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Still wearing Pat Butcher earrings? It's time for more understat

Like sneakers and cycling shorts, the trend for scene-stealing earrings isn’t going anywhere in a hurry – but, for the latter, bigger no longer means better. While we have been enjoying the art-house asymmetric creations that have dominated the jewellery scene for the past year, a move away from maximalist creations that would make Pat Butcher proud towards a more opulent, yet refined, aesthetic is happening.

Loulou de la Falaise gold-plated-glass-earrings, £175, Net-a-Porter.
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Loulou de la Falaise gold-plated-glass-earrings, £175, Net-a-Porter.

In the past month, Lyst has recorded 5,000 searches for Murano glass earrings, while rainbow gemstones are up 66% in searches compared with this time last year.

“The fuss around statement earrings is calming down, although it’s not going away,” says Tilly Macalister-Smith, the founder of the Instagram account Ear After Ear. “It’s a shift from considering them ‘a statement’ to something equally beautiful but a little more low-octane, more complimentary, and a little easier on the eye than the whacky art-house pieces. Craft is still paramount in all aspects of luxury fashion and so beautifully crafted pairs – in beads, Murano glass, diamanté – are where the news is now.”

It is a movement helped by high-profile endorsement. When the Duchess of Cambridge wore a pair of smoked crystal-cut earrings by the London-based designer Erdem on 10 October, there was a 34% increase in searches for the same pair on Lyst – but there are other agenda-setters, too. Natalie Portman wore a petit pair on the red carpet last week and fashion models and influencers Adwoa Aboah and Laura Jackson are recent fans of smaller, bejewelled earrings.

Asos design twinkle stone jewel earrings, £4.
Asos design twinkle stone jewel earrings, £4.

It’s a direction that Matchesfashion.com’s jewellery buyer, Patti Green – who enjoyed sellout success with the fine-jewellery designer Irene Neuwirth’s collection of precious stones, crystals and diamonds, despite prices topping the £9,000 mark – attributes to designers pursuing something precious and unique: “With all of the great designers in the market at the moment, a lot of the brands are pushing themselves to show a true point of difference and set themselves apart.”

Far from being reserved for formal occasions, or appearing passé, when worn with this season’s power tailoring or lush knitwear, the impression is surprisingly modern and the good news is that you probably already own, or have been given a pair, at some point. If not, there are plenty of options at every price to choose from.

John Lewis, £24
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John Lewis, £24.

Asos has crystal versions for £4, John Lewis has a pretty floral glass pair for £24 and Matchesfashion.com stocks a gold-plated turquoise and pink glass pair by Loulou de la Falaise – the late muse of Yves Saint Laurent’s eponymous line that was recently relaunched by her friend Ariel de Ravenel – for £175. This is affordable opulence for every woman this forthcoming party season. SC

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