Earrings For The Unpierced: Part One

I haven't got any piercings. I used to want my ears pierced when I was younger and I sometimes entertain fantasies of getting my right eyebrow (I can lift it very slightly on it's own thanks to a few months practice), the top of my left ear (so that the piercings are evenly distributed), and/or my nose pierced. I also have a tattoo design in mind for my right shoulderblade, but it is even less likely that I will get that done. I'm not too keen on needles. I remember that when I had my second-to-last vaccination, the nurse kept having a go at me because I was too tense and she couldn't find where to put the needle in.

Sometimes, people I've known for years have been looking at me one day when they exclaim, mid-conversation: "Your ears aren't pierced!". I usually respond: "Yeah, I know." It's almost as strange as being told that I am tall, or skinny, which happens even more frequently. I have eyes, a mirror, and self-awareness, funnily enough!

So to be unpierced is pretty unusual. At least jewellery designers think so, because there are very few earrings being produced today for unpierced ears. In fact, I would say that finding new earrings that don't require piercings is even harder than finding shoes for big feet!

Options for the Unpierced

Clip-on Earrings

Pro: They have been around for longer than any other kind of non-pierced earring, so you are likely to find the oldest vintage earrings if you are looking for clips.

Con: High ouch factor. They squeeze tightly, so they can't be worn for long periods of time unless you are good at resisting pain. I have tried some that have been padded with some sort of plastic foamy cushion, but it often isn't attached securely to the earring, falls off, and to be honest it doesn't make much of a difference to begin with.

Ear Cuffs

Pro: A different look to clip-ons and screw-ons.

Cons: Can have a ouch factor, as they pinch the ear. Also quite difficult to find, although you can make your own out of bendable plastic-coated wire.

Magnetic Earrings

Pros: Look like studs for pierced ears, take longer to cause pain than clips.

Cons: Can't hold any weight, fall off really easily (hair often causes the pieces to move), and I find that the pain from these lasts the longest.

Stick-on Earrings

Pros: Don't hurt, can look like studs

Cons: They have a cheap, novelty look, and you could be allergic to the adhesive, which also tends to be quite crap - try using eyelash glue to get them to stay on for longer.

Spring Hoop Earrings

Pro: Look almost the same as "real" hoop earrings.

Con: Oww...

Ear Hook/Hoop Earrings (hooks/hoops over the ear)

Pro: Not painful

Cons: Looks like you just hung something over your whole ear. Unimpressive unless you make a lot of effort to hang lots of pretty things from it. Some have an irritating habit of falling off when you tilt your head to the side and move.

Screw-on Earrings

Pros: Quite a lot of vintage earrings around. Can be worn for a long time because they can be adjusted to stay on the ear without pinching tightly.

Con: They loop under the ear and depending on the decoration, this can show and look too much like you're "showing the mechanism", distracting from the prettiness.

Do you have unpierced ears? Or have you worn earrings that don't require piercings before? Which is your favourite kind?

Freeze your debit/credit card, I've got a whole bunch of discoveries to share in Part Two.


  1. Great post, though I have 7 piercings...however my mom is a big fan of clip-ons!

  2. I take ear pins (which are for pierced ears, and supposed to slide through the hole) and slide them from the bottom of my ear up. They're painless, and look exactly like you have a row of studs. Easy to find on craft websites, even though I've never seen them in stores.

  3. My Mom doesn't have pierced ears (and we can't convince her to do it), so I started brainstorming ideas for unpierced earrings that I can make. This is what I came up with: http://www.etsy.com/shop/AdroitJewelers?section_id=5910385 I have pierced ears and I even wear them, either alone or as a second pair. Just thought I'd share, since I know it's hard to find comfortable earrings for unpierced ears.

  4. I have worn clips for years, and discovered that since most are made of a cheap metal, they can be gently "stretched" so as to not cause the "pinch factor". My biggest problem has been - like you - to find earrings that don't look like my grandma's ear bobs. I like the pretty kind that dangle and sparkle, and have discovered that Claire's has a fairly good selection of clips, and again, when adjusted to be looser fitting they feel much better and still stay in place. (http://www.claires.com/)

  5. My wife has 3 holes in one ear and 1 in the other. She wears a second one on the single pierced ear hich is just a normal stud that we took the post off. She sticks it with eyelash glue. If you wait a bit sfter applying the glue it can stay for a full week.
    That's the best option!


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