|Trend Test by Cynthia Nellis|
After seasons of focusing on wrist and necks with trends like power beads and lariat necklaces, fashion is finally paying attention to earlobes again with gutsy hoops.
Photo, left, from the Spring 2001 Rocket 898 collection taken during Fashion Week in New York.
If you haven't worn hoops before, then you are missing one of the few thrills in fashion that you can get without baring any skin. Big earrings can make you feel like a chic show-off with just enough hoochie mama thrown in to make it sexy.
Back in the '80s hoops were new-wave glam, worn, of course, with a black miniskirt and a sliding-off-the-shoulder sweater.
Today, hoops represent modern, over-the-top glamour in fashion's continuing lovefest with all things retro.
But above all, shoulder-grazing hoop earrings are about attitude. Put on a pair and you'll morph into a diva like Diana Ross or Jennifer Lopez (both hoop lovers).
wear them with
How you wear this trend depends on my golden rule of dressing your age: If you remember doing the trend the first time around, beware.
So, if this is your first fling with hoops, then go all out. Short of wearing head-to-toe gold, you can't go too wrong in this season of exaggeration. Everything from low-riding flares with platforms to metallic leather will look just a little edgier now with jumbo hoops.
If you've done hoops before, reinterpret them by playing them against opposites. So instead of donning a disco tube top and short shorts, wear hoops with apparel in sleek urban silhouettes like solid-color turtlenecks, denim and leather jackets. Make hoops work-ready, just choose smaller, more discreet styles.
The sexiest hair look with hoops right now is bangs and long, tousled layers (catch Gwyneth Paltrow's look with them on the cover of the November Elle magazine -- it's perfect), but sleek ponytails and soft, poufy sets are good, too.
Because big earrings bring lots of attention to your face, remember to go easy on the lipcolor and the rest of your makeup. With huge eyelashes and red, glossy lips you'll look a little too hoochie to be modern.
Supersized hoops may be hot, but I opted for a happy medium with the 1 1/2" diameter pair I bought (left) in gold.
They are thin and flat on the sides, as opposed to being a tube, and still feel pretty big considering I've been dabbling in minimalist jewelry (just diamond studs) for the past decade.
I paid about $14 at Bloomingdales, but these are available at prices as a low as a few dollars to a few hundred dollars in precious metals.
They look best in gold (hottest metal of the season), but diamonds set in white gold (fakes are fine) add extra sparkle for evening.
-Big earrings tend to be uncomfortable, even though this time around the trend is showing up in thin hoops. Make sure the pair you buy is ultra-lightweight, preferably hollow in the middle.
-Longer earrings call attention to the neck, so if double chins or wrinkles are a concern, skip this trend.
-Bangle bracelets are a nice way to finish off the look while echoing the circle shape of the earrings.
About "Trend Test"
Cynthia Nellis actually buys and tests the items in these regular reports -- just like any consumer would, so you can find out ahead of time what to expect from certain trends, and what to look for in a comparable product.
All photos copyright © 2000 Cynthia Nellis.