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Know your cuffs from your climbers

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We blogged earlier this year for our spring/summer Jewellery Month about irregular earrings, when style blogger Alex Stedman from The-Frugality.com joined us previously to give you an indication of how to achieve an irregular look.

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Our autumn/winter Jewellery Month has rolled around and the trend is still hugely popular, so once again we’re giving you the chance to tap in on this achingly cool look. But the terminology can be confusing – what exactly is a cuff as opposed to a jacket? Or a climber for that matter? She joined us again recently at a photoshoot to explain:

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Cuffs are the easiest way to get an irregular look and mimic the look of an upper ear ‘helix’ piercing without having to go through the rigmarole and soreness of a tricky healing process. Put simply, they wrap around and grip the cartilage around the outer edge of your ear.

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This kind of style would look a little forced if worn as a pair, which is why they usually come as single cuffs, and because they’re not secured in position by a piercing they tend to be very dainty and lightweight to ensure they don’t go walkabout.

We’ve created three versions using Diamonique’s simulated diamonds: a simple band cuff, a slightly larger leaf cuff (which our model is wearing in the picture above), and then a larger leaf design for those embracing the trend wholeheartedly.


Jackets also go around the ear, but in a different way. They feature a traditional stud at the lobe, typically affixed with a butterfly or disc, with a second piece – the jacket itself – sitting behind your ear. The jacket has a decoration (often pearls, crystals or gems) that trails along the underside of your lobe, creating a beautiful fringe effect. If you have a smaller or less pronounced lobe, this can create the illusion that the fringe is floating, which is really pretty.

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There are versions to suit all tastes and budgets, whether you’re looking after the pennies or splurging on an investment piece. Eternal have fused shell pearls and stainless steel in an adjustable design for a bargain £19 (watch our on-air presentation here to see what we mean by adjustable); try Lisa Snowdon’s take on the trend that our model is wearing, combining white topaz and sterling silver for £35.88; or crank up the colour with a precious morganite and rhodolite combo for £163.


Climbers are perhaps the most self-explanatory. A typical example is a curved bar that fixes at your lobe and then tracks the shape of your outer ear, inset with sparkling stones.

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The possibilities are pretty endless, and jewellery designers are truly embracing this look, so there are all sorts of styles incorporating precious gems, simulated diamonds, crystals, and others that forgo stones entirely. Some feature a post and butterfly (or sometimes disc) fastenings, but many feature a long bar that hugs the back of your ear, which you pinch to secure them in place. More ostentatious examples may feature a hook to grip the helix and hold the far end in place.

Our model, pictured above, is wearing Diamonique’s 7-stone design – a snip at £19.56 – or you can add a pop of colour with Sleeping Beauty’s 5-stone turquoise version for a slightly larger outlay at £34. If you’re splurging, only diamonds will do, so enjoy half-a-carat’s worth with our wave design that incorporates more than 170 pave-set stones. Yours for £305.

Spotted an example in one of our videos and want to track them down? Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you with a product number.

Join in the conversation on Twitter with #QVCJewelleryMonth.

Please note: all prices were correct at the time of publication and do not include P&P

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