much face furniture. See last weeks piece in the paper – on line here tomorrow – for the master of balancing that. x

  10. Have you got the red Oscar de la Renta’s? Hand them over! Best on a brunette like me!

  11. I was teaching in the NSW outback when the torch relay came within coo-ee of my school. And I use the term coo-ee loosely. The local school bus driver was dead keen to go and so were the kids so we packed up 40-odd children, the bus, some food and the teachers and drove 3 hours to the nearest point to see it.

    It was very exciting because it was like a moving sporting fun fair. Kids had a ball. So did the bus driver. Then we drove 3 hours home again.

  12. I have a pair of dangly earrings but my earlobes hurt after about an hour or two. But they DO look pretty fabulous. There must be some antidote to earlobe pain.

    The Olympic Torch went down my street, in front of my house, on September 6th… just as I was across town in the delivery room having my second child. Apparently it was quite the carnival atmosphere in our otherwise quiet street.

  13. Way to go, Maggie. Did you know that Peggy Guggenheim, the modernist arts diva, had a collection of a hundred pairs of earrings, and she had a special wall for them in her bedroom?

  14. Am large earring OBSESSIVE. To the point where a long term reader from India actually mailed me a package of chandeliers 2yrs ago…I love how they make an otherwise dull outfit interesting. Am especially fond of wearing grey cashmere sweaters on weekends with f**K off earring. Keren from Marchesa is a lover too. I sat next to her at a dinner a few years back ad she was wearing the most amazing Jose Bedarra ones. Def worth checking out LLGxx

    • That’s exactly it. The simplest outfit goes ZING and it’s so great to have re-discovered this trick after so many years being overly tasteful xxx (ps secretly thrilled you are reading my lil’ ol’ blog…).

  15. When I was married I wore simple gold earrings all the time. My ex husband preferred me to only wear very plain jewellery. But I’ve always loved big dangly earrings and one of the many advantages of being single again is that I choose whatever I want to wear and lovely big earrings are something I wear every day. I really like the second pair of earrings in this post. Sadly it is unlikely I’ll ever own them!

    • That makes two of us ha ha ha. Spent entire earring budget on the Oscar de la Rentas but SO worth it. Sounds to me like you are better off in control of your own accessories xxx

  16. Ok…you look great in the earrings, I actually fancied the second de la Renta red pair you featured…the big gems for myself, so blonde or brunette we can both look fabulous!

  17. Can you get the fifth pair down next. And if they don’t suit, could you send them to me please?

  18. Maggie any chance you could make your readers aware of Novica? This is a National Geographic initiative where you can buy handmade jewellery, as well as clothing, homewares, gifts and art from selected, extremely talented artists in developing countries. The products are breathtakingly, jaw-droppingly beautiful. Also unique, and amazing prices for real leather, gold and silver, gemstones, alpaca wool, unsual woods etc. My most treasured jewellery (especially earrings!) all come from here. The website is check out the seriously unusual jewellery such as bracelets made from polished bullhorn or leather earrings! ‘Mad aunt’ approved – they have the kind of stuff you used to only be able to get in wee independent or strange ‘hippie’ boutiques – only a thousand times more beautiful and polished. Best of all you are doing something about poverty through lack of ability to connect with the market. The postage can be a little bit expensive but it’s cheaper at the moment because of the strong Aussie dollar. I have no interest in the site other than as a fervid customer and fan, but please please check it out and use your communications channels to let everyone know about it so they can consider it in their Christmas shopping and enrich someone other than sweatshop owners. Thank you xoxo

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