Hindsight Fashion: The Single Earring

23 Mar

Throughout the decades, teenagers have attempted to prove their coolness by wearing questionable accessories, hairstyles and items of clothing. Hindsight Fashion is a section about those trends that, in Hindsight, we probably wish we hadn’t worn.

This week’s Hindsight Fashion is: The Single Earring.

There’s nothing wrong with a little jewelry. I’m all for fashion minimalism. But when it comes to earrings, I personally believe it’s nice to have some balance.

The Single Earring was a fashion trend that gained popularity in the 80’s and early 90’s. Though this trend was embraced by the female population as well, it was particularly popular with the boys.

Indeed, back in the day there was a time where piercing one ear was a sign of masculinity, rebellion and general hipness. To pierce two ears was considered effeminate. Whether you wore a hoop, a stud or a fancy feather-like contraption (like Claude from the original Degrassi High, above), having an earring was a sure sign that you were a badass. Musicians, artists and skateboarders alike gathered ice cubes and stole their mother’s sewing needles to haphazardly pierced their way to DIY coolness.

Though they may not admit it now, I think it’s safe to say that most men who were teenagers between 1985 and 1995 had a single pierced ear at one point or another. My husband, for instance (a very cool dude), cannot deny his Single Earring history as he will always have a little telltale dimple in his earlobe. I am assured, however, that his little skull and crossbones hoop looked very chic with his Chuck Taylors and Bones Brigade outerwear.

At some point, someone decided that not only was it uncool to pierce a single ear, but that it was in fact way cooler and so not effeminate to pierce both. Men everywhere once again gathered their ice and sewing needles to keep up with the times. There have been many Men’s fashion trends that have come and gone in the years since, each one promising to be a beacon of masculinity and toughness. But, in my opinion, no trend will ever be able to do it as well as a single, badass earring.


If you liked this post, you’ll surely love this one and this one!


4 Responses to “Hindsight Fashion: The Single Earring”

  1. aka gringita March 23, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

    I need the “one earring look” to come back, for women… mostly because I tend to lose earrings. 😉

    • thehindsightletters March 23, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

      So true! Maybe we could also start a “one sock” trend for similar purposes?

  2. magnolia March 23, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    my dad has one pierced ear. it came from his professional musician days in the mid-1970s, before i was born. apparently, back in the day, which lobe you had pierced was supposedly code for whether you were straight or gay.

    boys are weird. this is just another notch in that column.

    • thehindsightletters March 23, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

      I totally wanted to include a passage in here on the gay/straight left/right ear thing, but I couldn’t remember which ear was which!

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