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Frank Lloyd Wright earring with adjustable clip on | minusOne jewelry

How do adjustable clip on earrings work?

Dec 31, 2023 | minusOne jewelry FAQ

Some clip on earrings use a traditional snap clip that includes a screw, which allows the pressure of the snap closure to be loosened or tightened, making it adjustable.

Frank Lloyd Wright earring with adjustable clip on | minusOne jewelry
Frank Lloyd Wright earring with adjustable clip on | minusOne jewelry

This video shows exactly how minusOne jewelry adjustable clip on earring backs work.

Nearly all earrings at minusOne jewelry can be made with clip ons.

Frank Lloyd Wright earring with adjustable clip on | minusOne jewelry

Don’t see it as a menu option when adding you earrings to cart? Just ask Jen!

I will let you know if it’s possible. If it is, I will adjust the listing so you can complete your earring purchase as clip ons.

Are all clip on earrings adjustable?

Not all clip on earrings are adjustable. Some clip on earrings only snap closed.

For example, these are simple snap clip-ons that can’t be adjusted.

They include rubber pads designed to make wearing clip ons more comfortable.

simple snap clip on earrings that aren't adjustable

simple snap clip on earrings that aren't adjustable

Simple clip on earrings that aren't adjustable.

Here’s another example, without the comfort pads that many clip on earrings from the 80s provided.

A simple clip on earring that snaps closed and can't be adjusted

Even a clip on that isn’t adjustable can be a perfect addition to your collection.

I wore a large pair of 50s Taxco 925 Mexican silver clip ons last night, and they didn’t hurt, and made it home to see another day.

Why were clip ons so popular?

From about the 1930s until the 1990s, clip ons were the primary engineering for earring jewelry.

There are two reasons why clip on earrings were so popular in the 20th century: technology and social class.

Snap clip ons with a hinged, pressured fastener was a new technology, and the desire to incorporate it into earring designs was fueled by its innovation and newness.

More and more earring designers used clip ons because clip on engineering was new.

Alongside this innovation emerged the second reason by clip on earrings became so popular in the 20th century.

Women’s ability to distinguish themselves by wearing clip ons meant that they could separate themselves from women who pierced their ears.

Miriam Haskell jewelry advertisement | clip on earrings

It may seem unusual today, but for a period of time, pierced ears became synonymous with immigrant culture.

For example, Italians often pierced the ears of their children very young. Italian immigrants were therefore associated with this tradition.

Clip on earrings were therefore representative of innovation and higher social status.

It will be interesting to see if contemporary, newly manufactured clip on earrings ever come back in style.

Why wear clip on earrings today?

There are two reasons for wearing clip on earrings:

  1. Clip on earrings won’t stretch your pierced earring holes when you want to wear heavier statement earrings.
  2. Clip on earrings were popular throughout the 20th century, so many cool vintage clip on earring designs are out there for sale.

These earrings are a good example of both. They’re large, and have the potential to stretch earring holes.

Atomic Art Deco Silver Statement Earrings | Vintage Gripoix-style glass clip-ons | minusOne Jewelry
Atomic Art Deco Silver Statement Earrings | Vintage Gripoix-style glass clip-ons | minusOne Jewelry

Atomic Art Deco Silver Statement Earrings | Vintage Gripoix-style glass clip-ons | minusOne Jewelry

But they’re also very cool. Why not wear them, just because they’re clip ons?

Shop for cool vintage clip on earrings at minusOne.

How well do clip ons stay on?

Clip on earrings can be surprisingly secure, and stay on for hours without falling off your ear lobes.

However, the security of clip ons depends on the style and age of the clip on fastener, and your placement of the earring on your ear lobe.

The ideal clip on to prevent loss includes both a snap clip and a screw back.

What is the downside of clip on earrings?

Clip on earrings have two primary downsides.

  1. Clip on earrings can loosen over time, making them susceptible to loss.
  2. When clip ons snap too tightly closes, they can hurt after wearing them awhile.

How to fix a loose clip on earring fastener

This how-to video was the most useful I found for fixing a loose clip-on earring, where the clip no longer snaps in place, or even if it snaps, it doesn’t close tightly enough.

Before watching this video, I would toss or craft earrings where one clip was loose. I wish I had those back.

The last important bit to remember when putting the clip back together is to put the metal flap on top. It wants to lay beneath.

How do I keep my clip ons from hurting?

Clip ons hurt mainly because they’re too tight. It’s like wearing a ponytail. A tight ponytail sooner or later will hurt your scalp and begin to ache.

There are a few ways to keep your clip on earrings from hurting because they’re too tight:

  1. Loosen the clip on fastener (see below for the how-to).
  2. Wear clip ons for shorter periods of time.
  3. Stop wearing the pair that hurts and try instead an adjustable pair of clip ons.

This video explains how to loosen the clip on fastener:

There! Now you have no reason not to try them.

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