Ear Climbers for Beginners

You may have heard them called ear climbers, ear crawlers, and even ear cuffs. But the common denominator is that these earrings are not your typical pair. They are often singular or mis-matched, and they quite honestly, crawl up your ear a bit. Over a year ago I wrote an article about this trend (click here to read it), and it appears to be one that’s not just a flash-in-the-pan. Not only are the celebrities wearing them, but it’s hitting the streets all over.

Taylor Schilling rocking a diamond ear climber at the 2014 Emmy awards
Taylor Schilling rocking a diamond ear climber at the 2014 Emmy awards

I have to admit, I’m intrigued. As I always tell my clients, there are going to be lots of trends out there each season, but that doesn’t mean you need to adopt them. Just stay true to your personal style, and try the ones that really resonate with you. Well, my personal style, which I define as “urban bohemian,” was all over trying this out, but in a more understated way. So off I went on an internet shopping spree, and the next thing I knew, my UPS guy was knocking at my door. I chose this topaz and ruthenium pair by Elizabeth and James (gotta love the Olson twins!) for my first attempt. Can I say love at first wear?!

elizabeth and james vida ear climbers
Yes, this is a matching pair, but I thought it was a nice, not-too-extrme way to try it all out. And I must say that on my first three days wearing them, I’ve been stopped numerous times with inquiries. It did take a little maneuvering to get them to stay in the right place. I’ve squeezed the cuff part to really grab my earlobe so that they don’t droop down during the day.

elizabeth and james vida ear crawlers
Now, I want to explore the next step, where I have a crawler in one ear, and just a stud or hoop in the other. Here are some of the options I’m exploring. First is this gorgeous bezel-set earring by Jacquie Aiche.

jacquie aiche bezel ear cuff
jaquie aiche
If your personal style is a little more rocker, then these graduated spikes by Smith + Mara might get you going.

smith + mara graduated spike ear crawler
Perhaps your style is more feminine and whimsical. Then Jennifer Zeuner may have you pegged with these butterfly or pearl renditions.

jennifer zeuner symone small ear crawler
jennifer zeuner sylvia ear crawlers
Even the minimalist can find an interpretation of this trend. This cutout design, again by Smith + Mara, is so sleek and simple yet it is still just so much more than your average earring.

smith + mara cutout skimmer ear crawler
smith + mara ear crawler
If you want to take things just a step farther, then take a look at these bedazzled vines by Ca & Lou. They are definitely more of a statement.

ca & lou anne lobo earrings
ca & lou anne lobo earrings
And for the grand finale, I think this black diamond star by Milka Star is pretty spectacular. What a way to spice up your outfit!

kismet by milka star ear crawler
kismet by milka
So what about YOU? Is this a trend that appeals to you? Are you going to try it out? Or is this one you’ll reserve for viewing on the pages of fashion magazines? Please post your comments and photos!

21 thoughts on “Ear Climbers for Beginners”

      1. That’s a great question, Irene. I had to try a few different styles until I found one that felt really secure. If you’re trying one with just a single piercing to hold the ear climber in place, then you might try a larger back — one that has that big, clear disc. It will provide more support. If you’re trying one with a secondary little metal piece that wraps around a higher place on your ear, then try giving it a little squeeze so it hold on tighter. Finally, consider the weight of the whole ear climber. The heavier it is, the harder it may be to keep in place. I found my ideal one was very light. Hope this helps!

  1. I think these will be not just a trend, a perpetual category of earring types. This short article is a superb example of various style types to whom they would appeal. I really appreciate seeing the range displayed here and the brands being named. I love the idea of the climbers (I haven’t worn a pair yet, so I can’t give them a complete opinion) and appreciate the fantastic job the writer did showing how they work and having such different displays. I also enjoyed the brevity of the article, to the point and informative. I saw a pair of climbers on a jewelry website that intrigued me. Unfortunately, the way they were photographed didn’t show how they would be put on the ear or how they would look. Thanks for the info!

  2. I also meant to ask, is this actually a new idea or a trend that may have been lost by mass production, a more minimalist period, more of the population having pierced ears (for the cuffs), popular hairstyle changes,…? I’d love to see a follow-up story on their history. Thanks.

    1. Great questions, Ell. I can’t recall a time during my lifetime that I’ve seen them around, but I wouldn’t be surprised if somewhere back in history they were popular. I’ll have to look into that–thanks for the idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. I have a pair from about 20 years ago but I think they went by another name. If anyone knows what it is, let me know.

        1. How interesting, Linda! I would love to know what name they used to go by. I guess everything comes around in cycles. Thanks for the comment.

    1. Good questions, Leslie. If they are really long, sometimes there’s a little metal part that wraps around your ear, higher up, that you can squeeze to keep them in place. The shorter ones seem to stay in place just with a tightly secured back.

    1. Sounds like the clip is too tight. I had this happen on one of mine. Can you bend it just a tad so that it’s not so tight? If not, it may just not be the right design for your ear. Good luck, Iqra!

  3. I love ear climbers, but can’t get them to stay upward. The first pair, I squeezed it tighter and it stayed for a little while, but I’m sure the metal will break after a few times of tightening and removing. I think I’ll try the backs off another pair of earrings that have the round, plastic disk on the back and see if that works. I guess this is one case where thick earlobes would be an advantage!

  4. I bought an expensive pair of crawlers for my birthday. I have earlobes, and they keep falling down. I’m afraid to squeeze them, as I’m sure it will eventually break. How would a plastic back stay on, once you turn it upward?

    1. Well my first thought is that you should go back to the jewlery store where you purchased them, and have them adjust them for you. As for the plastic backs, those replace the earring back that came with the crawler. You just squeeze them on tightly, and they tend to keep the whole piece in place. Hope this helps!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *