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The newest way to wear earrings? Go for solid over dangly – and try an extra piercing

<span>‘They can be a chunk or a sliver, but they should be solid. You want a confident, glamazon earring’.</span><span>Photograph: Tom J Johnson/The Guardian</span>
‘They can be a chunk or a sliver, but they should be solid. You want a confident, glamazon earring’.Photograph: Tom J Johnson/The Guardian

If I were to be cast away on the proverbial desert island, the luxury I would choose to take with me would be earrings. I am not proud of this. It is a little bit embarrassing, probably. But I share it to give you an idea of how obsessed I am with earrings. I often leave the house with no makeup on, but never without earrings (although it occasionally happens by mistake). The other morning, a ring of the doorbell knocked my getting ready off stride, and by the time I realised I was earring-less I was almost at the tube station, too late to turn back. I felt like I’d gone to work in my slippers.

I don’t for a minute suggest you join me in my weapons-grade earring fixation. Think of it like this: I compulsively overthink earrings so that you don’t have to. And as a result, I can today bring you a download of where we are at with earrings: which style, which colour, how many, matched or mismatched.

The most important thing you need to know right now is: earrings should be definite, not dangly. They can be a chunk or they can be a sliver, but they should be solid. Chandelier earrings, all their tinkle and flutter, are not where we are at. What you want is a confident, glamazon earring. Think back to the kind of earrings Samantha wore in early episodes of Sex and the City. They were nuggets of gold, with the chunky energy of a man’s signet ring, gleaming at her lobes as she eyed up her prey over a cosmo. That’s what we’re after.

One of my favourite combinations is three matching chunky drops in one ear and something different in the other

Not necessarily gold, though. After years of the yellow stuff being the only metal in town, silver is seriously cool again. And I’m not loving rose gold as much as I once did. Also, a rule that I stuck to religiously until recently – that mixing silver and gold was as much of a faux pas as wearing odd socks – has fallen away. Silver and gold look good together now. Pearls are still the jewel to beat, although they look best when they are classic with a twist. Look for wonky pebble-shaped rather than perfect little globes. Less Queen Elizabeth II, more Vivienne Westwood, god rest their souls.

On the subject of queens, next on the agenda is mismatched earrings. What you need to know on this topic is that Queen Camilla is now wearing them. So, yup, mismatched is still a thing, but no longer one that’s winning you edgy style points. The total number of earrings matters more and, right now, two is a bit vanilla.

An extra piercing or two in each ear is a quick, effective and relatively painless update. I have three piercings in one ear, and am planning to add a second to the solo one on the other lobe. A non-matching number of piercings works best, for some reason. Make sure to get your extra piercings on your best side (everyone has one, just take some selfies from different angles if you don’t believe me) as they will draw attention to that view of your face. One of my favourite combinations is to wear a line of three matching chunky drops in one ear, and something different on the other side.

Back to that desert island. Which earrings would I take? Tough call, but I would probably land on a gold hoop. I’ve been wearing them since I was a teenager and haven’t tired of them yet, so I am pretty confident they’d keep me cheerful however long it would take for my ship to come. Even better, hoops are practical for an active life – you can lie on your side in comfort and they don’t tend to snag on your clothes, which is useful, because it means I don’t have to take them off for pilates or worry about losing them in the changing room.

So I would be able to sunbathe with my trusty desert-island Complete Works of Shakespeare without a metal post digging into my skull, and they would be less likely to get dislodged if I had to take my sweater off to flag down a passing boat. Look, I don’t recommend you think about earrings as much as I do. But maybe give your lobes a once-over? For me.

Model: Charlotte Robinson at Milk. Styling assistant: Sam Deaman. Hair and makeup: Carol Morley at Carol Hayes Management. Earrings: Amazon. Top: River Island.