At this level, I’ve mastered the artwork of the gentle reveal. I’ve 16 piercings and counting, to the frustration of my grandparents and frustration of my dad and mom and confusion of my boyfriend. Though I am an obsessive piercing planner, I often don’t share my plans till the publish is freshly secured in my ear. I do know I’ll be invariably hit with one thing like “That appears cool now, however what about when you get previous?” and admittedly, I don’t have a solution!

An professional in this sort of quandary if there ever was one is piercer Cassi Lopez-March. She gained a following at New York Adorned, the Bowery piercing studio infamous for a cult-like following amongst the style set. (Zoe Kravitz and FKA Twigs are shoppers, and J. Colby Smith, who’s in all probability pierced all of NYFW, labored there for over a decade.) In 2019 Lopez-March struck out on her personal with So Gold Studios, which has shortly turn out to be the go-to Brooklyn piercing spot and, subsequently, as tough to get into as Carbone. However for being so busy, Lopez-March was keen to talk about the right way to fashion piercings for longevity. “In the long term, you need your jewellery and piercings to be an extension of you and your private fashion,” she explains. Via this lens, she’s mastered a styling philosophy that certainly one of her shoppers coined the “grownup ear.” Her earlier than and after transformations (which are likely to go viral on Instagram and Tiktok) flip tattoo store jabs into glittery compositions that perform like a dainty ring or fantastic chain would elsewhere. Completely in place on somebody who’s grown out of their rebellious section. As Lopez-March factors out, the flexibility to vary your jewellery to fit your life-style is a part of the magic of piercing.

Should you can’t get to So Gold proper now, there are nonetheless some simple swaps you are able to do by yourself to age up your piercings. Under, her 5 greatest ideas for grownup ears:

Spend money on high quality jewellery

The primary distinction between an grownup ear and a young person let free at Piercing Pagoda? Jewellery high quality. Which Lopez-March clarifies doesn’t need to be an ear filled with gold and diamonds. As an alternative, search for elevated variations of belongings you already love, with an emphasis on longevity. Low-cost metals like brass stain pores and skin inexperienced with extended put on, plated items must get replaced extra usually, and surgical metal presents much less versatility. “Once I was youthful, I didn’t care about that sort of stuff so long as the jewellery I used to be sporting match my aesthetic,” Lopez-March tells me. Properly-made jewellery additionally tends to have a decrease profile (learn: sits nearer to your ear), and may be designed particularly for untraditional piercings (like outer and internal cartilage) in order that they lay higher.

Chuck prescriptive matchy-matchy guidelines

Whilst you can’t go mistaken with matched metals and stones, that doesn’t imply mixing ‘em up gained’t go proper. In reality, a curated combine can add texture and variety to an in any other case tremendous easy earscape. Consider mixing coloured stones and metals in complementary tones as should you’re making a moodboard on every ear. “I’ve a long-time consumer who has tons of rose gold, so we used comparatively heat stones like smokey quartz, champagne sapphire, and moonstone, for a little bit iridescent vibe,” Lopez-March explains. On a consumer who prefers white gold, accents of opal and aquamarine play off of the blue tones. “I do not thoughts mixing metals both,” she provides, “so long as all the things feels balanced and complementary.”

Know when to train restraint

A curated ear appears purposeful. And should you can’t determine when to cease including piercings by yourself, Lopez-March suggests making a styling appointment and moving into with an open thoughts. “Relying on what a consumer already has, there are many instances I’ll counsel not including new piercings,” she says, noting that typically additions can create litter. The appropriate piece of bijou can fill an area and make one other piercing out of date. And as soon as your ear is styled, you would possibly even notice you wish to take away an previous piercing and let it shut—this could streamline your ear, like a Marie Kondo spring clear for jewellery.

Lean into personalization

It’s simple to get overwhelmed by enviable earscapes on Instagram. However take into consideration this: dressing your ears is so much like dressing your physique. With age you’ve found out which garments fit your physique greatest, and since you really feel snug you additionally look easy. Should you let your anatomy information your piercing selections too, you get one thing way more personalised and spectacular. “Folks will DM me on a regular basis to inform me what piercings they presently have after which ask what they need to get,” says Lopez-March, “however that relies upon completely on the particular person’s anatomy.” It makes the distinction for each aesthetics (the place do you could have area for brand spanking new piercings? the place does your ear act as a pure body?) and therapeutic (if a specific space is simply too shallow or small to assist a piercing, it’ll by no means absolutely heal).

And at all times contemplate your life-style

Whilst you can change your earrings usually, Lopez-March’s methodology of styling retains on a regular basis put on in thoughts. “If somebody is tremendous lively and works out so much, they could wish to keep away from jewellery and piercings that may forestall them from sporting earbuds or headphones comfortably,” she advises. “Or, if somebody has a small pet or youngster, they could wish to keep away from items which have a number of hanging bits and chains that may be pulled on or grabbed.” For grownup ear success, a realist’s lens helps. Funnily sufficient? That’s in all probability true of grownup success normally.

—Ali Oshinsky

Photograph through ITG

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